Hi, thanks for joining us today at the vibrant entrepreneur podcast. I’m Krity!
So today we are going to talk about a very big problem I believe that is stopping us from being great entrepreneurs — whether it’s because we are working on a new project, our new product as an entrepreneur and we currently have a business going or more likely if you’re in that startup phase and you’re starting either over again, which is where I am or you’re starting a totally new business.
The problem is getting the energy to get past that first phase of proving that it’s that the product concept you have is the right fit and then getting enough buy in to to prove it enough data and getting your first paycheck, your first customer. That’s the hardest step I think. It’s also sometimes the most exciting but a lot of us talk about ideas but we don’t actually do it and why.
Lots of us will say, well they’re procrastinating or they don’t have the balls or like it’s just not in them. The way I look at it is that it’s hard for anybody. But if we can break down the particular pieces that make us stop going forward, that make us lose our energy — so I focus it on losing energy versus just this concept of procrastination– I believe a lot of us can get our product out there faster.
So here’s my story. Before I started Alana Life and Fitness, I was working by myself. I was living with my boyfriend and I would stay at home and work on my new project — by myself — all day. And not to mention in this room literally we were living in this building called the Mercedes house and it was facing the 18 T building like literally as an antenna building and in make all of this noise that we could never open our windows. So during, and it was the winter time.
So during the middle of winter I had to sit in a closed room with no windows, with no friends or people trying to make my business work. I was lucky cause I had time, but I didn’t have anything else, any other support. And I just got myself really depressed.
It was one of the hardest times I had despite being comfortable you could say because I had the ability, my tennis school that has started was doing well so I could focus on this. Yet it was so hard for me to maintain my energy and I even tried the lean startup. I tried to interview people and I found it — for what I was doing in the environment I was doing it in–I found it to be slow and I lost a lot of energy.
Now what was my answer? I’ll share with that with you at the end of the podcast.
So the answer is we are going to use, Oshita Vibrant Energy Formula to pull it out. Different things that you can do as an entrepreneur getting started with your startup that will help you maintain your energy.
The first thing is we have to think about where we put our attention. We have to keep our attention towards positive things, towards where we see ourselves going with our business in our work. We have to make sure we keep our focus on positive things towards where we want to go with our vision and our work. So if we see ourselves waking up every day, being productive, feeling positive, and we see in a year or in six months in a month achieving certain milestones, it feels more real and our body will naturally imitate what we see. So on that token of visualizing, we have to think about positive things and see what the end will look like. The great thing about visualizing what we see as the finished result, whether it’s what we finish in today or in a week, is that it gives us answers and helps us clarify what we’re trying to do.
The more we clarify about what we’re doing, the more clear what we’re doing is, it’s almost like an outline when you, when I think to myself, okay, well today I really want to get more done on my podcast. So what is that? Well, I do need to I see myself setting up the video camera, setting up the light box, setting up the microphone. All of a sudden, those are all things to do lists. And then I start thinking, well, where are the light bulbs? Oh, the light bulbs are in the other closet. I’m, I’m better get that. I’m better get that cord. And all of a sudden you have more actionables.
You start with a vision and you go backwards towards those actionables and that helps you get started and all of a sudden it feels easy and you’re ready to go. And that gives you energy.
Another place to put pot your attention is positive thoughts and same positive things and affirmations, which you’ve probably heard of. But it’s true when you are, I talked about in our last podcast how we don’t have necessarily control over our thought process, but we do have control over redirecting our, our attention to things.
So we have to be conscious about the negative thought, redirect it to a positive thought. But actually I’m going to actually reverse on that. That’s a common thought. A thought process is, Oh, well the thing about positive, instead what you want to do is take a deep breath,
huuuuuuuuhhhhhhh, And breathe out.
It will naturally put you in a positive mindset and then give you the positive thoughts you have so that it’s not a tennis battle back and forth in our brain, which is never fun when you’re alone and you have a start up you’re working on.
The second thing you can do is create a plan for yourself. It could be it start off with a very general plan. If you’re doing a one year plan, you don’t have to go farther out really than one year because you don’t know what’s going to happen, but what you want to do is get more specific over the next six weeks.
The big mistake that a lot of us entrepreneurs make and everybody is that we expect us to get so much done in the first two months, three months, or even six months. The fact is is that first six weeks to even two to three months, there’s going to be so much sludge you’re going through. So much mud of just maybe whether you’re talking to your friends and family, making small changes in your computer, set up your, your life, rethinking how you wanna do things. That process feels so slow where you’re setting yourself up to actually take action. So maybe you’re trying to get to the point. For me, I’m trying to get to the point of making phone calls and talking to my particular market that I think I’m going to be working with. So these are contractors and I need the, I need to start serving them. What’s your biggest problem? And I haven’t even gone there. I’ve been thinking about this business for more, almost, almost eight months. And it’s frustrating. It is. But I need to give myself, I need to visualize the fact that there’s going to be things I need to do to get myself to even make taking action on the project. Just getting started, getting myself there, taking priorities off of my checklist, changing my where I work, my office space, talking to mentors. Those are all important things that help set the foundation. And I’m not saying we need, it’s a good reason to procrastinate longer, but I think we need to give ourselves the space to set up our life so that we are able to 100% work on our project. So realistic timeframes is important.
Number three, hanging out with people who are already living the vision you’re after. Maybe they’re at a certain phase in their business, a similar business, or also a startup so that you can feel the realness of it. You can see it’s true and that people just like you are living that dream. I don’t even want to use a term dream, but they’re living that reality which challenge you when you have a start up is that getting one step forward seems doable. Two steps forward seems doable, but for some reason, you know like, well, understandably, 30 steps forward seems impossible. That’s just another two steps. Adjust another two steps. So we have to attention bringing attention to that reality, but also know that that’s how our brains going to play a game on us. It’s going to feel impossible.
So that means try to keep that vision alive by hanging out, going to things where they’re living that vision and you’re reminded that it’s a real vision that you can have.
So that brings me to the next thing, which is the next energy circle in the formula is love. So love gives us energy and we should never ever downplay love. Love is ultimately the biggest reason for the energy formula because attention is love. So pretty much it starts with love. And if we think that we’re weak because we can’t get through the day by ourselves — doing surveys maybe by ourselves and just working with Excel well you’re not weak.
That’s what I said to myself. I worked five months by myself just doing administrative stuff and editing videos and stuff and I felt terrible and I felt terrible because I didn’t have that attention, love from other people during my day. Let me tell you something. We humans need love all the time, not just at the end of the day and kiss from our husband or boyfriend or partner. We need love throughout the day, in the morning. In fact, do we need love all the time? And sometimes, yes, the love needs to come from us. But the truth is we’re humans. We need to connect with people. We need to feel the love. So we need to do things to feel the love depending on your personality throughout the day and do not look at it as something bad. Instead, look at it as something that must be done. And because you know what, you will integrate it through periods of your date.
So different examples of ways, a way to maintain love is to have a really find a big fan, whether it’s going to be your cousin, Hey Gio, or it’s gonna be your sister or a good friend who’s in the understand industry and likes what you do. Find a fan and share with them what you’re doing. Maybe you can text them what you’re working on, texts on what you got done, or join a group because that will help you feel motivated, motivated during the part where it feels shitty. Okay? So we need to get past that part. We need to keep going because we need to go through the part or not feeling that great. So maybe it could be your boyfriend. Also, it could be your partner. There could be multiple people who share the love with you.
Another way is if you can find some type of group on Facebook or social media where you can share a little things that you’re working on and people will, where you know for sure you’re going to get some love, like positive feedback or positive encouragement. Then do that.
Think of the different ways you can feel good about what you’re doing and don’t think of it as a waste of time. Or just going to slow you down. Something quick so that you can feel encouraged and keep going throughout the day. Or maybe if it’s just at the end of the day. T.
The third thing to make sure that you’re feeling energetic for your project through this startup phase is making sure you have energy, physical energy. So the third circle is energy. So that’s basically attention, love and energy are all combined. Attention is love and attention creates energy. So it’s all gonna flow together by having the things we just spoke about. But talking about physical energy, you need to exercise. I don’t care if you’re like, “Oh my God, I, I’m starting the next Uber and I need all the time I can have.” So you’re going to burn out and you’re not going to feel good.
Whether you do at the minimum 10 minutes in the morning and then maybe you do a 20 minute walk. You need a stretch. You need to work, you need to use your Kegel muscles. You need to squeeze your butt ass. I put but an ass together. It’s bad. You need to do some pushups, you need to jump up, you need to move your, your organs. And that will give you energy throughout the day. And it’ll honestly clear your mind. Allow you to let go of stress and just physically handle the challenges of being an entrepreneur better.
So find that time, preferably 30 minutes a day, but if it has to be 10 find that time to exercise. And also what I think of it as energy spurt. So Popeye had his energy spurt from spinach. You have to have your leafy greens, you have to drink a lot of water, you need to you have to drink a lot of water. You need to make sure you’re eating things that help you stabilize your energy. So don’t need a lot of sugar. If you find yourself getting tired in the afternoon, what are you eating? Cut out probably a lot of processed foods and carbs so that you can maintain your energy and feel productive throughout the whole day.
The next energy circle is rhythm. So you want to find a rhythm in your work as a startup lots of times we’re doing different things at different phases, but you can still find a rhythm. One tip is to find one minimum achievable every day. So you’re not creating new goals every day and it becomes a rhythm of what you need to do maybe for the next six weeks.
So for me, it’s going to be getting surveys, talking to contractors. I’ll also need to find contractors. So maybe for three weeks it’s just finding contractors. The minimum daily product — you could call it the MDP– is interview five contractors implement or you know, summarize what I got or you know, find three of those schedule five more appointments. So I just focus on that. And so of course you’re going to have your task list of things to do, but that, let’s say core three or four project time hours, you’re going to focus on this MDP, you minimum daily productivity. So you’re going to just focus on that minimum daily productivity goal every day. And generally you want to keep it sort of of the same goal for six weeks. This helps you create a rhythm of work.
The great thing is when you have a rhythm with work, then you don’t worry as much about what to do the next day because you start to feel like you know what you’re doing. And it kind of pulls anxiety about out of it. And just like when we’re dancing, our body wants rhythm. As a human, as energy energy is rhythms. So we have to have we have to have a rhythm in what we’re doing. And so having specific goals that we can achieve everyday gives us little highs and then also makes us feel, I also find it helps us find a flow, a rhythm and energy in our work.
So that’s important. And by having rhythm, you’re basically creating structure for yourself. And that’s great because structure is something usually others give to us and that helps us stay focused and feel like we’re making progress and that there is, there’s order to what we’re doing that creates a lot more peace. So finding that rhythm of specific daily productivity goals is great structure.
Another tip to finding your rhythm and basically maintain your energy during your startup phase is planning your day. Okay. So that’s obvious, I guess. But sometimes you need to plan your day out timewise up to 15 minutes, especially if you’re going through something that’s very– that gives you a lot of anxiety. So for me, I’m going to have to start calling cold calling contractors by myself and that’s gonna like give me a lot of anxiety. So I’m going to have to put 15-minute goals. So not just a daily goal. I’m going to have to say, okay, in 15 minutes I’m going to call a find and call. So in 15 minutes I’m going to find and call one contractor and in 15 minutes, so I set it up so it’s more like a race and I think less about what I’m doing, is this person gonna reject me, and I think more about what I need to get done.
The next energy circle is connection. Connection. We just, that little moment when we meet someone and they say hi, like what I mentioned about the T-Mobile person, like, Oh, hello. That connection really gives you a little bit of energy. So sometimes that’s why we go to these meet up groups. That’s why we share things with friends. So how can connection help us stay energized with our startup?
So one is connecting with other types of energy besides people nature. So me sitting inside of this although beautiful apartment I was connecting with nothing and I would just get tired from, I felt like I was sitting in a glass box and it was just horrible. So that killed my energy. I remember like in New York city, I’d walk across the street if I saw plant store just to walk past nature. So that type of energy is connection.
Number two for connection is have a mentor that helps you stay accountable, who you look up to and even if you don’t involve them so much cause they’re in a different industry, but if you can just somehow involve them and give them updates, that little connection for someone like me, okay. Like I always like to be a student-teacher liked unfortunately so of like, Oh look, this is what I did and whether they really understood what I did or not, it helped me stay motivated. So feeling accountable to somebody is really important. So find a mentor, find a friend who you can be accountable toward. And if it’s a accountability buddy, then make it that way.
Maybe find another friend who’s a startup, go to a startup meetup and then say, “Hey, do you want to just stay in touch? It sounds like we’re in the same phase of our business so that we can support each other through this phase.” And that could be a great way. It’s like coworking without actually having to pay for the we working price.
So I’m really excited about this next tip, which is using connection to create energy through hiring someone. The thing is, is in our startup phase, we may want to put as little money as possible because we’re already sacrificing our time. So find a virtual assistant.
I’ve hired people in from the Philippines and with the right vetting. You can find someone amazing for less than $500 a month and it takes time and it can be trying, but finding somebody, even if you hire someone and they work for you for three hours a day, three days a week, that creates structure because you’re, you start thinking, okay, I need to set up tasks for them. I need to communicate with them. You get to talk to them, share wins with them. And that’s so important. That’s probably one of my biggest tips when you’re starting out. And lots of times they can take on certain stressful like things maybe making an initial call in a different way because it’s not so personal. It’s not their startup. So they’re able to do it and then you’re able to say to yourself, well, now I need to be a guide of how we do this, so I better do at first. So all of a sudden there’s a back and forth, you’re handing off work to each other. And instead of feeling like you have to, let’s say have another co owner, you can just hire someone who helps you get to that next step, create the energy flow, share the high fives, support each other and the lows and the rejections. And you don’t have to give any equity away.
That’s an a, that’s one of my favorite tips and really has helped me because it turns out when I was a little child, someone told me I was bossy. — What? me bossy?— So, I mean, okay, I could see it. All right. So I’m recognizing I could be bossy, but it, and it turns out that I work better being a boss. I work better creating structure and directions and thinking that I’m going to hand the work off to someone who will do the execution. So recognizing that and embracing it just with open arms can be something that if that’s you, then a virtual assistant can be a great way to help you get the energy flowing in your startup and making the progress coming.
The final energy circle is giving.
So what I like about the lean startup and the methodology of serving and asking questions is you can really start off with feeling like you’re giving and you just want to help this, this person in there with their problem, with a lot of empathy and just listen. And when you focus on that, and also you set up the structure in your mind that you are someone who is going to help and you’re going to, you want to give, then it doesn’t feel like you’re selling. And that’s, that’s one of the key things to focus on in your initial phases and why it’s great to start off in a serving talking to your customer mode.
I hope those tips were helpful. And the main thing is, is I want us to recognize as entrepreneurs that this startup phase is really hard and that if we find ourselves eating more like starting to look on our favorite like Pinterest website and not making as much productivity, it’s because it’s not because we’re lazy necessarily. It’s because we’re losing energy and that that can be solved. And it doesn’t mean that we’re bad entrepreneurs. It means we need to structure how we do things. So it’s more like a, a, a game. I mean the game gives you little Burts of feedback and positivity and feel goodness and that creates energy to keep going. So how can we do these little things such as using the vibrant energy circles to create more energy if they’re startup and keep going.
So I would love to hear which, what works for you because I will be starting my phone calls and cold calling. I will definitely be hiring a virtual assistant to help me. I will definitely be structuring my day and definitely have a mentor to help me stay accountable and to help soften the blow that I will face. And we’re going to face blows, not just because someone’s going to say “no, I don’t want to be surveyed or answer your questions”, but we’re also gonna face blows because we’re going to have hypotheses about what our products should be that we came up from our, our, our minds and we may become, we may have to face the fact that some of them are not good ideas, and are not actually true product market fits, so that can be stressful.
So we do really need outside voices to help us get pass and, and really make the hard decisions to get our product and service to something that can be a real business.
All right. At the end, I promise that I would share what I ended up doing to get energy to get past, get my business to that next level. And you could say I bought a business, but it’s sort of like that, but not really. And that’s not a bad idea. So if you’re an entrepreneur and you find that you work best with other people, you can start, you can buy a business. You could, let’s say you wanted to start a handbag business. What if you bought a business that already had customers, maybe had a staff person or maybe had worked, but basically you can just get thrown into the current model and then work from there. So you, you’re, you’re, you’re doing work, you’re fulfilling that being a business owner, but then you’re able to bring new ideas incrementally. And I think that is a fantastic idea for a lot of people. And you don’t have to feel like you’re buying a business and you’re doing that business. You can feel like you’re buying parts of a business and you’re adding it to your new business, but it just gives you that energy.
Oh, one other thing. So let’s say the other version of that is to start off consulting. So when I started bumblebee tennis, I basically was a tennis coach. I taught all over the city. I taught for a tennis club and I was able to do a lot of things that we talked about. I was able to be around other people who were teaching for living around another tennis school, seeing how it worked. I was able to talk to my customers, see what they wanted and, but best of all is I was getting so much positivity and feedback and best of all paid, let me tell you, getting paid gives you energy. So if you can if you have to even maintain another job, totally different from what you’re doing then and that gives you energy as you build up that that can work. But even better if you can get paid for kind of doing what you need to do, but as a consultant or coach, then then you can learn and then source basically a shift slowly either let go of your clients or veer your clients toward a standardized product.
So I hope those tips were helpful and I look forward to sharing with you the journey as I start to go on it for my new startup, and hopefully that’ll happen. Start happening in the next few months.
Share your ideas. I would love to know how I can also make my journey more energetic.