In this episode I’m talking about the popular notion that you cannot improve what you don’t start. This is important advice and encouragement for moms who are starting their own online businesses. It is very important to taking action and starting small, rather than being held back by fear or a sense of being unprepared.
In addition, if you do not start your business, you will not be making money from your business. The longer you take to start your business, the longer you will take to start making a business income, so I am sharing the 7 things you absolutely do need to start your Virtual Assisting Business (and no you don’t need a website).
We often have big dreams and goals that we want to achieve, but we hesitate to take the first step. We worry about making mistakes or not being good enough, and we end up delaying our plans. However, the truth is that we don’t have to have everything figured out from the beginning. Sometimes, the best thing we can do is just start and improve as we go.
One of the biggest reasons people don’t start is the fear of failure. We worry that if we don’t do things perfectly, we’ll be judged or ridiculed. However, failure is a natural part of the learning process, and it’s something that we all experience at some point. Instead of seeing failure as a negative thing, we should see it as an opportunity to learn and grow. Every mistake we make is a chance to improve and get better.
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Another reason people hesitate to start is that they don’t feel ready. They think they need more experience, knowledge, or resources before they can begin. However, the truth is that we’ll never feel 100% ready for anything. There will always be more to learn and more to do. The best way to learn is by doing, and the best way to improve is by taking action. The more we do, the more we learn, and the more we can improve.
It’s also important to remember that starting doesn’t mean we have to do everything perfectly from the beginning. We can start small and build up over time. We can take small steps and make gradual improvements as we go. The important thing is to take action and keep moving forward. The more we do, the more progress we’ll make, and the closer we’ll get to our goals.
So if you have a dream or goal that you’ve been putting off, remember that the best time to start is now. Don’t worry about making mistakes or not being good enough. Just take the first step and start. You can improve as you go, and you’ll learn along the way. The most important thing is to keep moving forward and never give up on your dreams.
[00:00:00] Melyssa: Hey there, mamas. Hello. Thank you so much for joining me for today’s episode. It is a good one. I am sharing with you something that is a lesson it’s taken me a little while to learn. It’s something that I still struggle with. And to be honest, it’s something that I really wish I had learned a lot sooner in my online business. I think it would have served me well.
[00:00:23] Melyssa: Today we are going to talk about just starting the dang thing. Specifically, we’re talking about starting your online business, just starting it.
[00:00:32] Melyssa: I work with a speaking and business coach. Her name is Heather Sager. She has an awesome podcast called Hint of Hustle. I’m going to link it in the podcast show notes because you should definitely be listening to her podcast along with mine. And she says often in many ways, so I’m paraphrasing here.
[00:00:50] Melyssa: You can’t improve what you don’t start. It is so simple, but so powerful. This is something that you’re going to hear many [00:01:00] successful people in the online space, many entrepreneurs, small business owners. You’re going to hear them say it again and again, not this direct quote, but with the same intent you can’t improve or fix what you don’t start.
[00:01:13] Melyssa: It’s so good and so valuable you guys.
[00:01:17] Melyssa: This goes along with iterations. You cannot move to the next iteration of your business of your life, of anything until you have the first iteration. Think about entrepreneurs that you follow on, whatever platform, famous ones, popular ones. Think Amy Porterfield, Jenna Kutcher, James Wedmore. If you follow any business owner for a length of time you will see that their business is evolving and very likely has multiple iterations. This is completely natural as time progresses so might your business. And think about this. What if those businesses, what if the most successful businesses had never started? What if they let their fear of failure, prevent them from [00:02:00] starting in the first place. Can you imagine?
[00:02:02] Melyssa: So I’m raising my hand super high here, because let me tell you I’ve faced this fear. More than once I face it. Almost every time I go to start something. I will be perfectly honest , I have wanted to start a podcast for a really long time.
[00:02:20] Melyssa: But I didn’t, because I had those fears, I have the fear of failure. I had the fear that it wasn’t perfect. Had the fear of tech. And I talked to my business coach about starting and she kept saying, just start, you can improve it later.
[00:02:37] Melyssa: And that led me to a conversation with someone I’m in a mastermind with his name is Chris. I said, Chris, I’m so worried about starting, because what if I want to change something? What if I want to change the intro or the outro or the podcast artwork? Or what if I want to change a description of an episode? Or what if, what if. And I said, can [00:03:00] I change all of those things later? And he said, yes. There is not one single thing that you cannot change later. Nothing is set in stone. And that gave me such a comfort level to just go ahead and take that leap and start this podcast. And I am so glad because it’s connecting me with you and it’s just been amazing. So this fear of failing, it’s a huge reason why people don’t just start in the first place.
[00:03:26] Melyssa: Maybe to you not being perfect is a failure. Hello. This is me to a T I have this perfectionist trap that I fall into.
[00:03:36] Melyssa: What if you accepted that failure is a natural part of the learning process. And then it’s something that every business owner experiences at some point. You guys, this is something that we all have in common.
[00:03:48] Melyssa: All of us, all of us who wanted to start a business who have started a business. We have all faced the fear of failure. So instead of seeing this failure is something negative, why not flip [00:04:00] it to something that’s an opportunity to learn and grow from and make it better. Every single mistake misstep whatever you want to call it, everything that we do is a chance to improve and make your business better.
[00:04:12] Melyssa: Here’s another reason people hesitate to start. Because they don’t feel ready. They think they need more experience, more knowledge, more resources before they can begin. And honestly the truth is, in business in life, do we ever really feel a hundred percent ready? I know that when I went to start my family, when I got divorced, when I bought my first house, there was always a sense of fear and not knowing if it was the perfect time, the right time. If I was 100% ready.
[00:04:42] Melyssa: And each and every one of those times, I made it work. I made it work. There will always be more to learn and more to do. The best way to learn is really by doing. The more we do, the more we learn, it becomes a cycle. This is for sure been true in my business and with this podcast.
[00:04:59] Melyssa: It’s really [00:05:00] important to remember that starting doesn’t mean we have to do everything perfectly. I’m saying this as much to myself as I am to you. We can start small and build up over time. That’s what I plan to do with this podcast. I have really big plans, but I had to start somewhere.
[00:05:15] Melyssa: We can take small steps and make gradual improvements as we go, or you could burn it all down and start with a new iteration. Both are valid and both are forward progress. The key though is to keep taking the action to keep that forward momentum to keep moving forward. The more we do, the more progress we’ll make and the closer we get to those goals.
[00:05:37] Melyssa: This leads me to my second point for you, which is that if you do not start your business, you will not be making money from your business . This might sound obvious. But I want to touch on this because I think it is really important. I think the longer you take to start your business, the longer you try and make sure that everything is quote unquote, perfect. The longer it’s [00:06:00] going to take to have money come in.
[00:06:01] Melyssa: What would it mean to you if you started your business in March, as opposed to fiddling around, making it quote unquote better and launching in June? I’ll tell you that you are losing the potential of three months worth of income.
[00:06:13] Melyssa: If you start three months later, because you will feel more ready. You’re not going to make that money back, that you lost that potential income in that three months that you waited. You won’t make it back because you feel ready now. Will the three months or six months, or however long you take make you feel less like you might fail. Probably not.
[00:06:36] Melyssa: Will it be as perfect as it can be? Probably not. I’m going to say no to both of those things. Hopefully this conversation is hyping you up and you’re like, yes, Melyssa;, I am ready to start this thing. Let’s start the dang thing. But what exactly do I need to start my online business?
[00:06:53] Melyssa: So let’s go over a few of those things right now, because I think that’s one of the big things that people start getting, [00:07:00] you know, in the perfectionist trap about, is thinking that they need all of the things when they are starting their business.
[00:07:05] Melyssa: And the truth is you do not need all of the fancy, fluffy things. You can start your business with very little.
[00:07:12] Melyssa: So one of the most important things you need is you need your business idea and a general business plan. What you’re going to be providing what services those are, what the goals and the values and the mission of your business are. What are your business boundaries and what are the services that you’re not willing to provide? Those are all very important to be clear about.
[00:07:35] Melyssa: You also need a laptop or computer desktop. Some people may be able to do, depending on the services you offer, a tablet may work. I’m going to say that might not be the best choice. It may slow you down. Definitely something that you can try, but I think having a laptop or a desktop is going to serve you much better and make it much more efficient. It also could be a Chromebook. So much of what we do in the [00:08:00] online space can be saved and kept online that you don’t need a computer that has like a huge amount of storage space. Anything. I know that when I started, I kept hearing everybody talk about how great Macs were and they were great for video and recording and all kinds of things. And I was like, oh, that’s so awesome that would be great to start with, but honestly, I did not start with a Mac. I didn’t need to start with a Mac. I later upgraded to a Mac. I’m glad that I did because I love my little Mac. But. It is not something that you need in the beginning and not something I recommend doing in the first place. I recommend doing the least amount that you need to do to get up and running. So you get that income coming in the door.
[00:08:40] Melyssa: You also need a separate bank account. This can start with a personal business account that you have solely for your business. It doesn’t necessarily have to start as a business bank account. But I think that it would serve you well to have that money separate from the get-go and [00:09:00] then eventually move it into a business bank account.
[00:09:02] Melyssa: Obviously talk to your CPA and your accountant, whoever to get a full advice on this. But I think that you will thank yourself, your accountant will thank you and it will make taxes much easier. You do not want to co-mingle your personal finances with any part of your business finances. Even when you are just starting out.
[00:09:23] Melyssa: You also do need a method to collect your payments. There’s Stripe square the business PayPal account. There’s a lot of options there. I personally use Stripe. I really like it that it’s easy to use and it connects well with my business bank Novo. Any of the payment processors, take their cut because they are providing a service for you. So that’s just a business expense that you will factor in when you are doing your taxes and other things later on.
[00:09:52] Melyssa: You do need a method for reaching potential clients. This does not mean that you have to have a website. Did you [00:10:00] know that on Canva? Canva is a graphic design software. They have a free version. Did you know that you can create a website on there? You can create like a home page, you can get your own URL and you can use that , to advertise to potential clients. You can send your clients there.
[00:10:20] Melyssa: This is a fine way to start, especially before you really know exactly what direction your business is going. How many clients you have coming in exactly what you need to know. Just do the bare minimum. I have a client who is doing it this way. She started out, she started up her Canva website design, and it’s, it’s been fine. It’s definitely helped her in the beginning. She wanted to have that online presence, but didn’t want the commitment of a website yet. This was a perfect option for her.
[00:10:54] Melyssa: Another thing this doesn’t mean is that you have to be plastered all over social media and have some huge [00:11:00] following. Another client of mine, Amanda. She worked with me. And our last session. She booked her first client, her first three clients actually, after working with me have all been either in-person networking or through word of mouth. She has not done one single social media post or sent one single email to anyone promoting her business.
[00:11:24] Melyssa: So that’s not to say that you won’t need to do that. You do need to spend some time figuring out where your potential clients are, where you can find them out and you need to be strategic about where you’re showing up, whether it’s in person or online for them. This is something that we go over extensively and really nailed down in my VA Business Builder program. The waitlist for this is available and I’ll link it down in the show notes.
[00:11:49] Melyssa: So, depending on what you’re offering, you potentially do need some various software, but if you’re just starting out do everything you can to start out with the [00:12:00] free version. Most or a lot of software programs have a free version, and then they have a pro version that you have to pay for. You very likely can start with the free version. If not, they may have like a free trial period.
[00:12:15] Melyssa: You want to go ahead and go with again, do the least amount possible. Rarely do you need to start with the paid version and rarely does the software, not at least have this free trial period. So definitely don’t think that you need to put down a ton of money on all the software. Figure out what software you need as you go.
[00:12:35] Melyssa: Most importantly, when you are starting your online business, you need a desire for more. You have to have that fire. You need to want an online business. You need to want to work to get your family, that flexibility in the income that you desire. You need to want more than just a remote position. You need to want a business that’s yours that you get to grow the way that you want to, and that you [00:13:00] get to profit off of.
[00:13:01] Melyssa: So that’s my list of like the key things, the bare minimum that you need to start your business. And I cannot stress it enough. I want you doing the bare minimum. This is the one time in life where the bare minimum is all you really should be doing. You don’t need to go off and do all the shiny things and all the fluffy things. Fair business. Trust me, starting off with the bare minimum is the way that you want to go. And you will definitely thank me for that.
[00:13:28] Melyssa: Also, if you had a big takeaway from today’s episode, would you do me a favor and screenshot it, share it to your Instagram stories and tag me, this is going to help us spread the word to other mamas that they too can have a business with so much flexibility for their families