How to get started without experience?
Starting a project, jumping into the unknown is scary. It’s a big step outside of your comfort zone!
Let me tell you something after 10 years being a business owner – entrepreneur: you will never have enough experience and it will always be scary.
We are always the beginner of something.
Which is probably the most exiting. Once you become comfortable outside of your comfort zone, you become unstoppable.
So how do you get started if you have zero experience in your project ?
Find what is blocking you right now and start by focusing on this.
“What is blocking?”
Find the one thing that is blocking your project.
Is it a mental barrier? Are you scared of failing and being ridiculous? Are you worried to disappoint your clients? Are you not considering yourself part of the “business (wo)men”?
Is it a physical issue? You don’t have a location? You don’t have enough money? You need a logo…?
Once you clearly identify the blocking issue, it becomes easier to focus on solving it and moving to the next steps.
There will always be blocking issues, but you cannot move forward in your project if you don’t focus on these.
My story of “starting without experience”:
I had no experience in business. I’ve only been taught business (when I graduated from my business school in 2014, I was proud though!).
I loved what I’ve been taught and I really am glad I studied about business management. Because when you are out there (in the real world) these are great knowledge to have for entrepreneurs.
However, in the real world, things go much faster and the real world is much more confusing than your case studies you work on at school.
And when most of my friends were getting a stable job, where they would get to see only one side of the business and have some kind of training and things would go smoothly, I had to deal with everything at the same time and get results even before I could have the time to learn things properly…
And when you are just fresh out of school, this is a shock.
Reality is slapping you in the face and suddenly you realise that all your training and all the theory of the business is going to serve you very little if you cannot make any move.
But what saves you is that you have a dream, you truly want to make an impact and you believe in yourself.
So you get to work on your ideas and start your entrepreneurship journey. You accept that everything is not perfect but it gets better everyday, step by step: one blocking issue at a time.
From theory to the reality of the business world.
Focus on soft skills. Hard skills and experience can come later:
If you are starting at a young age like me especially, you can only sell your soft skills because really, if we talk about experience, you have none.
So the goal is to bring your audience toward what type of mindset you are into and how ready you are to sort their problems out.
What makes people trust you more than anyone else is not how long your CV is or how great your website looks like. It is how you talk to them, how you approach them and how you handle their problems.
I would rather give my trust into a young entrepreneur who is looking at me in the eye and who is able to tell me “I understand you and I’ll do it” and has innovative ideas, motivation and will power. I’d give him a chance because I know he means it.
Focus on common sense. What you learned in school is secondary:
If you have an angry customer in front of you, what does your books tell you to do? You don’t have time to look back at them in those moments. You have to deal with the reality of it.
So most of the things you learn at school or by reading books should remain at the background of your productivity system. They are there to give you the foundations for a steady growth, not to help you face your immediate problems.
It’s important to keep reading books and to keep learning things, but to deal with the reality of things, you must be able to act now and to make the decisions as fast as possible.
The best way to deal with the reality is to use your common sense. Chances are that if someone is offering you a deal or if your marketing campaign didn’t brought the results you expected or if you realise that your finances are looking bad: what will save you is a decision you make on the spot, that is full of common sense, rather than a “by the book” kind of decision that will take ages to be processed.
Becoming an extraordinary entrepreneur.
In the beginning of 2018, my business was number one ranked on Hostelworld and TripAdvisor in HCMC (10 millions inhabitants). I was number 1! But I was in deep health pain.
Having a severe health problem, if your mental and physical health don’t follow, you are crushed.
To give you more background, when I was young, I was super athletics and always doing extra activities; music, sports, martial arts, creative stuff, etc. And when I became a student, I stopped most of it to start partying and smoking and working.
And after years of only focusing on business, with a bad diet, bad sleeping quality, bad daily habits, etc. my body just shut (almost completely…). So that is how I realised without my body, I would go nowhere.
I needed a better system.
I found it.
First, change your perspective
I needed to shift my attention and energy from putting my business before anything else… to putting myself first, then the rest.
The rest includes: my business, but also my wife, my parents or my family or my cat. (guess which one of the latter is the hardest to leave without attention for more than 2 hours…).
I think I only achieved it in 2021, last year. It took me nearly 4 years to change my perspective.
It took me a long time to realize it but if you apply the same discipline you have in business to your personal life, you can become extraordinary. Instead of making business plans, make life plans but make it with the same precision than if you are building a business.
And yes, today I am not kidding I track my meditation practice and schedule my sport and creative sessions with as much attention than if it was an important business project.
And the results can be fantastic. By spending more time on yourself, you know yourself better, you do things that are better for your body. You also hangout with people with the same vision. You spend less time on distractions because you simply have few times left for it. etc. It’s a really positive rewiring circle.
Last, be gentle with yourself
At 24, when I started I used to aim at making 10k USD per month in passive income by the age of 35. I am turning 30 and I feel I am only getting started. And you know why?
Because at 24, I would beat myself up for not making it already. I would blame myself for not being able to make 1$ of passive income.
Today what I do is a different approach. Instead of blaming, shaming, judging or beating myself up… I practice more gratitude and try to focus on what results I got or accomplishments I’ve made.
And this gives me a whole different energy. Now, I am more: “how can I make this happen” rather than “why this is not yet happening”.
And don’t thing everything is perfect. You will always need to improve, and that is my intention today.