During the past weeks, I’ve been asking people why they’re building side businesses.
And I’ve asked other people why they’re not.
The reasons to build are numerous, many of which revolve around money.
Not exactly a surprise there.
But I find the reasons not to build more important.
Because I disagree with many of the people I talked with.
They just don’t think they can.
They think they have nothing to offer.
“What could I possibly build?“
You Can, of Course You Can!
I spoke with five people in high-paying jobs in the industry. You know, tech professionals.
Many thought they simply have no skills to package and sell. While at the same time their employers are burning thousands of dollars per month for… what exactly? If they really have no skills that someone else could find valuable?
Could… could it be they have some skills, after all?
Could it be that also you have valuable skills that someone would want to learn?
Because you’re going to love the answer if you get it right.
Chances are, you already have skills that are in high demand!
And packaging it all is the easy bit: We’ve already talked about that a lot in the past episodes. And for a quickstart, just click here.
Change your Perspective
The greatest gift you can give to yourself is developing your confidence to a whole new level.
And today, as it’s Christmas eve, I want to gift you just three questions that you can use to understand why you already have what it takes:
- What should you sell?
- Who should you serve?
- Where’s the data you can’t?
Let’s dissect these one by one.
What Should you Sell?
The first thing many people get wrong is trying to emulate the big names out there. To go ultra-generic. You can’t do that. You can’t go against established names.
But you can easily craft an entire product around a hyper-narrow or even a local niche.
What do you do well in your job? Better yet, what do you do differently than most in your job?
Is there something specific that you do in ways that nobody else is teaching?
Of course, there is. You’re not just a generic robot. You have your own ways of doing things that you believe are better than the rest out there.
If you can’t identify these, you simply haven’t done enough introspection. You haven’t reflected on who you are and what you do.
Do the work to isolate one single thing or process you, hand on heart, believe others could benefit to learn about.
That’s what you should sell.
Who Should you Serve?
Who exactly are the people who could benefit from learning your “one thing” identified in the earlier step?
Now, here’s the important bit. Think of people 1-5 years behind you. People who are just about to step into your shoes and could use the knowledge.
If you cannot identify anyone, or if you identify everyone, go back to the previous step. And rethink a bit. Then try again.
As long as you 1) know what you are about to sell, 2) can identify the people behind you who can benefit from learning it, you’re good.
Then we only have to tackle the final and most difficult obstacle: Your self-deprecating beliefs.
Where’s the Data you Can’t?
“Who am I to do this?”
“There are people more senior than I.”
“Why should they choose me over others?
These questions can and will hold you back if you let them.
You’ll start to think you’re not an authority in this field. You’ll read online articles by people more credentialed by you (in terms of traditional ways of looking at people’s titles). You start having doubts. What if someone criticizes you? What if the way you’re doing things is…somehow wrong, despite it working just fine for you?
The one question I find helpful here is…”Where’s the data?”
Without data, you cannot answer those questions.
You don’t have anyone criticizing you yet. You do not know if people will find your message helpful (chances are, they will, as long as you present it from an honest angle). You do not know anything at this stage yet.
Your mind is just sabotaging you, out of fear of being criticized,
You’re approaching the end of your comfort zone. And feeling the resistance.
That’s how you know you’re going in the correct direction.
And movement is all that matters.
And the question itself – about where’s the data – has exactly one answer.
It doesn’t exist.
You have to go find out!
Only after you have data to back up your fears, are you allowed to even consider those harmful thoughts.
So don’t think them now.
The Answers will Ignite your Confidence
Answering all the three questions will help you get rid of thoughts and understand there’s nothing to fear.
You just need to position yourself in the right place and understand how your mind is sabotaging your progress.
As I always suggest, sit down and take your time with all this. Write it all down.
Sit on it for a few days.
And confidence will ensue in a form of sudden realisation: “Damn, I can do this!“
And that’s just about the best gift you can give yourself.
That gift will serve you well in 2023.
See you next week!