by Upasna Kakroo | Featured Contributor
I attended a baby shower last weekend. It was fun. I met a very creative and engaging girl there who surprised me with her talent profile. She’s a fashion designer, teacher, dancer, skier, a half-marathon runner and also a baker. When we spoke, she said, now that her teaching term had ended, she was wondering how to have a schedule. My immediate response was- why don’t you start something off your own? She laughed it off and said, oh but I need to have a product. It really did play in my mind all day. I asked myself, what holds back talented women (or men) from creating amazing brands? How could this change? I have struggled with similar things in my own life, so this is not a judgement on anyone, but a way to solve for things that can help.
3 Things That Are Holding You Back From Creating Amazing Brands (And What To Do About It)
1. Uncertainty: You’re not sure
If I look back at the mistakes I’ve made in my career, the one at the very top would be a missing list. In 2011 for the first time after 7 years of full time working, I made a list of goals. Written goals help us define our needs and preferences better. These give us a stronger chance of success. Studies show, 13% people who had goals earned on an average twice compared to people with no written goals. And in case you do have goals and are suffering from the choice dilemma (not sure what to do, I am good at everything), then write it all down.
What to do about it: Make a business plan. Define your own story. What are the tangible and intangible benefits you can provide through your ideas/ products? Choose the ones you see yourself loving the most. Start side projects and hustle your way to find out what you truly believe in and can add value with. Do.
2. Low risk appetite: You can’t take risk
The inertia of leaving something that’s constantly paying you is not going to be small. And many times you do not have the luxury or support to just get out of bed and decide you will be an entrepreneur. And it is equally true that sometimes leaving a job will not make sense. And this really is more about doing things you like even in an existing job as opposed to having the job you hate for 30 years.
What to do about it: Future proof yourself. Do not use short-cuts and do not google about how to make money online. Instead, learn new skills. One of the greatest advances of the Internet has been the democratization it brings to learning. You don’t need to stash away $100K in a new fund. You can learn from the comfort of your home and take 30 mins each day to pursue something you like. DIY learning is very much the aspect all of us are working on. Look for tools and tips to help you. Read, engage, attend workshops and meet-ups. Get out there and do things you want to be doing. Follow the 80:20 rule. 80% of your week on your usual work and life and a 20% on your creative inspirations. Learn the ropes till you feel confident that you can pursue your dreams independently.
3. Procrastination: You don’t have the time
Guess what, no one has the time. It takes more time and energy to say, oh but Detroit is no New York. I don’t have the right options here. I am not able to write my story down. I have no time for blogging. I have my idea but I don’t know how to express it well.
What to do about it: First, stop watching television. Hire someone and make an investment. You can not and should not do everything in your business. Pick up the things that you’re best at. Get outside-in help for things you find difficult or don’t have time for. Here’s a tip: if you are not finding time for something that’s a sign that you’re probably not so keen on doing it. We tend to subconsciously prioritize things we like doing. If you’re not spending every waking hour thinking about something, don’t do it. Brands thrive on passion. And you need to feel it before you create a community that feels it too. But that doesn’t mean you need to be passionate about everything in the business. In my case, I focus on creative direction more than finances. My co-founder supports me on that. Similarly you may have positives that you focus on and let someone else handle things you’re not finding time for.
What are some of the things holding you back from building great brands? Do share your thoughts with me on Twitter or in the comments below.
Original image: Flickr
Upasna Kakroo is the Co-founder of an online branding and content marketing Startup, Brandanew. Her previous experiences include, McKinsey & Co., Rocket Internet among others. Upasna has devoured urban culture, art by traveling in 30 countries, living in three and blogging about these for over 12 years. Upasna sounds overeducated having gone to school for her BS (engineering) in India, MS (telecom) in the UK and MBA (marketing) in Germany. She currently lives in Ann Arbor Michigan.