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Today, we are continuing our conversation on the Business Model Canvas.
In episode #18, we talked all about sales and marketing channels and how to set up the right channels and the right sales strategy to really make your business model engine work.
In episode #19, I shared how to use the business model canvas to create a compelling message that is going to instantly connect with your audience and move them to take action. Because if you don’t know how to talk to your customers and you don’t know the right words to use, you will never connect with them and bring them along as happy customers.
Today, I’ll be sharing the biggest mistake that entrepreneurs make when it comes to executing their business models and what we can do instead to make sure that our plans are executed well. Specifically, we’ll talk all about Analysis Paralysis and the “I’m Not Ready (Yet) Syndrome.”
The Biggest Business Model Roadblocks for Purpose-Driven Entrepreneurs
One of the biggest issues I see are not the business models themselves, but the entrepreneurs who are second-guessing themselves and not actively pursuing their plans. They are constantly being held up by “analysis paralysis” and “I’m not ready yet” syndrome and never move forward.
So let’s look at these two issues so we can get clear on what is actually happening inside of our heads and how we can overcome these barriers to move forward as purpose-driven business owners.
Mistake #1: Analysis Paralysis
Analysis Paralysis starts when we have those great ideas in the shower or on a walk that pop into our head about our business, but we start analyzing the plans and stay there for too long instead of taking action.
We see so many pros and cons, and we just aren’t sure if it’s the right way to go. We start thinking about what our customers will think, what it will do to our branding if it will be a good return on investment and on and on and on…
Analyzing and making strategic CEO decisions in a reasonable amount of time is great, but over-analysis to where it paralyzes you from taking action or consuming all of your mental bandwidth is not.
Analysis Paralysis is a big barrier to business success because while we are thinking so hard to problem-solve in our heads, we trick ourselves into thinking that we are doing effective work and moving forward. But in reality, we are in a rumination loop never achieving clarity. So how do we overcome this?
Overcoming Analysis Paralysis for our Business Models:
The first step is naming Analysis Paralysis as procrastination.
The Brain-Science of Procrastination: Our brains are actually wired so that if we feel uncomfortable about something, the center of our brains – where the reptilian brand and the limbic system are located, which are responsible for keeping us physically alive and assigning feelings and emotions to things – will take over and keep us from moving forward.
Our brains literally sense danger. But if we stay in our heads analyzing and procrastinating on taking action, then we will never actually have to come face-to-face with the reality of possible rejection and failure.
So, we ruminate and we ruminate over the same problems, never taking action, and we stay relatively “safe.” This can be great for our physical safety (maybe), but not so great for running a financially sustaining, growing business endeavor!
As soon as we can name-and-claim Analysis Paralysis as a form of procrastination we start to take its power away. We can recognize when we are in a rumination loop and seek outside help to find clarity, make a plan, and move forward.
This is why business coaches are so important. Friends and fellow entrepreneurs are not as good at helping us to get out of rumination loops. They are much more motivated (for good reason) to keep the friendship. And, they lack the expertise needed to bring us to clarity and to help us to chart out a specific plan of action.
Mistake #2: “I’m Not Ready Yet” Syndrome
We’ve all thought or said this related to our businesses:
When I am able to__________________, then I will be able to_________________.
We all have been in the place where we think that we need to accomplish “A” before we can achieve “B”, right?
This sneaky, secondary form of procrastination is actually a very poor mindset that will hold us back from achieving the business model of our dreams. This is especially the case when it comes to reaching out for press, partnerships and sales – three things that require visibility and vulnerability.
I call this the “I’m Not Ready Yet” syndrome because it too is a form of procrastination rooted in the mindset that we are not good enough or prepared enough to reach a goal. In reality, though, we are often overcomplicating the steps involved and blaming our lack of progress on needing to accomplish #allthethings before we can reach success. Or, we are not owning our worthiness now, thinking we need a beautiful website, more traffic, more experience, or more whatever to make us look shiny before people will want us.
Here are some common signs you are currently dealing with “I’m Not Ready Yet” Syndrome (I know because I have personally experienced all of these issues in my own entrepreneurial journey and see these in other entrepreneurs I work with inside Founders Studio quite often as well
- You are waiting to launch your company
- You are overcomplicating the steps involved needed to execute a new offering
- You are waiting to send that email to a potential partner
- You are waiting to pitch yourself for something
- You are hiding behind your website (not many pictures of yourself)
Let’s look at one example in more detail: waiting to pitch yourself or sending that email to a potential partner:
Partnerships are an area of the Business Model Canvas that’s always a weak spot for entrepreneurs because they are struggling at the beginning with, “I’m not ready yet” syndrome. When this happens, the entrepreneur will write down a wishlist of partners on the Business Model Canvas and then PROCRASTINATE on reaching out to those people.
However, their entire business model might have been resting on their marketing and sales strategy which involved collaboration with a particular business or support from a certain individual in their niche. But instead of reaching out, they spin their wheels posting on social media and doing things the more comfortable way. Most commonly this is because they don’t feel ready and they fear rejection (normal feelings for all of us, right?)
The better (and more uncomfortable) approach is to send that email, make that phone call, ask for that coffee meeting before you feel ready. If you get a “no” after sharing your heart and vision with the potential partner, great! You have clarity! Now, go back to the drawing board and make a new Key Partners plan on your Business Model Canvas that you can take action on now.
It does no good to wait until you feel ready to reach out for partners and press because the feeling of not being good enough will always follow you as you grow year after year. There is always another mountain to climb!
It’s way easier, in the long run, to take a direct approach instead of second-guessing your abilities to make it happen for your business. If you stay in “I’m not ready yet syndrome” your business model will remain on paper forever and never become a reality.
I would actually say that having no website at all is better than having a bad website! It’s more powerful to have a compelling and concise message when you reach out directly.
I successfully reached out to Simon Sinek’s team and got a one-on-one interview with him for Rank & File Issue #1 BEFORE I had a website! I’ve also worked with founders who have brought on key partnerships with national celebrities for their businesses without a website, without a product and just a clear vision and a great way to describe their mission.
So, please don’t sit with “I’m not ready yet” syndrome thinking you need to do #allthethings online before you can create partnerships, press and sustainable sales. It doesn’t have to be complicated – just take action with bravery, allow yourself to be vulnerable, and acknowledge “rejection” as part of the process.
As a side note:
I would suggest getting 100% clear on your value proposition, brand messaging and sales strategies FIRST before paying a lot of money for a website or before you make one single post on social media – otherwise, you will be gathering the wrong audience or sending people to nowhere… And so if that is you right now, and you are not capturing the right audience and moving them to take action with a sales strategy – I would suggest you check out episode #16 and #18 which are part 1 and 2 of this series.
So today, we talked about the biggest mistake that entrepreneurs make with their business model – and that is not necessarily the plan, it’s not sticking to the plan and not taking focused actions on the plan because of Analysis Paralysis or “I’m Not Ready Yet” syndrome.
These mental roadblocks happen to all of us! So don’t get discouraged if you experience these issues. But, don’t allow yourself to be held back by the very long – invest in the needed support you need from a business coach to gain clarity, make a focused plan, and then take action on that plan. The right mentorship and support will help you to build confidence, gain momentum, and see results a lot quicker, saving you lots of time and money in the long run.