To be read before, during, probably after, and at other times during the entrepreneurial journey!
When I say focus, be honest with yourself about how many projects/things you have going on right now. Without some sort of focus, ideally, a soft but boundaried focus that allows for changes and creativity, you won’t move forward. Be honest with how much time you are spending on marketing/banding versus actually doing “the work”.
Do you want to grow something from seed, where you come up with an idea and all that goes with it or do you want to go with a system or service that already exists? Think of this as the difference between completely designing everything from scratch including doing the marketing, branding, website, testing etc versus being an associate or buying into a franchise. You need to figure out what sort of person you are.
Do your market research well – a quick Google whilst you are in love with your idea, won’t suffice. Is someone else offering what you want? If so, where are they based and why are you different? Would you pay for what you expect others to buy from you? Would your friends or family? Is there a clear need for your offering? Speak to people, see what they think. For some help with this, take a look at “Selling OT”
Unless you are being financially supported by someone else, a part-time/locum/associate work that allows you the energy and headspace to develop your own thing is probably a good idea. In terms of your fees/product prices, recognise the value of your time – you will need to consider travel time, notes, research etc. A one-hour visit can result in another 3-4 hours of work. Experiment with different pricing options and business models.
Do a pre-mortem! Imagine your business has already failed, beyond recovery. What went wrong, what needed to be done differently. Imagine yourself looking back, did you have an inkling/intuition that you ignored? What do you need to be more honest with yourself about?
In tech, they call this a minimal viable product. In creativity, I call it the crappy first draft. Just get going. Don’t spend money on websites/branding etc. You can do it all for free. Don’t rent premises at first – work from home, rent space by the hour or work from your car. Make small changes quickly. Notice when your desire for perfectionism gets in the way. Notice when your OT professional fears build up and stop you from moving forward.
Overworking and burnout are so 1988. Whilst the Hero’s journey helps us re-group, overcome obstacles and keep going – there is little honour in persevering to the point of becoming unwell. There are other ways. Walk your own OT talk – occupational balance, finding meaning etc.