When I started my business I was inundated with information about what I absolutely had to before I dared tell anyone I was ready to accept clients.
And despite the fact I'd been working online for 10 years and should've known better, I still fell for it. Probably lost 6 months of momentum to it, in fact.
So in the hopes of saving you those 6 months (or more) and way too many mind games, here are 6 things you DON'T actually have to do before you start your online business.
Have a perfect website (or any site at all).
This is one of my favorites: people are told to spend 5-10k on a custom website before they even start their business. Are you kidding me? If there's one thing I can promise you it's that you're going to want a billion different changes to your website in your first year or 2 in business. It's inevitable as you learn more about your audience and more about your business. Save the big website investments until you know what your business actually is.
Wait until you have x number of people on your list before doing something.
I put the 'x' in here because I've seen this advice all over the board: people told they need anywhere from 50-1000 people on their list before they dare launch their business. So not true. I started my business without a list and grew it slowly at first. And had plenty of business.
Yes, your list is insanely important because it's the only thing you actually own and control (as opposed to your social media followings which the platforms ultimately own). But can you start without it? Absolutely.
Become a coach.
You don't have to be a coach to make money online. Mic drop. Period. Hard stop.
I know it's common myth that the only way to make good money online is by charging huge, premium prices for 1:1 coaching packages. This is simply not true.
There are examples all over the place of people making extremely good livings teaching courses, selling products and anything else you want to do. So while it's possibly true that coaching is one of the easier ways to get started (seeing as though you only have to find 1 or 2 clients as opposed to many as you would with courses), it's not the only route.
Use the social networks you're told to use.
Facebook groups, Instagram and its hashtags, Twitter chats, Pinterest, etc. Everyone has a favorite social media network that's worked well for them, and therefore they'll tell you it's a must-have for you.
Again, not true. The only social networks that are a must-have for you are the ones that make sense to you. I happen to love Twitter and Pinterest so I spend a lot of time over there. And occasionally Facebook.
I have friends who have found massive success on Instagram but it's not my thing so I don't worry about it. The same way they look at me cross-eyed when I profess my love for Twitter. Stay in your lane. When you're connecting on a social network that makes sense to you, you can't help but be successful with it.
Know your exact value proposition or who exactly you're going to serve.
This is by far the one that I've seen hold the most people back. They hear about needing to have a perfect customer avatar and know exactly who their ideal client is in order to communicate effectively.
And while that's absolutely true, it's also really hard to know who your ideal client is before you start talking to people. In fact I'd argue that it's near impossible. So start, take a guess who your person is and see if it clicks. If it does, great. Go all in. And if not, don't sweat it. Try another group. You'll find your people eventually. Really the only way to guarantee you WON'T find your people is to never start talking to anyone.
Know what your business model is going to be.
The same way I told you that you don't have to be a coach - you also don't have to know if you're going to be a coach or not. You may decide you want to coach, you may decide you want to teach courses, you may decide you want to support other entrepreneurs, you may decide you want to make physical products.
They're all perfectly fine, and you don't need to know which one you want before you start. Just like everything else, try a few things on for size and see what sticks. You might be surprised.