Is there anything more awkward than first dates?
Wondering if the other person likes you as much as you like them, the clammy hands, the excessive drinking to help calm your nerves as you ball up into the fetal position.
As you can tell, I am a nervous wreck when it comes to dating.
But I’ve also noticed something about going out on a first date — it’s very similar to starting a small business.
Think it’s a stretch (maybe it is)? Well, let me show you how your next first date could end up teaching you a thing or two about running a successful business.
1. Your Anxiety Levels Are at Maximum
As you know, dating can be nerve wracking. Especially the part where you have to ask someone out.
Here are a few stages of asking someone out that may sound familiar:
- You see someone you like. (Am I staring too much?)
- You deliberate for what seems like years on how or if you should ask them out. (Did I come off as too pushy?)
- They say “YES.” (Do I save my happy dance for the car or just go for it right here?)
- Where do we go for our first date? (Oh shit.)
It’s a lot of pressure. And so is starting your very own business.
Initially, you question whether or not it’s a good idea to start something so important and possibly life-changing.
But here are a couple of tips that will help keep your anxiety levels in check as you begin your journey as a successful business owner:
Don’t assume you’re going to fail. It takes a great leap of faith to pursue your dreams, and there’s going to be challenges galore on your path to success. Don’t let yourself become one of those challenges.
Do some planning. You can’t eliminate the bumps in the road, but you can minimize them by:
- Researching your target audience
- Knowing your products/services inside and out
- Learning about your competitors and how they have become successful
You can’t wait for “the perfect moment.” There isn’t one. Sometimes you have to fake it till you make it. Other times you have to go for it and adjust on the fly. Either way, don’t wait for a sign from the heavens before making your move. It’s not coming.
2. You Spend Hours in Front of the Mirror
Let’s face it. Before your first date, you want to make sure that you look DAMN GOOD.
So you end up standing in front of the mirror, nitpicking and agonizing over every flaw.
You may not realize it, but you end up doing the same thing when you start your own business — before you even begin, sometimes you set yourself up for failure.
But in order to succeed at business, you have to avoid wasting time “in front of the mirror” and begin planning for success.
Keep the following in mind before you start your business: Everyone has a different idea of success.
Don’t compare your success to the success of others because that is unnecessary pressure you are putting on yourself. Do what you’re passionate about and you will find your version of success.
3. You Let Your Guard Down
As your date progresses and you get to know the other person more intimately, you should begin to relax a bit.
When that happens, some of your endearing quirks may come out as you begin to let your guard down.
And when it comes to running a successful business, you should also let your guard down so your customers can see your personality.
Why is this so important?
Because when you share your personality with your customers, you can build a genuine connection with them.
You can even develop brand loyalty, a key factor in getting customers to buy your products and/or services consistently.
More importantly, this sense of loyalty will have your customers choosing you over similar competitors.
What are some ways you can show off your personality?
- Tweet something you think is funny like a meme or gif that relates to your business
- Create a quick, silly video to promote your business
- Hold a photo contest and ask your customers to send humorous photos of them using your products
Whatever you do, make sure to use appropriate humor and find something that both you and your target audience thinks is funny. You don’t want to end up offending your customers by sharing something distasteful.
As with most first dates, there’s an element of risk involved when it comes to creating a successful business.
But unlike many first dates, you get to avoid things like awkward silences and that moment when you go in for a kiss when the other person is simply going in for a hug (ugh).
And in comparison to that, running a business seems like a piece of cake. So go for it.