This is part 4 of this mini course on starting a side business. If you haven’t yet read the other parts they’re here PART 1 –  PART 2 PART 3


If we were to sit down one to one to discuss starting a side business, the first thing I’d ask you is what you wanted to create.

And then I’d ask you to dream a whole lot bigger…

Because I guarantee right now a certain amount of fear is meaning you aren’t thinking big enough.

What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail?

What would you do if you knew it was OK to fail?

If the answer is the same for both those questions, then I’ve got some good news; the only thing we have to work on is your ideas around failure.

And what if it didn’t mean anything other than feedback? What if failure was only bad if it stopped you moving forward.

Because if it doesn’t stop you, if it just changes your direction slightly then its all good.

You’re still moving; still trying new stuff, new ideas; new ways of doing things. That doesn’t look like failure to me. That’s just you understanding what doesn’t work.

But Matt its FEAR of failure that’s the problem! And it doesn’t feel nice.

Fair enough. I see your riposte and I raise you this: how about instead of looking at fear as a stop sign, what if you looked at fear as a sign post leading you towards your more passionate life?

It’s still going to feel like it feels. But if you feel it, that means you’re thinking about it.

And if you’re thinking about it, that means you care about it. And that’s a good sign surely? If you care about it, you’ve got to do it! Because that’s going to mean you get real fulfilment and can create a life where your work doesn’t ever feel like work. That sounds like really living to me!

starting a side business

So then with this truth in mind; what’s stopping you starting a side business today, or tomorrow, or by this weekend, making a start on that big vision of yours?

You might have heard this before but its so important to remember it (hell, I’m even going to put it in a different font for maximum impact):

80% of success in anything is down to your psychology and only 20% being the process.

And while we’re on a roll, heads up for another bold statement. Are you ready? OK, here it comes:

The only thing holding anyone back from taking the leap into entrepreneurship, and the only thing that stops anyone from creating their dream business, or starting a life-changing project, is fear of failure.

The only thing.

And here’s another statement that you might not want to hear.

But, I’m here to serve you not please you so here it is; you might not get where you want to go first time. Yup. There it is. You might mess up. You might make a start and realise its not actually what you want to do after all.

But you know what else is true, even if that happened you’re still a lot further along the road to success than you’d be if you hadn’t started.

If you were like the 98% of people who die without fulfilling their dreams. (Wealth Research Group).


You want more statistics?

How about the sad fact that 1 in 3 people dream of starting their own business but only 1 in 10 actually ever make the leap. (Visa Europe)

But I think you know, deep down, that making the leap towards creating something new will be infinitely more rewarding than playing it safe. It’s just playing it safe is the easy option.

And I think too we all fall into the trap of hoping that somehow we’ll wake up one day with all the know-how, motivation and confidence we’ll ever need to strive purposefully forward with our idea.

Well, I’ve got good news and bad news.

The bad news: that day isn’t coming.

Just wanting to change is not enough.

And the best time to start will never come.

You just have to start.

starting a side business

But that’s OK because the good news is you can start at any time – and in small, easy ways like we’ve already looked at.

Kaizen your way to success so you never let the big goal scare you or overwhelm you.

All you need to focus on is the next tiny step.

And that aint scary at all is it? That little step?


It’s so small I have to squint to see it.


What I’ve found to be true also is that when you start focusing on your dreams and taking inspired, strategic action, new opportunities and ideas present themselves to you.

You become someone in motion, attracting good energy and purpose as you go.



To help keep your focus away from fear and on your goals you need to get really clear on your WHY. Come up with WHYs that are big enough to move you past fear and into action:

Ask yourself:

Why would a new business make me happy?

Why do I want to create this specifically?

Why will this new project be important for me? For the world?

Why will this new life make me feel good?

Why do I want to feel that way?


Obviously, I can’t do that for you here. If we were working one-on-one, we’d figure out what your reason is, because everyone’s is different.

But for now consider deeply what you need to focus on to keep you excited, motivated and driven forward.

Another big part of this process of course is about embracing your uniqueness. Because here’s the thing; too many people try and be a copy of someone else without realising that who they are is more exciting, special and inspiring for people than if they were trying to emulate Gary Vaynerchuk or JK Rowling.


No one else has had the experiences you’ve had, no one else thinks the way you do. No one else can write, talk, think or be like you.

Don’t be a poor copy of someone else when you can be a true original and stand out from the pack.

starting a side business

You see the thing is a lot of the success development world will tell you if you follow a certain set of techniques or steps then you can get the results that they’ve got.

The problem is though that no two people are the same, which is a wonderful thing of course, but it means that you can’t just follow someone else’s ideas about success from a book and expect it to work for you.

(Yes I am aware of the irony but come on, I’m not saying you should do what I’ve done. I’m simply serving you in seeing your unique gifts and purpose. Or at least I hope I am.)

When we read how to get success books we can end up feeling anxious; like we’re to blame because we don’t think like the ‘experts’.

Then we begin creating stressful experiences by dwelling on these stressful feelings.

We get stuck in our heads trying to figure out how we can change ourselves for the better.

But as we know, you can’t think properly in a stressed state of mind. You can only think better when your mind is clear

And here’s the thing. I know that right now you have everything you need to create what you want in the world. All the resources, wellbeing, insights and resilience you’ll ever need are with you – right now.



On your journey to taking your idea for a business or project out of your head and into the world please keep in mind that you don’t have to do it like anyone else. Be your unique self.

And if you get stuck in cluttered, stressful thinking ask yourself, is this really true?


What am I struggling with?

Is this struggle in the present or is it in the future or past?


Because as we’ve looked at already – you are wonderfully optimized for reality – and reality doesn’t exist in the future or the past.

It only exists in the present, where you can take action and move forward with your next steps on your road to creation

When you get clear, and present you’ll often find that you create a calm clarity which allows new ideas to flow.

You’ll have the grounding that allows you to take the action needed to make your idea a reality…