How to start when you don’t know what to do.

Sometimes the task at hand can feel extremely overwhelming, and if you’re anything like me, being overwhelmed can sometimes lead to paralysis. Fortunately, over the past few years I’ve developed a strategy for moving past paralysis in into action.

The first thing to do is to think clearly about your end goal.

Once you know where you’re trying to go, you can figure out specifically what is stopping you from getting there. Once you define the problem, creating steps to attack it becomes so much easier. 

For example, let’s say I want to start a restaurant, but I don’t know how. First, I might look into the different types of restaurants that currently – exist pop-up restaurants, food trucks, and maybe even brick and mortar restaurants. Once I decide on a restaurant type, then I know need to choose a business structure to protect me personally from lawsuits or business debts. To figure that out I can talk to food truck owners and see what they recommend. 

Specifically researching how to start a food truck business is much easier than researching how to start a restaurant in general.  

That brings us to my next point, utilize the free resources first.

There is a plethora of free and underutilized resources right at our disposal, not only on the internet, but in most of our local communities. Sometimes the internet can give you too much information, but many times are local Chambers of Commerce, Business Development Centers, and local community organizations that will provide free or low-cost business classes and workshops for entrepreneurs looking to get started. 

You can also ask your friends for advice, provided they’re knowledgeable about business, and don’t hesitate to talk to business owners that are already operating. You’ll be surprised at how many people will share their knowledge with you if you just ask. 

And there’s no shame in needing to learn more, so don’t hesitate to put yourself out there use your resources. 

Lastly, break your tasks down into as many steps as necessary.

Oftentimes, when I feel like I have a large task in front of me, breaking the task down into small digestible steps is the very thing that gives me the assurance I need to accomplish the bigger goal. Haven’t you seen that meme floating around the internet about 20 minutes of cardio is only 10 minutes twice, or four sets of 5?

Accomplishing big tasks is just like that, break it down into smaller digestible pieces. 

Using the restaurant example, if I want to start a restaurant in downtown Oakland, there are quite a few steps that I need to take before I’m able to open my doors for business.

The first step might be coming up with a menu or a concept. The next one might be thinking about how I will fund or finance the business. The third may entail creating an LLC in order to run the business and to protect myself legally from any business liability or business debts.

When I break the big goal into smaller, actionable chunks, some of the anxiety and overwhelmed starts to disappear and I suddenly become very aware that I can get the project done. After all, two sets of 15 sounds way better than 30 minutes straight! 


If you need help figuring out which business entity is right for you, give me a call and we can work it out together. 


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