One of the most important reasons given for starting a company is self-determination or making your own mind up what you’re going to do and when. It’s all about freedom and sharing your talents with the world. So, it’s frustrating and worrying if English gets in the way of your ambitions. Because then you can’t help all the people you want to help. In this blog I discuss how to stop English holding you back in your business.
Your dreams as an entrepreneur
Once upon a time, you dreamt about becoming an entrepreneur. It may have been a series of dreams or a quick, fiery dream, but without that impulse and belief in yourself, you would never have done it.
So, dreaming is important. It’s the start of the process of doing and achieving. If you can dream it, you can do it, as they say
When you dream big
Dreams have this habit of growing as we grow. What once seemed out of reach, now becomes a possibility. But it’s at times like these that we start to doubt ourselves and abilities. When we’re called to take the next step, we suddenly become aware of everything we don’t know and don’t understand. That’s a very uncomfortable feeling. Especially if you are used to feeling competent and in control.
Going international is dreaming big
That’s exactly what happens when you decide you might like to go international with your company. Maybe you’ve been happy doing business in your own language for years. Maybe you’re starting out and want to go big straightaway. Taking the step to go international can bring up all kinds of feelings about yourself and your options, like anxiety, insecurity or overwhelm.
Letting English decide your future
What better way to stop yourself from going international, than deciding your English isn’t good enough! There are lots of reasons you could use (and which I have heard over the years):
- I’m scared I’ll forget the words and then I’ll feel dim
- I’m worried I’ll say the wrong thing and won’t be able to put it right
- I’m afraid I’ll pronounce something wrong and they won’t understand me
- I’m anxious about going silent during a sales call and not making any money
- My biggest concern is that my emails will be boring, so no one will want to read them
So, it’s easy to decide that it’s not worth the effort.
But hang on a minute!
Why not let English help your future?
Let’s back track a little.
Why is it that you started your business again? It was to help people right? To develop yourself? So you could feel free? To help as many people as possible? And live a good life!
These reasons still stand. What’s changed is how and where you want to do what you do. And that means learning new skills and adapting to a new situation. So, the worry you’re experiencing is part of that learning experience.
You’re on a growth path.
Where to start?
The first place to start is, as ever, your client and your mission. Who is it you want to support? Why do you want to help them? What are you trying to achieve? How likely are you to be able to seel your products and services internationally?
If you’re sure that your reasons for going international are sound, then your next step is to find out what to do with English. There is a very good reason for this: setting things up in English takes time, so it can determine your planning. So, it makes sense to do this first.
What to do with English?
Actually, this means a number of things. First of all, it means, what do you need for English? That’s different for each business, because it depends on your communications. One person might go live regularly, another is on Insta. It makes sense to work out what you need before you start taking any training courses. That’s better use of your budget and time.
After you know what you need in English, the next step is to find out how good your English is and whether you can do what you need to do yet.
Where can I find out how good my English is?
Most English language schools focus on English for general use or for the corporate world. So, they will be able to tell you how good your English is generally, which is one piece of the puzzle. Please don’t rely on someone with no training in this to give you an opinion. They might just be nice to you to make you feel better. Or they might not know what they are talking about.
Want more tips about how to grow your business?
Join the international Facebook group Soul Words for Online Business Owners.