Starting your own business means giving more of what you can offer and receive more of what you can get.
Well, unless you make the first step, nothing is going to change. That’s for sure. There are risks involved, that’s for sure. But the reward is fantastic. It’s not the only freedom you get, although it feels very nice. It’s not only the money, although it does count. It’s the ability to control the throughput of your generated value. You can give as much as you want. If you’re looking for excitement, for creativity, for joyful effort, for big rewards, then this lifestyle is for you.
It requires discipline, hard work and clarity. All these abilities can be trained, you know. And, if I would choose only one out of these three, I think discipline would be the most important.
So, how to start your own business?
First of all, plan ahead: Be sure you have at least one year covered when it comes to self-sustenance. Risk is good, but too much risk is extremely bad. If you don’t have at least one year covered, you will start to feel the pressure of day to day living. While some may advocate that this pressure is good for your entrepreneurial approach, by making you strive even harder, I’m not following this path. I found that too much financial pressure will adversely affect your creativity. You may strive harder, but your output may be of a lower quality, if money is your only goal.
Second, find a real problem: I saw too many times entrepreneurs claiming their idea was so awesome, because it was solving a very important problem. Their problem. But they didn’t reach out to see if there were at least one other person with that problem too. In other words, they didn’t have a market. I call this business “one client businesses”. Their problem is real, the solution to the problem is, very often, brilliant, but, alas, there is only one person with that problem: the entrepreneur. It will never work like this. If you really want to have customers, reach out. Ask around. Test. Identify a real problem to solve.
Third, stick to it: Don’t give up. But only if you’re sure you won’t have to compromise your work quality and only if you’re sure you found a real problem. If you have the first two points listed above, then all you have to do is to stay there. Because it will be difficult. No matter if it’s your first business or your tenth, each one is different. You simply don’t know everything there is to know about each specific business and a lot of difficulty will come from not knowing exactly your market or your clients. You will also have to work with people and people are also different. And, most of the time, difficult. I’m talking about your own team here. Depending on your situation you may have to inspire, to support, to teach, to motivate them. Oh, and you will have to pay them, one way or another.