Entrepreneurship 101: Creating A Business Idea

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The Art Of Changing Jobs

There are many things that should discourage anyone from becoming an entrepreneur

  • Terrified of people or failing at certain basic social skills
    • Entrepreneurship is constant communication with dozens to hundreds of strangers
  • A constant need to please others or make them happy
    • Difficult people will make life miserable for you, or the business won’t be able to sustain itself
  • An unwillingness to make sacrifices for something desired
    • A business has been described as having the same level of maintenance as a baby
  • Hypersensitivity to criticism, failure or obstacles
    • Most startups fail, and the ones that succeed are rarely the first attempt
  • A feeling of needing nice things or creature comforts in life
    • Everything will be sacrificed for the business
  • Unwillingness to do scary tasks like taxes, researching regulations or arguing with a supplier
    • Paying others for things you can do yourself will prevent the business from ever becoming profitable
  • Hates doing something undesirable without being told explicitly to do it
    • Most of the tasks in a small business are things that nobody likes doing
  • Hates working under a boss and wants to be rich
    • Nobody will follow a vision built on selfish intentions
  • Buried under tremendous personal debt without any extra income
    • It will cost a lot to start a business, so it must be intentional
  • Fear of change or of the unknown
    • Outside of parenting, starting a new business is one of the most uncertain things someone can do

An entrepreneur has to be tough and resilient

  • Has no problems with change
    • Constantly seeking out new mentors to imitate and learn from
    • Unusually bold and confident
    • Asks probing and deep questions about literally everything, even when they seem stupid
    • Creative and innovative through constantly improving on existing ideas
      • Sees every obstacle or “no” as a creative opportunity to find a way around
    • Running a business is one of the greatest self-improvement exercises one can ever take on
      • Every weakness gets put under a microscope
  • Is barely affected by failures, rejection and regrets
    • Extremely confident and courageous
    • Unafraid of raising money, which will often be at least $75,000
    • Listen to others’ views and criticisms, but only honors those views related to that person’s status
    • Has proven themselves successful in multiple past endeavors
    • Sees weaknesses as hidden strengths
  • Patient about achieving results, which comes from a strong belief that results will come
    • Extremely persistent over a very long period of time
    • Has a belief that anything can be lucrative if it’s pursued appropriately for 5 years
    • Meditates and slows down to look at large-scale effects
    • Highly ambitious at everything they do
  • Resents giving up on anything
    • Determined to prove something to themselves about themselves
    • Sees opportunities in all limitations and ignores the negative problems with limits
    • Highly ambitious, especially when risk is involved
  • Practical-minded
    • Thinks more about resources currently available than about adhering to methods or creating systems
    • Pays their bills on time
    • Resents bureaucracy and unnecessary systems
    • Tries to understand things before jumping to conclusions
    • Focuses intensely on everything their mind is preoccupied with
  • Has no problem with working alone
    • Is willing to do anything to get a job done, even if it’s solitary work
  • A great communicator and naturally charming
    • Openly communicates and desires openness, even with negative or controversial things
    • Takes on leadership skills that inspire others to follow them

An entrepreneur has a specific worldview

  • Views success and failure as both temporary
  • Sees everything with an innate happiness over what normally scares others
    • Loves new and original ideas, sensations and experiences
    • Enjoys hard work, especially work that can be done extremely well and is extremely challenging
  • Loves risks, since they’re seen as necessary for rewards
    • Wants freedom to control professional and personal life even with its risks
    • Loves risks and the opportunities to overcome, minimize or caulculate those risks
    • Thrilled by scary and big things, since they are challenges to attack and overcome
    • Prefers to thrive and fail by personal decisions over being safe
  • Believes that people, especially customers, matter more than things
    • A strong passion to make a difference in the lives of everyone around them
    • Focuses on others’ needs more than self interests
    • Treats others the way they want to be treated
    • Expects greatness in others as well as self
    • Self-sacrifices to make others successful
  • Sees resources as a means to an end
    • Money isn’t seen as an end in itself
    • Resources fuel a passion to create more things and create new things

Entrepreneurs often have specifically similar lifestyles

  • Loves sports, especially team sports or extreme sports
  • Loves traveling to original and exotic places
  • Typically self-teaching, which means not a lot of college education
  • Often deeply focused into whatever they’re doing
    • They will be willing to trade 4 years of very hard work in exchange for 40 years of freedom
  • Often young, for several reasons
    • Less afraid of uncertainty, since there is usually less risk involved from life commitments
    • Not bitter about the corporate world yet
    • Easier to think up new ideas and entertain seemingly silly things
    • More creative and energetic in pursuing goals
  • Spends a lot of free time simply learning, absorbing information or mastering a fun skill

Even when a person isn’t a full entrepreneur, there are many disciplines that parallel it

  • Creative performance fields like musicians and actors
  • Professional writers, especially fiction writers
  • Public speakers in person or in media
  • Running a nonprofit organization
  • Running an established company

Startups usually fail for a few specific reasons

  • 90% of startups fail in the first 5 years for the same reasons
    1. There’s not enough money to fund the business idea
      • The company might never become profitable
      • The company might grow too fast and implode on itself
    2. The necessary skills aren’t there to start or maintain the business
      • The market doesn’t really need the product (42% of failures)
      • The marketing environment might not be very good for the product
    3. The owner doesn’t have the proper vision to look at where the business is going
  • There are a lot of reasons that these issues arise
    • The business owner doesn’t have a proper network
    • The personality of the owner isn’t visionary enough or isn’t dedicated enough
    • The business idea took a lot more money to start that what was originally expected

A good startup has a great purpose behind it

  1. Hold to a vision that goes beyond personal interests
    • Focus on what matters to the potential customers
      • This isn’t about doing what you love as much as doing what you know brings value to others
      • Don’t care too much about the money, since anything can be monetized if someone is willing to learn how
    • This vision must be driven by passion, but also tethered to reality
      • The easiest way to find the proper vision is to work off of prior experience and what someone needs
        • Not all businesses are promising ventures, since they must be able to scale and work independently of their owner
      • You are the most passionate about the business, and nobody will share that passion to that level
    • Become ready to sacrifice everything for that vision
      • Friends and family will likely not support the vision, at least not at first
      • This means no more vacations or extra money, as well as less time with family, friends or recreation
      • The vision will have to be constantly shared in order to build the necessary networking
        • Create an “Us vs. Them” attitude about your new ventures
          • Treat affiliates and friends with a closeness and camaraderie
          • Treat competitors as enemies to either be converted or subdued
      • In fact, the only way to break past the social barriers of others is by spreading the vision through persuasion and charm
      • To make millions, the business will have to affect millions
    • Finding a mentor will prevent the most common and most extreme mistakes
    • This vision adheres to the Golden Circle
      1. WHY we do what we do and what we believe
      2. HOW we do it
      3. WHAT the product is that we make
    • This vision will be necessary to endure the tremendous amount of work that comes with it
      • Every idea about the organization will be driven by this vision
  2. Plan out how to attain the desired goals and keep adjusting the plan to conform with reality
    • The easiest place to start is an Internet business, since many starting costs don’t apply
    • Look at your skills and talents coming into it, since they will be used and will be challenged
    • These plans should never be made with fear, since fear inhibits decision-making skills
    • Include everyone who may be involved into the planning process, since they’re the ones who will help make it happen
    • Gather as many resources as possible when planning and learn the basics of everything involved
      • Look for reliable online resources
      • Find trade-specific whitepapers and sources for other whitepapers
      • Network with other professionals in other specializations that can give input and guide you
    • Take your time on the planning stage, since every bit of good planning now will save tremendous amounts of work and problems later
      • Sometimes while planning the newly seen risks will seem impossible, and this might be a sign to change the strategy
      • Just because a plan doesn’t work out doesn’t mean it’s gone forever, since it’s all part of the creative process
  3. Look for ways to improve the business idea while planning
    • Network with others to find mentors, investors and advisors to get their experience
      • Offer equity in the company if someone is hesitant to be your mentor and you’d greatly benefit from them
    • A business owner is guaranteed to have to learn an immeasurable amount in disciplines they have no prior experience in
      • Constantly look for feedback to find out how to improve yourself, the business and the product
      • Hand off everything possible to more skilled and capable workers
  4. Create a formalized business plan for investors, lenders and other potential stakeholders
    • Make sure that every single idea for the business makes its way into the business plan
Next: Creating A Business Plan