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About 101(ish) times per month someone asks me… “What do you think of my business idea? (explains the idea)…what do you think and any advice?”
And I totally understand the question. But my advice is always the same 100% of the time:
- Execution. I have no idea if your idea is amazing or terrible, but what it comes down to is execution. Plain and simple.
- Perseverance. Nowadays almost anyone can start a business (of some kind). What people don’t realize…it’s freakin’ tough. If you crumble at the first sign of a problem/adversity, you’re screwed. And, if you crumble at the second, third, fourth or 45th problem…you are also screwed.
- Pivoting. There is a big difference between dealing with challenges and beating a dead horse into the ground. You can’t be scared to pivot. How do you know when to pivot or change up your idea? Is there a magical formula that determines “this idea is dead and it’s time to move on?” Nope. It comes from gut/experience and that comes with time/making mistakes. Often, the business you end up in is not the one you first start.
- Marketing/Selling. There are obviously lots of skills you will need to develop over time…annnnnnd the most important one is marketing and selling. Your success (and financial stability) will come down to expertly marketing and selling what you do or make – not writing copy, rebranding your website, teaching yoga, podcasting, or creating cool programs. In other words, you will spend 20% of the time doing what you love (your gift…in my case coaching and podcasting) and 80% of the time marketing, selling, strategizing your business, and answering a shitload of email. Survival will totally hinge on how quickly you adopt this role of Business Owner first, creator of pretty things, second. This sucks for most people because they want nothing to do with selling. Yet, without it…you do not pass GO or collect $200. In fact, you collect $0 and that sucks unless you are allergic to money.
- DO as opposed to talking about doing. Doing and messing it up is much better than talking to everyone about what you are thinking about doing. Doing = gaining experience. And gaining experience = improving your chances of making it over the long haul.
- Learn from mistakes. You have to be crappy before you get good. You will make tons of mistakes. Ones that years from now will be painfully obvious and that’s okay. Don’t take it personally but do remember it like an elephant. Making mistakes isn’t dumb. Making the same mistake over and over again…well that’s pretty dumb. Don’t do that.
- Don’t be a lone wolf. There’s this myth in the world of entrepreneurship. It’s the myth of the lone visionary. The radiant, driven entrepreneur capable of making astonishing things happen. This makes for a great story. Except, with rare exception, it’s completely false. Truth is, in business, as in life, nobody does it alone. Nobody succeeds in a vacuum. Peel back the illusion just the slightest bit and you realize, all those legendary lone geniuses were only able to do what they did because they were surrounded by visionary people on multiple levels. And if they need people, guess what, so do we.
Immerse yourself in an environment that refuses to let you fail! I know. Not so simple. It’s taken me many, many years to figure this out. A big part of that was I didn’t understand all the things required to start and grow a self-funded business.
The challenge for purpose-driven entrepreneurs is that we tend to be a bit of an outlier, even within the entrepreneurial community. Because it’s not just about money for us, it’s about meaning, purpose, expression and potential. It’s about building more than a business. It’s about building a legacy and a life.
This, in fact, is why I created The Council of Visionary Business Builders. To create the container, bring together the people and share the collective wisdom that leads not only to accelerated discovery and growth, but a better, more connected and supported life along the way. If you already have all the above dialed in, that’s fantastic. Just keep doing what you’re doing. If not, and you’d love to spend the rest of 2017 with a curated group of purposeful business builders, learning, growing and helping each other rise, I invite you to learn more about The Council, and see if it’s a fit.