It has been a little over a year since I left my Director of Marketing position and cut loose the safety net to start my own business. In that time, I’ve learned a lot about being out on your own without a steady income. Note: This wasn’t my first business. It wasn’t even my second. I’ve had a total of six businesses in my 41 years, but this has been the most successful, by far. What makes this one different? Practice. Below are five bits of wisdom I can give anyone thinking about starting a new business.
Your idea isn’t new. Pick an idea; at least 100 other people have thought of it. Get over your stunning brilliance and realize that execution matters more. If you can let people know about your idea in a way that is simple and easy to comprehend, you will be successful. Having to educate the public on a “new idea” is costly and not very functional. The timing has to be right for the masses to embrace the idea at this time.
Shout A Lot About What You Are Doing. Let people know that your idea is out there. Remember, you are not working on the Manhattan Project. For people to buy into your idea, you have to let them know it exists. Get your idea out to the public as quickly as possible and let them know what you are doing. This is not the time for cyanide capsules and cloaks and daggers.
Don’t be “Perfect”. Be “Good Enough”. Perfectionists are those people that you never hear about. They keep holding back progress because everything isn’t “just the way they want it to be.” They are the ones who keep going over their ideas again and again and again until they get it right and no one remembers what they were doing in the first place. Get your idea out then work on version 2.0 for your clients to upgrade later while you are selling the initial concept now.
Think Small. Big will come. You don’t need an entire staff or huge office building to succeed. You need to get your business moving. Even the concept of venture capital is not needed at first (in most cases). If you are successful at what you are doing, opportunities and people will come to you. The real key is to eat, drink and breathe your idea for a business. You have to live it and know what success you want. Just like that Iowa cornfield: Build it and it will come.
If you are not scared, you are doing something wrong. Before I started my own company, I talked to a lot of people who were already in business. They all told me the same thing. They are scared every day that they aren’t going to make enough money or they are going to make the wrong decision. Something is terribly wrong if you lose that edge. Be scared. It’s OK.
Waking up in the middle of the night.
Mini panic attacks that you are doing something wrong.
Embrace and harness these emotions.