1. You Decide You Want to Own Your Future
I knew that I wanted flexibility of schedule and unlimited income. I wanted to control my future. I didn’t want to work for somebody because I had lost my dream job, and I knew that that’s something that happened. So typically, the first stage in entrepreneurship is you just decide that you want to control the future. You don’t know necessarily what the business is, but you know that you want to own your own thing. This could happen when you’re a kid running a lemonade stand and you just like the fact that you made your own money and and the powerful feeling that presented, and you were addicted.
I felt like once I started mowing lawns and making my own money, I knew then that I had entrepreneurship in me, and what I did is I would contract lawns to be mowed and pay my friends to mow them and I’d make a dollar override. That has kind of been my model of business my own life. I’d rather make half and do nothing, than make a 100% and do all the work.
So you need to find out your why. Why do you want to be an entrepreneur in the first place?
2. You Look for Ideas
Now you start looking for ideas. You’re very alert to profitable ideas that could be a business.
I’m addicted to this because I have so many businesse and I’m venturing into two new startups now. I just started a business two years ago, and then I help my son launched a business last year that’s doing really well, but I’m like, an addict. I see ideas all the time. An idea to me is anything that I think could be profitable within my area that I understand or within an area I’ve had pre-existing success in, so I don’t look for ideas everywher. I look for ideas that are in my lane, areas that I’ve been successful at, areas that I understand, and areas that I think could be profitable from day one. That’s my criteria.
I’ll give you a cheat sheet on ideas.
- Solve a problem. The bigger the problem, typically the greater the profit and the more people that have that problem.
- Satisfy a need. Just basic need that people have. This could be anything like getting people their groceries or mowing their lawn. It’s just a need. I’ve made a fortune off needs.
- Satisfy a want. That’s the next tier, that’s a luxury. It’s the difference between a Timex and a Rolex, a regular car and a BMW, a Disney vacation as opposed to just hanging out at the Holiday Inn. We clearly know the difference.
- Do you entertain people? Can you get bodies in buildings? Bodies in front of audiences? Entertainment brings money.
3. You Do Your Due Diligence
his is your business plan and/or some level of due diligence.
Is there competition out there? How am I going to be different than my competition? How am I going to price my business in relation to my competition? How am I going to attract customers? Who do I need to launch this business from day one?
However it is, every business has needs in order to start and you need to have some level of due diligence.
I’ll give you a cheat sheet on that:
- How are you going to attract customers?
- What’s your plan for selling them?
- How are you going to fullfill orders?
- Who is your competition?
- How are you going to be different?
- How are you going to stand out?
- Who’s going to be on your team?
- How are you going to operate your business?
4. You Launch the Business
At some point you gotta crap or get off the pot. I talke to people all the time who are still thinking of launching a busines. I have a general rule that I don’t launch any idea that I have within six months.
A lot of times I’ll spend about a month marinating on the idea, not even doing due diligence. I just marinate on the idea. I write it down in my journal. I have a lot of ideas in my journal and some of don’t look as good a month later. I they look good a month later, then I know I’m onto something. I’m learning the businesses I’m considering starting right now. I actually bought the domain a name for this business two years ago, because I thought it was good, but I didn’t have the time to really jump after it. Now I am working at another business I’m looking to start. I kind of saw it when I made a trip on vacation and I thought it was a great business idea. I saw this business in another city. That’s another secret, look at businesses in other cities and see if you can replicate them where you live.
5. The Struggle
Typically what happens now in the six stages, is there’s a struggle, struggle to survive. This is where you’re going to have to pivot. This is where you’re going to have to make a change. You’re going to see an opportunity that you never saw coming and it’s going to be your job to identify it. The funny thing is, there’s going to be a lot of opportunities and you’re going to have to make the choice between a good opportunity and a great opportunity.
That’s the struggle. There’s going to be people that you were with you when you started this business, but they’re not going to be here at the end of the year, because this is the struggle phase and I can’t prepare you for that other than to tell you it’s going to be tougher than you thought it was. If you knew how hard it was going to be, you wouldn’t have started your business in the first place. But when you get through it, the feeling of accomplishment is just so incredible. I’ve just gone through that, I’ve had a multiple business, but in the last two months, I feel like I went through this number five all over again. We had some massive staff turnover in different things and I felt like I started it all over again.
6. You Gain Traction
This is where things start coming together. You have enough customers coming through your doors and reaching out to you. This is where you have enough interest in your product and what you’re selling. You’re converting enough to generate money to actually stay in business.
This is where I say you get to the top of the mountain and you can at least for the first time, see where you’re going.
You can still take the wrong path, I’m not telling you it’s over yet, but you kind of at least get a chance to look and go, do we want to go this way, this way, this way, or this way? And you’re always going to be deciding and making critical decisions. You’re going to make some wrong ones and you’re going to figure it out, but you have traction. Money is coming in, you’re turning the corner, you’re in business. You’re able to pay yourself now and then