Successful People Start Before They Feel Ready
“If you’re working on something important, you’ll never feel ready. A side effect of doing challenging work is that you’re pulled by excitement and pushed by confusion at the same time.” – James Clear
The Start-Up Guy is well underway. I have been working with several businesses, including a very exciting Johannesburg-based business which is launching in the next two months. I am so honoured that they used and continue to use my services.
I’ve noticed a common trait amongst all the guys and girls I’ve been working with recently, and I thought it might be useful to share because I think many other people are experiencing the same thing.
Almost all entrepreneurs don’t know what they’re doing and it’s perfectly okay. In fact, I don’t know of a single one who, at the outset, knew exactly what they needed to do and when to do it. Before your mind does that thing where it jumps to conclusions, let me explain.
A start-up is an experiment, a matter of trial and error. No one can be fully certain about the route it will take. At best, one can have a firm idea of the intended outcome, but whether that transpires is all dependent on the market’s response to your idea (and who really knows what that’ll be? Right?).
Sir Richard Branson has one of the most interesting entrepreneurial stories, for me, because he started many of his companies largely by mistake. He dropped out of school to continue a magazine business he had no idea was going to sustain him. As a way to grow his magazine sales, he started distributing music records made by unknown artists to his readers, and so began the journey of Virgin Records. He started Virgin Airlines after he was delayed by his flight facing maintenance issues before take-off. This guy is the epitome of just getting on with it. This guy is also worth $5 Billion today!
As an entrepreneur and business owner you have to embrace the learning process and continuously learn (by doing). Learn your market, learn your business, and continuously adapt your learnings to suit your market as you go. The entrepreneurs who embrace the learning process and respond to unexpected events in real time are often the ones who do very well.
Without babbling on for too long, the moral of the story is that not knowing what to do is not a good enough reason to not start your business. Passion and a basic idea is enough. Even if you are physically incapable of carrying out certain tasks, outsourcing skills is a thing (like helluurrr, this is why people like me are here). It is no mistake that one of the single most important traits that investors look for in entrepreneurs is passion, especially in the very early stages of a start-up. Not “intelligence.” Not qualifications. Passion (synonymous with commitment/dedication in this regard). A founder who is not passionate about what they are doing will give up when they face the inevitable hurdles of starting a business. Passion is the fuel by which a project goes from start-up to a fully-fledged business.
Now don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that you can go and start the next big business with the technical skills of a toddler. I am merely saying that, within reason, you can start a business without the technical know-how, as long as you have the dedication to follow through with the necessary steps. In doing so, be realistic, tread carefully and always consult a professional when you’re thinking about making an expensive decision.
If whilst reading this article you had a certain project or idea in mind, maybe it’s time to pursue it with everything you have. Why aren’t you? That was not a rhetorical question. Like Richard Branson famously said, “screw it. Just get on and do it.” If you are really struggling with how to conceptualise or begin your business, consult me and we can find a solution together.
Once again, thank you for reading.
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