You don’t need to have an Ivy League education, or any education for that matter, in order to become an entrepreneur (though being educated in life will certainly help). You don’t need to have a unique idea or boat loads of money to be an entrepreneur, either. Seriously, throw away any misconceptions you may have about becoming an entrepreneur and get ready for the reality; all you need to do is create something that makes money consistently. Your idea, or company’s purpose, is to sell something to someone and profit from it. Of course it’s easier said than done, but it’s far from impossible.
An entrepreneur needs to have a lot energy and determination, a drive to succeed, and the willingness to be persuasive.
And of course you need an idea. Doesn’t need to be some brilliant, groundbreaking idea that no one has ever thought of before, more so an idea that will improve an already existing idea. You know, kind of like how Mark Zuckerburg created a better MySpace or how Google built a superior search engine than Yahoo. It seems these days everyone has thought of that great idea that just popped into your head, which means original ideas seem to be overrated. Today, it’s all about timing. Think about a need that is being currently underrepresented that has potential to grow and capitalize off of that already existing idea when the time is right. It’s easier to build a structure when the blueprint is already in place than it is to start from scratch.
Don’t be afraid of competition.
If you’re looking to open a new bar, the best place to do it is right near an already existing bar that gets high traffic. You know the location is already good if there are people going, so you don’t need to worry about getting people to that area. Now you just need to focus on how you can make your bar more enticing to go to than the one next to you. There’s nothing wrong with a little competition. It’ll keep you sharp and on your toes, always trying to be that much better than the opposition.
It’s also helpful to think about something that you and your friends would go out of their way to buy. If it’s something you’re passionate about you’re already knowledgeable on the subject, you know what audience to target and you’ll be able to understand the needs of your consumer – because the consumer is you.
When you’re starting a company you might assume you know what you’re doing but you really don’t, and that’s totally normal so don’t freak out. It’s a learning process that will take you over speed bumps, through rough terrain, but you’ll figure it out. Most people start a business thinking they’re going to make all this money right off the bat, but that’s not the case. Besides, your idea will likely need tweaking which is something you’ll figure out along the way, too.
One of the major components to starting a company is trying to convince people to believe in you and your idea before you can prove to them that it’ll work. This is where being persuasive comes in handy. Not everyone will just be willing to trust you so you need to persuade them that they’re making a good investment. You’ve all heard the phrase “fake it ‘til you make it” and that applies here. A lot of entrepreneurs will scheme and strategize on how to prove their idea is worth investing in before they actually should. It’s all part of the business.
Remember that when you first start out, you’re not the big company you aim to be right out the gate. You’re likely on a strict budget so be sure to spend wisely and don’t over hire right away. You don’t want to throw away the little money you have before you even start to turn a profit. You have to pay the bills and feed yourself somehow. Focus on creating and selling and worry about the rest later.
Since this is your idea and your business, chances are you’re an irreplaceable part of this design. The problem with that is, if something were to come up that would prevent you from going to work you’d need someone there who has the same abilities as you in order to keep the company working as it did while you were there. If you’re the only good writer on staff the company can’t grow because you are the only piece that fits in that particular area of the puzzle. Have you ever worked on a puzzle only to realize you lost a piece and can’t complete it? What a waste of time. You inevitably want a company that can run smoothly even if you’re not there.
Keep in mind that you don’t need a large staff in order to have a successful company.
A lot of industries are equally efficient at different sizes, so you want to know the limits of your business and not get in over your head. We’ve all been to those mom and pop shops that have been around for decades and have had the same four people working there since the 80s, and we’ve all been to the giant department stores that employ hundreds of people with a high turnover rate. Both businesses are successful, just in different ways.
While it’s never easy to start a company, you have the ability to create something amazing with little to no resources right from home – it’s been done before. Sure, it’s a gamble and like with any game of chance, you run the risk of failing, but you’ll never know until you try. Remember, it’s all about having the drive, determination, and that pesky thing called timing. If you fall, get back up and try again.