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1) Find something people will pay you for
2) Sell that
3) Scale it
I’m hesitant to tell other people how to do this, because I’m not sure if my way was the best way or only the way that worked for me.
The one thing I can say for sure is – the more you try, I mean really TRY, and the more you can learn from your failures, the more likely you are to succeed.
BUT – and this is important. . .
There are lots of ways to start a business but way NOT to do it is:
-Have an idea of something you think would be “cool” but that you don’t know much about.
-Quit your job.
-Take out a big loan.
-Give it a shot.
Unless you get super lucky, you’re lining yourself up for a world of hurt.
For me there were a few very broad categories of going into business:
- I knew I didn’t want a “job”.
- I needed to make money so I taught piano.
- I started hiring other people to work for me.
- I started leveraging the digital world.
Other people use the strategy of “apprenticing” in a field (e.g. getting a tech job). This works well if you need to learn a specialized skillset and get a feel for a field. Then, once they have a feel for what product society wants, they branch out.
I like the model of starting to sell from day one. Maybe I feel that way because I already had a “product” in the form of piano lessons, or maybe it’s just my natural inclination. I simply feel that selling from day one – even if it’s menial labor – gives you a sense of the fact that business is SELLING something.
That is, I like the idea of gaining momentum with whatever you have any then growing from there.
For example, I personally knew how to play piano at first but I wasn’t a great teacher… but I was good enough that I could get in the door. I started teaching and developed those skills, and got a sense of what students want and what they don’t want.
I also had other skills I could stack with this, such as website design, search engine optimization, etc.
I then segued into hiring other teachers. This was a whole other skillset I had to build, managing, marketing, dealing with stress, numbers, accounting, landlords, etc.
Then I slowly learned how to scale into the digital field which is where I am now.
If I had done it all over again, I would have moved into the digital field sooner!
So in other words, start where you are now, with something in your wheelhouse and interest. Start learning what it feels like to sell and make money without a normal job. And keep and eye to how you’ll scale that.
Keep learning, adapting, and moving. Your end business might now ever be what you could even envision!