As a new entrepreneur with a couple of recently launched businesses, I decided to share with those of you who have recently started a business or are planning to start one, 5 lessons I learned along the way. My journey is just beginning, but I feel like I have already learned some valuable lessons worth sharing.
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These 5 lessons might be something you at least take into consideration as you begin or continue your own journey as a rookie entrepreneur. Sharing our experiences and mistakes allows us to learn from each other and hopefully avoid some of those same mistakes. I hope you enjoy what you read below!
1. Entrepreneurs often ask for forgiveness rather than permission.
As you embark upon your journey as a rookie entrepreneur, you will soon realize that sometimes, it is simply better to go out there and do something instead of asking for permission first. If told to stop, then stop. But otherwise, just go do it. When you wait around and seek out permission to do things, often times, you will get “No” as an answer. Once you get a “No” it is often difficult to turn that into a “Yes.” Also, waiting around to get permission for things often lead to unnecessary hassle and wastage of time for busy people like entrepreneurs!
2. Every entrepreneur needs to watch the movie “Catch Me If You Can”.
Seriously! This movie is based on the life of Frank Abagnale who, before his 19th birthday, successfully performed cons worth millions of dollars by posing as a Pan American World Airways pilot, a Georgia doctor, and a Louisiana parish prosecutor. The movie stars Leonardo DeCaprio as the main character who plays the role of Abagnale. Although, the fraudulent activities Abagnale commits is non-praiseworthy, he must be given a ton of credit for being one of the greatest negotiators and persuaders of all time.
So, if you are looking to improve your skills in negotiating, persuading, convincing, or simply learning how to deal with people and get your way, then this movie is a must-watch for you. Just be sure to convert the skills learned from Frank to do good for society instead of harm!
3. The hardest thing about starting a business, is the “starting” part. Everything from then on gets easier.
Perhaps, the initiation of a business is the hardest part simply because you are in completely uncharted waters and there is almost no initial return on the investment of time, money, and energy. The amount of work on the front-end and number of failures often deter many people from starting their own business. Those who are able to push through and stay persistent on their idea are the ones who are able to succeed. As a rookie entrepreneur, you must be able to see failure as an event, rather than a permanent state of being. Once the business starts to roll in full swing and you have cash flow, things will get a lot easier.
4. Money is not needed to start a successful business. All you need is food, water, and a place to stay.
Anyone who says you need a lot of money to start a business obviously does not own a computer and has never heard of the internet. There are hundreds of successful businesses being started every year with very little to no start-up cash. Starting an internet business is very easy and affordable these days. The appearance of WordPress now allows almost anyone to be able to set up a professional website and start directing traffic toward it. Really, all you need to make sure is that you have food on the table and a roof over your head.
As long as you have those two things set, and you can afford to devote some time every day toward working on your business, you should have no problems at all starting something new. Yes, sometimes a little bit of start-up cash is necessary, but most of us have that kind of money either lying around or can easily earn it fairly quickly by picking up a part-time job. I started one of my current businesses with just $30 (that is how much it costs to get a business license in my state).
5. There are Thinkers and there are Doers, but there are not many Thinkers who are also Doers.
That’s correct. Imagine if we had more Thinkers who are also Doers. How much more productive would we be as a society? But the good news is that we don’t have to be both. Thinkers and Doers often partner up together to form unbelievably strong teams. If you have certain skills and lack others, instead of trying to improve on the areas where you lack, often it is more efficient to simply team up with someone who has the skills you lack.
For example, I am fairly good at networking and marketing, but I barely know the ABC’s of coding or development. Instead of spending the next 8 to 10 years learning to code efficiently, I chose to seek out a business partner who is an expert at web development. While he continues to improve the product, I choose to spend my time marketing it and dealing with all the business aspects, the area where I am good at.
This is why Developers and Entrepreneurs often work really well together since one compliments what the other lacks. If you do not have have the skills necessary to start a particular type of business, don’t lose hope. Go out there and try to find someone who has the skills and try to sell them out on your idea. Chances are, if you are a good entrepreneur, you will be able to convince them that your idea is worth executing.
These are just a few of the lessons I learned as a rookie in my entrepreneurial journey. These lessons are strictly based on my own experiences, as well as of those entrepreneurs whom I follow. Take my experiences as a general guide to help you gear up for your entrepreneurial career. If and when you succeed, be sure to reach out to me and let me know!
Good Luck, Rookie Entrepreneurs!