“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
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
Two years difference 💙 There is no easy way, there is no secret 💙 It’s gonna take hard work and sacrifice 💙 You will want to give up, you will cry, you will probably think you can’t do it 💙 But you can 💙 Never give up on yourself because you are capable of so much more than you think 💙 DO NOT GIVE UP 💙