The idea of starting and running a successful business always resonates with people building a Life Stoked. I suppose it’s the freedom that comes with being the guy in charge, and the potential of building something HUGE! And for me it’s the adventure of steering the ship myself.
But even though so many people share the same desire, it’s not easy getting started, and good advice is hard to come by even in the internet age.
And that’s exactly why I was so excited about Chris Guillebeau’s latest book The $100 Startup. Chris’s book was loaded with the kind of actionable advice aspiring entrepreneurs so desperately need.
Business is simple – really
Chris takes the convoluted idea of starting a business and makes it simple – the way it should be in the beginning. In fact, there’s only three things you need to bring together to have your very own business.
- Product or service: what you sell
- People willing to pay for it: your customers
- A way to get paid: how you’ll exchange a product or service for money
No business plan. No special degree. No fancy web designer.
And that, right there, is what I love about Chris’s message.
The rest of the world tends to overcomplicate things. There’s a long list of prerequisites you need to check off before you’re even qualified to take a chance on a business. Most of us wind up feeling unqualified to even begin, and so we never do.
But when you simplify starting a business down to these three basic things it’s freeing. It’s easy. It’s FAST!
Just the way it should be.
Throw out the plans
I’ve had my fair share at business attempts over the years. They all had one thing in common – they took WAY too long to get started. There were SWOT analyses, and marketing plans, and sales funnels, and content marketing campaigns, and business models. The list went on and on.
And when it was all finally ready to open the doors it was too late. I’d been building the wrong business (for me anyway)! Ouch!
Chris’s emphasis on taking action now to very quickly get the doors open is probably the most valuable piece of advice in the whole book. This one thing alone could’ve easily saved me a couple years of tinkering on ideas that were destined for the junkyard.
Leading by example
As I try to do with everything I teach here at Life Stoked, I’m living this out. I met with some past clients, my mastermind group, and some friends of mine to craft an offer that will genuinely help people out.
And in the three weeks since I finished Chris’s book I created a new service, a web page, and even managed to squeeze in a couple consultations with potential (new) clients!
My verdict? It’s amazing how fast things can move when you’re willing to move FAST! Three years ago I would’ve spent 6 months working out the perfect idea. This year I’ve got consultations the second week.
My launch plans
And I suppose you’re wondering just what it is I’m working on? I took a look at my biggest passions, skills, and experiences to start with, and I came up with some basic criteria:
- Must fit within Life Stoked’s mission of helping people create a life they’re excited to live
- Must accelerate people’s success rapidly
- Must be something I’m passionate about, have lots of experience with, and I’m really freaking good at!
I’m combining my skills in technology, planning, and coaching to help people get their service-based businesses off the ground.
These days there is an endless supply of tools to help you easily create a professional business. It’s a wonderful opportunity, but if you’re not a bit of a tech nerd like myself, then you don’t need to be wasting your time trying to craft the best solution for your needs.
Dan Miller says to work where you’re strongest 80% of the time. And for people who want to start their own business, that’s usually far far away from choosing a website platform or figuring out how to use it.
So what’s next
Frankly, I’m not sure… and it’s awesome! This may be the best idea I’ve ever had. It may be the worst. But one thing is for sure, I’m going to find out which it is!
What about you? What business would you start? Oh, and feel free to offer up suggestions in the comments below!