“Starting a Business” Is A Terrible Idea. Do This Instead…

A friend of mine approached me one night and said she wanted to start a business. “Oh, what do you want to do?” (I have a mad passion for helping aspiring entrepreneurs turn ideas into cash flow and absolutely love accompanying people on the journey of taking their idea to the marketplace.) I was excited about her interest.

“I’m not sure. I just know I don’t want to work like this anymore. I want to do something for me.” She lamented. “I think I want to do something with dogs.”

I thought for a moment then responded, “No. It’s a terrible idea. Don’t start a business.”

“Why not?” she asked.

“Because employees work in businesses.” I replied.

Confused, she queried, “Well what should I do?”

I looked at her and said, “Find a problem you are passionate about. Solve it. Get people to pay you for it. That’s what entrepreneurs do. Employees are paid to work in businesses. Entrepreneurs are paid to solve problems. A business is the tool the entrepreneur uses to achieve this task. Begin by providing a solution. Then start a business.”

Don’t try to start the business before you create a Venture Statement.

The #1 problem we see with new entrepreneurs is being unclear about exactly what they do and exactly who they do it for. Without clarity here, the venture is destined to fail.

Making the leap from Employee Mindset to Entrepreneur Mindset is one of the biggest hurdles new entrepreneurs face. How we approach the problem has everything to do with how we find the solution. What makes a successful entrepreneur? How they think and frame problems.

Make it Fit

First, it is important that a venture fits into your life’s master plan. There are miserable people with very successful businesses. If you don’t like people, do not start a customer service company. If you hate germs, don’t start a health clinic. Not even a successful one. Live the life of your dreams by making sure you have passion for your proposed venture.

How to Craft a Venture Statement

Crafting a venture statement is critical to your success in the early stages. This gives insight and structure in how your value stream (how you serve the client) will look. In its simplest form it is composed of The Who, The What, The How, and The Benefits. Let’s take a look…

The Who

Who will you serve. Be specific. This is better known as The Ideal Avatar, or Ideal Client.

The What

What is their problem(s)? What is the main issue they need to have solved?

The How

How will you solve their problem? What is the solution you bring?

The Benefits

These are value adds and focus on how the client feels, or how the solution impacts them. I typically like to generate at least three.

Venture Statement Example

The venture needs to focus on the client’s needs and the problem you solve. For instance, a Venture Statement could be, “I believe the geriatric population [The Who] has a difficult time having access to healthcare appointments because they can’t find a ride [The What]. Often times family members must leave work in order to take mom or dad to see the doctor [another Who]. If I can hire drivers [employee/ a business component] to take grandma to the doctor [The How] for a nominal fee [revenue stream] in a timely fashion, then family are not inconvenienced [benefit], appointments are not missed [benefit], and everyone can save time and money [benefit].”

There is much more to successful entrepreneuring, but this is a critical first step. Without the answers to these questions the rest of your business build will struggle, get overwhelming and then finally fizzle out.

Begin with the client’s needs when thinking about your business ideas. Regardless of what you want, there will be no revenue without satisfying their needs.

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