Before we start I would like to explain what is a business for me “A system which create value, regardless if you working on it or not.”
Have you ever wondered what would happen if you run a business? All those employees and clients calling you in the middle of your dinner, asking for something. Or maybe driving your new shiny Porsche 911 motivates you, finding a way through all the inevitable voices questioning in your head “What if I fail?” Let’s get it straight. We all fail. If you are not failing you are not trying hard enough. You should fail in order to learn. We all know the successful stories but there are hundreds and thousands of people who are failing miserably. There are only few people that are succeeding like Elan Musk, Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates who went from zero to hero. Out of 7.2 billion population on our planet it is really small amount of people. And you may won’t be as much as rich or successful like them. Do you need all that money and fame to be happy?
While we all can’t be lucky as Donald Trump who obviously had a hard time as he is saying in an interview:
Don’t worry, here are top five myths that I will review about starting a
Myth #1 I prefer playing it safe and secure staying on job
Whereas this could be true in the middle of the 20th century when people used to work in a big factory and 40 years later leave the same job and retire, now the economic is growing and failing rapidly. The pension system is collapsing all over the world and the money which are now paid for retired people are not coming from their own contributions during their employee period. They are paid from the taxes which the government collects, including healthcare taxes, road taxes, etc.. If the number of the young working people (paying taxes) equals the number of elderly, everything will be fine. But the statistics are saying that the population is getting older. Especially in Europe. This is a recipe for trouble.
In every investment book they write, don’t lay all the eggs in the same basket. In the USA many of the employees are understanding this good enough and invest part of their money on the stock market, having a life insurance, saving a fair amount of money. Here in Eastern Europe, where I live, this is not the case. Most of the people I know rely solely on their salary as a primary income. As this being said a significant amount of their material wealth belongs to the banks – cars, flats, even furniture, TV’s, smartphones and cameras. If anything happens with their job, none of this possessions would remain to their owner. To avoid this situation, the best practices suggests to invest part of the money. You may not want to build a business but you can still have a portfolio of investments which are giving you good ROI (return on investments), including savings. As an employee one will feel safe and secure if the organization bankrupt.
Lets get back on the myths
Myth #2 I’m too old to start
Look at the picture bellow
Do you know how many times Harland Sanders (more famous as colonel Sanders, the old smiling guy from the KFC logo) tried before someone actually decide to try his unique chicken recipe? 1009 ! You see it correctly, one thousand nine times he was rejected on an age of 65 before he finally succeeds. Not convinced?
Charles Bukowski quit his full time job on 49 dedicating himself to full-time writing.
Myth #3 I’m too young to start
Many of the success stories are created exactly by a young people, who found a way to bend the existing market and build their product or service so well, that everyone in their target want it. If you are an employee, you would need to develop marketing, sales or programming skills. Where as you can always co-found a business and hire some most of the positions – the above mentioned tree are vital part of the company’s success and as the Founder’s dilemma book says – you will have to be an expert in at least one of these areas and ideally found a co-founder in the others.
Ben Sibermann. Do you know him? No? He is the founder of Pinterest. How old is he?
He was 29 when he found the company. And before saying the Pinterest value now I need to review what led Ben to this massive success. He has been a Google employee and he left the company. Then he had few false startups. In 2012 Pinterest was valued for 1.5 billion US dollars. In 2015 after new 367 million founding from an existing investors the company’s value is 11 billion dollars.
We can speak also for Kevin Systrom who found Instagram at age 27, Drew Houston from DropBox on age 29, Brian Chesky 29 AirBnB. You may say, but I’m only 18, or 20 years old, they were some 7-9 years ahead when they found. The important thing to remember here is that this was far not the first or the second startup that these guys had. They have been trying year after year ago, before you (and I) can hear of them. So no, don’t wait until you are 25 or 27 to start. Start now, you will be impressed how as much as you know the more you want to know, and the more questions you will have.
Myth #4 I don’t have money to start
Well, too baaaad, as one of my friends would say. As mentioned above, we can’t be all born rich, but we all can get rich. There are different methods that you can fund your idea. You can borrow money from family, friends or the bank. Be careful with this method. Having money while starting a new business from scratch is as bad as not having money. You have to adopt the broke man mentality when doing business. More on this on another article.
What I really like about our time is, that you can have almost zero investment in your idea and still validate if someone would buy. You can use bootstrapping, were you are finding the place, the goods and anything needed without paying just to see if the clients are going to buy it.
Another good method is the Lean Startup – where you are making micro iterations and test hypothesis if they work. It is scientific approach to a problem, where are having a pre-defined success and failure value. So you can tell in few hours or days if an idea works or not.
I met a great woman in San Francisco, who told me how she does startups. She starts a job, works there for a year and during that time she saved money for 6 months of living and funding her new venture. Then she quits her job and in 6 months her only priority is doing her business. If she fails, she finds another job. You can see if this is an option for you.
Most of the ideas are able to validate in between 0 and 150$. So are the money that really stops you?
Myth #5 I like the 9-to-5 routine
Having a routine is great. Actually 80% of our actions are habits. So I do understand that you need to get job done after work – taking your kids from school, get the housework done, go to the gym, meet friends, and so on. A common misconception of doing business is that you need to be available 24/7 in order to succeed. This is totally wrong. You are having working time, as the most people. After this you are not obligated to work. If you can’t stop or you are not able to do anything until 18:00 hrs and you were working 8 hours already today, then you need manage your time and focus better.
In the end of this article I would like to ask you – “What if you succeed?”. What if you are able to change the world for good? I bet you have something which you would like to help. For example the singer Akon brought electricity to 600 million people in Africa. This is how you can have massive impact all over the world and spread your cause.
Do you do business? How many times have you failed? Please share in the comments bellow!