The Strategy That Trumps Preparation When It Comes to Being a Successful Entrepreneur
Here's how you can make the most of your entrepreneurial opportunities.
Ready, fire, aim may seem like an oxymoron to some entrepreneurs. But it's a winning business formula.
We've been taught for what seems like forever that we must be calculated when creating a new business. We must look for a marketplace, and find a need. Then create a business that solves that need.
In my experience, there is a grave problem with that "tried and true" strategy, which is exacerbated by the current state of entrepreneurship. The fact is, anyone can become an entrepreneur. The education is out there. The mentors are out there. So are the examples to emulate. Most importantly, there are emerging funding sources beyond just the traditional banks.
What this current state of entrepreneurship means is that there is a plethora of competition for entrepreneurial opportunities. To delay means to miss opportunities. That is where aiming comes in.
The better approach is to see the idea, and then act on it. Trust your instincts. This is being reiterated with increasing frequency by people like Reid Hoffman, the founder of LinkedIn. In his words, "An entrepreneur is someone who will jump off a cliff and assemble an airplane on the way down."
Here are four steps you can take to successfully assemble that airplane.
Get a website up, at least a placeholder.
By this, I mean that at the very least have a single web page designed with your contact information. Better yet, create three or four secondary pages, including your bio, links to past news or accomplishments and the concept for your story or product. It makes you more credible and suggests you are in this for the long haul. It means you are serious.
Find a buyer.
You do not really have a business unless and when someone actually buys your product or service. Discount the product or service to attract someone, or prevail upon friends or family. Prospects are more comfortable when someone else has taken the first step. Finding a buyer is an important litmus test.
Let fires burn.
There will be problems. But don't be afraid of problems in a fledgling business. When there are multiple "fires," let some of them just burn. You can explain the "fires," noting that your business is responsive to the needs of customers.
Be willing to adjust on the fly.
Entrepreneurs rarely follow a straight line when building a business. They are constantly making adjustments. Embrace change — it is a vital ingredient for a perfect result. In technology circles, this is called the agile method, which is essentially adapting software products and solutions on the fly. It works for entrepreneurs, too.
As entrepreneurs, we need to constantly revisit the power of action and intention, as well as the resulting byproduct. More often than not, it is a successful business.
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