The Essential Ingredients to Startup Success

If you are just beginning your first business venture, no matter where you are in your life, here are my first steps to get you going.

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By Lewis Howes

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Even before ever starting my own business, I knew I wasn't going to make it working for someone else. Did you ever have that feeling?

Of course you did.

More than anything, I wanted the freedom to determine the parameters of my working life, and not to have it dictated from a "boss."

Whether you're an entrepreneur already or still getting there, nothing should stop you from going after your vision. It took a lot of work to figure out mine -- inspiring 100 million people to make a living doing what they love full time.

Related: When Building an Online Brand, Start With the Foundation

Rome wasn't built in a day. Take action every day, one thing at a time, and your efforts will soon pay off.

If you are just beginning your first business venture, no matter where you are in your life, here are my first steps to get you going.

Have passion for what you do.

It is always best to follow your bliss. You may not want to make a living out of your favorite hobby playing ukulele. But the thing you are going to invest a great deal of time and resources into should be something that you are passionate about.

I saw a video that is circulating on the web of Jim Cantore, a meteorologist who was reporting from the middle of a recent snowstorm. He is covered head to toe in outerwear and his glasses are completely iced over as a blizzard rages around him. In the midst of his report, a rare phenomenon occurs called "thundersnow." This middle-aged man is losing his mind when it happens, jumping up and down and screaming his head off. It goes on a few more times and his excitement is contagious. While watching the passion he exudes, it is impossible not to be drawn into his experience.

If you don't love it, don't do it.

Related: How to Connect With High-Profile Influencers

Know your mission and have a plan.

This is where some people get stuck because they don't feel qualified to write a business plan. It doesn't have to be perfect, and it can be simple. The most important thing is to get it on paper and have a plan to follow with your goals in mind.

Your mission is how you will serve. What problem are you solving? If your new business is a bakery, your mission might be to sell high-quality artisan bread that nurtures individuals and the community.

Be a salesperson first.

A lot of people get hung up on branding and making everything perfect before you launch. I say sell your product first, start generating interest and income, and then produce.

The main point being, don't wait for it to be perfect or it will never happen. With online opportunities such as crowdfunding campaigns, webinars and more, you can make sales and generate income immediately, propelling your business forward.

Be a brand builder.

The branding piece of your business is a process that happens over time. Once you start offering your product or service, you will have a better sense of what your business is becoming. The feedback you receive will tell how you differ from others doing similar things.

Your ideal customers and clients will become clearer to you. That will have an impact on your branding, as well as your experiences doing what you are passionate about.

You will learn many valuable lessons while creating your business. Be authentic, have integrity, and be willing to make mistakes and learn from them. The journey is the best part.

Lewis Howes

New York Times Bestselling Author, Entrepreneur, Coach

Lewis Howes is a New York Times bestselling author of The School of Greatness and The Mask of Masculinity. He is a lifestyle entrepreneur, high performance business coach and keynote speaker. A former professional football player and two-sport All-American, he is a current USA Men’s National Handball Team athlete. He hosts a top 100 iTunes ranked Apple podcast, The School of Greatness. Howes was recognized by the White House and President Obama as one of the top 100 entrepreneurs in the country under 30. Details magazine called him one of “5 Internet Guru’s that can Make You Rich.”  Howes has been featured on Ellen, Good Morning America, The Today Show, The New York Times, People, ESPN, Sports Illustrated, Men’s Health and other major media outlets.

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