A lot of entrepreneurs don’t ask the right questions. There is a difference between success and failure in a new venture. Before launching my first successful company, I failed 3 times. I will show you what I have learned so you don’t make the same mistakes I did. I hope that by sharing my experience, I can help you succeed.
Also, as Millennial Money has grown, I have been getting more and more emails each week from readers who want to start an online business, launch a consulting business, or start some other type of company.
I wanted to share some of the advice I have been giving to people who want to become entrepreneurs. Anyone considering starting a business should speak to as many people who have experience in the industry they are interested in.
What I’ve learned as an Entrepreneur
It has never been easier. With the right tools, you can take your business to the next level.
For less than $20 you can launch a blog. You can create an limited liability company for $199. Many entrepreneurs form an limited liability company to protect their personal assets while starting their business.
We all watched Shark Tank. If you’re looking for inspiration and ideas on how to build a successful business, it’s a great show to watch. Everyone thinks they can launch an app, a clothing company, or an online store. A successful business requires a lot of hard work and dedication. Some can. Many will not be successful. Failure is a part of the process and should not be seen as a negative outcome.
It’s a lot harder than you think. It takes a lot of dedication, ingenuity, and risk-taking to become an entrepreneur. Like a lot harder.
Like probably the hardest thing you’ve ever worked for and (then even) harder.
Even though it is easy to start a company, it is hard to execute on an idea, keep up with the pace of innovation, and gain market share. Businesses that stay ahead of the competition must have sound strategies in place.
Before I had a successful company, I failed 3 times. I made enough money from the company that I could take a salary, live off the income, and invest for the future. I was proud of the success I achieved with the company, and the satisfaction of knowing I had built something from the ground up was immense.
I will not sugar-coat it. This isn’t going to be easy. People aren’t cut out to be entrepreneurs. If you’re willing to take risks, work hard and have a bit of luck, you could be one of the few who is ready to start a business.
9 Steps: How to be an Entrepreneur
I think you should know if you want to be an entrepreneur or if you want to be. I hope these ideas give you a better chance. Here is what I have learned. I’m thankful for the lessons I’ve learned.
1. It’s not just the idea, it’s the execution
There are ideas for a dime a dozen. Implementing those ideas effectively is what makes the difference. There are good ideas everywhere. You have to be willing to look for them. I had the idea for Uber a full 4 years before the company launched, but why didn’t Is it possible that I become a billionaire? If you can’t execute on ideas, they don’t mean anything. It’s important to take action on your ideas in order to make them a reality.
Making money is all about execution. As you walk through this chapter, think about what you can do with your time and skills. Pick a side hustle that you believe will be successful and rewarding if you take the time to consider your options.
It took me a long time to learn. I’m glad I tried to learn it. Before I had 3 successful companies, I had 3 failed ones. I kept pushing until I achieved success, even after all the failures. I had 3 really good ideas that I tried. I’m back to the drawing board because none of them were successful. Why did I fail? I failed the test despite working hard and trying my best. I failed to execute. I didn’t put in enough effort to ensure success. It was simple. It couldn’t have been easier because the solution was right in front of us. It is the same reason why so many startup fail. Even the most promising of ideas can be doomed to failure without proper planning and execution. The execution is what makes a successful entrepreneur. The journey to success can be long and winding, but with hard work and dedication the end result can be well worth it.
Many people have good ideas. The execution of those ideas makes a difference. At least 5 other people have the same idea. In order to stay ahead of the competition, it’s important to act quickly on your idea. When you come up with a really good idea, then come up with 10 more. These ideas can be used to create something completely different. Prepare to execute and dedicate everything you have to bring your idea to life. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, focus on the process, and trust yourself.
People fail to execute.
If you want to learn more here is the best book I’ve read on executing a strategy: Your Strategy Needs a Strategy: How to Choose and Execute the Right Approach
2. Find something you really love (like really really love to do)
Being a solopreneur is not a good thing. It can be one of the most rewarding experiences when you see the fruits of your labor. It really sucks. I can’t believe how bad the situation is. It will take a long time to get your products and services. off the ground.
You have to like it. It’s a way of life, so make the most of it. If you don’t really like it, you won’t stick with it and you won’t invest the “above and beyond” time that it takes for most companies to reach an inflection point. To reach your desired success, you need to find something that you enjoy doing and that you are passionate about.
The first app company I tried to launch was in a niche that I didn’t care about. I made a mistake when I underestimated the importance of having a passion for something. I failed to stick with it because I didn’t like going to clubs and eventually lost interest. I was excited to try something new, but it wasn’t what I expected.
It will show in your pitches, it will show in your product, and it will keep you burning midnight oil if you don’t love what you do.
3. Do you have the skills and resources to make it happen?
Before you start a business, you need to be realistic about the amount of time you have to dedicate to it, and also about whether or not you have the skills required to make money doing it. To determine if your business is worth pursuing, it is important to be honest with yourself and to consider the risks and rewards. How realistic is it that you will take the time to actually do it if you don’t have the skills?
Everyone has an idea for a new mobile app, but if you don’t have any experience coding, it’s going to take you a lot more time to get it off the ground. It is possible to learn how to code in your business, but it will take you a long time to make money. When it takes longer than expected to see results, make sure you set realistic expectations for yourself.
I recommend that you pick an idea that you can execute on quickly and that requires a manageable amount of resources. You should make sure that the idea you pick is in line with your objectives. You don’t want to spend a lot of money on an idea. If you don’t have the resources to back up your idea, it won’t be successful.
4. What is the market demand and competition for your idea?
If people don’t want what you have to sell or too many other people are selling it, then you won’t make any money. It’s important to remember that success in business isn’t just about having a great product or idea, it’s also about making sure there is enough demand for your product or service.
There are three ways to compete based on price, value, or both. It is important to ensure that your products or services are competitive in the market. If you want to be cheaper than your competitor, you have to offer more value, or if you want to be cheaper, you have to offer more value. It is possible to differentiate yourself from your competitors by offering unique products and services.
The higher the market demand for your service or product, the more money you can charge and the more money you can make. Market demand is determined by the number of people who want to buy something and the number of people who are selling it. The price of a product or service can be determined by the balance between demand and supply.
If you really want to make as much money as possible side hustling then you need to research the market demand for your service or product idea. The more you know about the market, the easier it will be for you to develop and sell your product or service. Staying up-to-date on industry trends can help you stay ahead of the curve, and it’s important to talk to existing customers and potential customers to learn about their needs.
Three easy ways to analyze the market demand for a service or product is to ask your potential customers what they want through in-person discussions or online surveys and analyze Google search volume data using Google Keyword Planner.
If there is no one else offering what you want to offer, then the reason is that no one is willing to buy it, or you have stumbled on a good side hustle idea and might have an early mover advantage. You can use this opportunity to create a unique product or service that will appeal to your target market. The more you know about your competitors, the easier it will be for you to market and sell your own services. It’s important to remember that competition can help drive innovation and growth in the market.
5. Come up with an actual business and marketing strategy
It is difficult to come up with a good marketing strategy. It’s important to take the time to make sure that your strategy is effective and efficient. You really need both, but most new entrepreneurs sacrifice one for the other. The first year is not a business strategy if you want to grow revenue 20%. Detailed plans to achieve your goals should be included in an effective business strategy. It’s not a marketing strategy to say you’re going to use social media. If you want to build them, research what goes into it. Take the time to compare the costs of building your own greenhouse or shed and buying a pre-made one, as this can help you decide which option is right for you.
A business strategy is a set of guiding principles that, when communicated and adopted in the organization, generate the desired pattern of decision making. A strategy is a plan of action that helps achieve goals. A strategy is therefore about how people throughout the organization should make decisions and allocate resources in order accomplish key objectives” from Michael Watkins in this Harvard Business Review article on de-mystifying strategy.
Michael Watkins also wrote a great book on how to come up with a great business strategy in your first 90 days that I highly recommend: The First 90 Days: Proven Strategies for Getting Up to Speed Faster and Smarter, Updated and Expanded
If you really want to blow your mind, here is the best book on strategy that I have ever read and one of my all time top 5 favorite books: Blue Ocean Strategy, Expanded Edition: How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make the Competition Irrelevant
6. Find your first customer
How do you get clients after you have a great business idea? One way to get started is to reach out to your network and tell them about your business idea. Depending on the type of product or service you are selling, the easiest way to sell into the same community is online or offline. Identifying potential customers who would be interested in what you have to offer and reaching out to them directly with your product or service is the key.
People who already know you are more likely to buy from you. Building relationships and credibility with potential customers will give you the best chance of success.
Sell your first client or product. It may be the key to success for your business if you try to create a strong relationship with your first client or customer. Don’t worry about selling to a lot of people. To attract customers naturally, focus on creating an outstanding product or service that speaks for itself. It is more likely that it will be difficult to sell your first few clients if you have more sales than you can handle. You need to have a plan in place to reach your target market in order to be successful.
Since you will want to grow your side hustle at a pace you can handle, this is normal and actually to your advantage. Expanding your side hustle can help you reach your financial goals sooner. One of the worst things a young business can do is oversell.
If you do it correctly, your first customers will be the most valuable customers you have ever had. Success will motivate you to reach even bigger goals once you have sold your first customer. Here’s why. If you sell slowly, you can increase the potential of your business by doing two essential things. You can gain valuable insights into the market and consumer behavior by selling slowly.
If you want your first clients to be happy, you should always over deliver for them, even if it takes a lot of extra time. Make sure they have an amazing experience with your product or service because they will be the best advocates for you. It will be easier to sell your product if you have a great reference. Future business opportunities can be opened up by a good reference.
7. Bootstrap as long as you can
Most companies take on venture capital too early. They need to build a sound business model and customer base before looking for outside investment. Money is getting tighter to raise for startups, but they still have tons of money available. More startups are struggling to make a mark as the competition to secure these investments is fierce. Don’t take it too quickly.
If you don’t take money soon, you will have to listen to VC’s who want to have a say in the big decisions you make. Taking money from a venture capitalist will come with certain expectations. You will go from being inspired to being under a microscope. Growth is an important part of this experience. Here are two great articles from Techcrunch worth reading if you are interested in getting investors for your company: Venture Capital is a Hell of a Drug and The Pitfalls of Venture Funding.
There are many free and cheap resources available to new entrepreneurs, as well as incubators and collaborative workspace where you can learn from other entrepreneurs. You can get your business off the ground with the help of these resources. Scale is not always a good reason to invest before you really have something you need money for. Bigger is not always better. A lot of companies fail because they try too hard. They can take on too many financial risks and not properly manage their resources.
Be as lean as possible. Eliminating unnecessary steps and focusing on what really matters for success is what this means. An incredible book on this topic, as well as getting to market quickly, and worth reading, if you have any interest at all in being an entrepreneur, is: The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses
8. Don’t invest ALL of your money into your start-up
I made this mistake when I launched my first company. Launching a company requires a lot of time, effort, and research. In the beginning of the app economy, I took all of my money and put it into an app idea. I hoped that the app would provide me with a steady income, as I was excited to see what kind of success I could have with it. I lost all of my money very quickly. I’m not sure what I was thinking when I gambled away. I had to move back home with my parents.
Before you go out on your own, you should save some money. When starting out on your own, having a financial safety net will give you peace of mind. It takes a lot of companies at least 6 months to start making money, so I recommend that entrepreneurs save at least 6 months of expenses. When there are cash flow issues, having a reserve of funds helps to prevent stress. Maybe you have been investing your emergency fund and can use some of the growth, but I strongly recommend against cashing out your 401k.
It’s important to keep as much money in your retirement accounts as possible. I am sad when I hear about entrepreneurs who lost their retirement savings. I’m inspired by the people who are able to bounce back from setbacks. You can keep your 401(k) and still be an entrepreneur. You can use your 401(k) account to invest in opportunities that align with your entrepreneurial goals. It is not worth the risk. It is wise to think twice before taking any risks.
9. You will burnout, but here’s how to avoid it
I had to learn this the hard way. I don’t want to experience that again. I burned out a few times. I had to take a few steps back in order to prevent it from happening again. You can’t work more than 80 hours a week. Take breaks and make sure you are taking care of yourself. You can’t do it easily after you’re 25. It can be hard to make the same decisions as when you were younger when life changes after you turn 25. When I was in my mid-20’s on my way to becoming a millennial millionaire I was absolutely crazy. I worked for many years. When I achieved success in my career, the hard work paid off. 7 days a week. I’m available to assist you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
It was all work. I would fall asleep on my laptop and wake up. It was unhealthy. It hurt my performance. I wish I had taken a deep breath before the test started. It is easy for me to see that I was inefficient and wasted a lot of time. It would have saved me a lot of effort if I had learned better productivity habits when I was younger.
Sleep more. Work out. Do Yoga. Just do it. Build better habits. Sleep is more important than anything else. Our bodies and minds can’t function at their best if we don’t have adequate sleep. When you sleep, you will think better. I had to learn this for a long time. I persevered through the challenging times and am glad I stuck with it. Working out is good for you. If you are working long hours, yoga keeps you chill. If you want to stay productive during long working hours, yoga is a great way to manage stress. There are 3 things that will give you an advantage. Making sure you are well-prepared for the task at hand is key to gaining an advantage, and these 3 things will help you do that – so don’t underestimate their value.
Only work during that time if you want to find your most efficient work time. Don’t allow yourself to stray from the plan by scheduling specific times for tasks that need to be completed. This is not the same for everyone. It is important to remember that everyone’s experience is unique. I work from 1 pm to 1 am. I usually take a break around 8 pm to relax. At 11 pm, I am writing this post. I wish I went to bed earlier so that I could have had more energy for this task. I can write a 2,000-word post at 11 pm, but not at 9 am. When there is less distraction, I find it easier to write in the late evening. My mother is like that. She always finds a way to make me feel better. There are sleep patterns. Most people need seven to nine hours of sleep each night to maintain good health, but some may need more or less depending on their genetic makeup. I am not a morning person. I need a lot of coffee to get through the day. I don’t work before 11 am unless I have to, but it’s not my best self. I like to have more time in the morning to get into a productive mindset.
If you want to learn how to be more efficient, you should learn about the 80/20 principle. It changed my life. I am eternally grateful for the experience that has changed my life for the better. I began to waste less time on the tasks that moved the needle. I was able to achieve more in less time because of this. Read the original book about it (before Tim Ferris popularized the idea): The 80/20 Principle: The Secret to Achieving More with Less
10. Figure out when it’s time to scale
If you want to make millions of dollars from an idea that started as a business idea, you should hire other people to do some of the work. The faster you can grow your business, the less you have to work.
If you have been able to consistently sell your service or product and have been making a profit for the past 6 months, you should consider scaling your business. Before scaling your business, it is important to understand the risks and rewards.
If the demand for your services is higher than you can meet on your own, or if the demand is consistent and you don’t want to do the work, then you should consider hiring other people to do the work. Extra help can be a great way to expand your business and take advantage of higher demand.
By hiring employees, you can focus on selling and running the business. This will help you to grow your business. It doesn’t mean you have to hire full-time employees, they could be part-time or contract employees. Some functions could beOutsourced to specialized companies.
Since you don’t want to hire too many people and not be able to make enough money to pay them, it’s better to start small. It is possible to learn the ins and outs of running a business while starting small. This is why the demand for your business to be consistent is so important. A successful business needs a steady stream of customers.
The better your team is at doing the work the more efficient they get, so you eventually charge your clients or customers more money, but your team is more efficient, so the time it takes to do the work goes down, resulting in an increased profit margin. This increased profit margin allows you to give your team the resources they need to become even more efficient. If you manage the business well, you can make a lot of money.
11. Always be monitoring, testing, and adapting
Markets and opportunities change quickly. Staying ahead of the curve is important in order to take advantage of the ever-evolving market. If you are just starting out, you need to move fast. Don’t worry about making mistakes, learn from them, and push forward; they can always be tackled later. You have to be responsive to market changes. Technology has increased the rate of change. We have been able to connect with people around the world in a matter of seconds thanks to this technology. It is hard for small companies to keep up. It can feel like an uphill battle if you don’t have the proper resources.
Companies that fail don’t adapt quickly enough. To understand how you really compete, you have to live very close to the market that you serve. It is important to take the time to understand the market dynamics because it requires a lot of research. I’ve seen many online businesses fail because of simple changes to the internet’s search engine, or because a bigger player simply copied their idea and took it to the rest of the world. Staying ahead of the curve with technology, as well as protecting your ideas, is important in order to ensure the success of your online business.
Great ideas will be copied quickly by other companies. Staying ahead of the competition is important. You have to try to capture market share as quickly as possible. Staying ahead of the competition, keeping up with industry trends, and developing a strategy that meets customer needs are some of the things you can do to do this.
A great book to read on the topic is: The End of Competitive Advantage: How to Keep Your Strategy Moving as Fast as Your Business
There are no excuses – as an entrepreneur you control your destiny
My life has changed because of being anentrepreneur. I never thought I’d be living a life full of creativity, challenge, and fulfillment. It has taught me a lot about the world and myself. I’m thankful for the experiences I’ve had and the knowledge I’ve gained. I am eternally grateful for my mentors and the chance to learn from their mistakes. I hope to pass on the lessons I’ve learned to others in need. I hope you have learned something from me. You can use this knowledge to make your own decisions.
If you’re not an entrepreneur don’t worry that doesn’t mean you can’t still maximize your value! We are not all driven to create. It is up to you to decide if it is worth the risk. The consequences of taking risks can outweigh the potential reward.
I wish you the best of luck in starting or growing your company. You will make a success of it with hard work and determination. It’s worth it.