This is the second article of the “How to build a business in part-time” series.
When you are planning a new business, what comes to mind when you’re initially evaluating the potential of your project?
Isn’t it the idea?
Don’t we all tend to think that the market opportunity relies on a perfect and extremelly innovative idea?
But why are we always so concerned about the business idea like it is all that matters in order to create a successful business?
Could the idea, by any chance, be a simple excuse to hold down a bit more than business project?
When you think about it, it’s impressive how many people struggle to start their own business because they are waiting for that perfect idea to fall from the sky. There’s this curious common notion that to be successful in busines, all you need is a great idea.
Well, allow me to share my brutally honest opinion: having an amazing idea means absolutely nothing about the potential for the business to be a success.
- First of all, because it goes a long way between having an idea and, in fact, executing it. I understand this might seem trivial to you, but it’s a relevant fact worth mentioning: most brilliant ideas never get out of the paper, as starting a business is infinitely more challenging that designing an idea in a sheet.
- Secondly, any entrepreneur comes to understand that even the best idea will face numerous obstacles from the get-go of the project; issues that you weren’t expecting will arise and will most likely change your perception about the idea that seemed so perfect some days ago.
- Lastly, if you’re doing the right thing during your project development, there’s a high chance you will be pivoting your business idea like 20 times before you actually launch the company.
You see, I agree that having a powerful business idea is important, as it is a fundamental mechanism of motivation to start a business. But it is definitely not the most relevant issue when it comes to creating a business.
Therefore, we will now address the true critical factors we should be always considering when evaluating a business potential.
It all starts with the following idea:
To be successful in business, first you must be in business.
The three fundamentals for success in business
There are at least 3 issues that are undoubtedly more relevant than finding the perfect business idea. The subjects we will be discussing below are the key points that must be present in every founder’s mindset, in order for an idea to become a huge success.
As you probably know by now, when the human beings disappear from the planet earth, the cockroaches will still be around. Why does this happen?
Well, because they have way more flexibility to adapt to circumstances, even though I would say – in our defense – that human beings aren’t that bad either.
Being capable of adjusting your idea and way of thinking to the outputs you’ll be receiving from the reality is one of the most important keys to success. When you start a business project, all your concept is based upon several assumptions. You should, first of all, test those assumptions as fast as possible in order to verify if what you’re thinking receives the correct output from your target market.
As soon as you understand that what you were assuming is not aligned with the reality, you must pivot your idea and create new assumptions. You see, these are like hypotheses. You start with a list of hypotheses that you will test in the market, and if the feedback you receive is not the one you expected, the right mindset will force you to pivot the idea.
The entire business creation process is full of learning opportunities. Wait, let me re-phrase: your entire life is full of learning opportunities. But as you already know, not everyone is capable of learning from the other’s perspective or experience.
Some of us are so stubborn that we will be completely blind to any type of advice, in order to preserve what we think is the best business idea and, many times, as a way to defend our ego.
Somehow we might be afraid of being wrong and I get that, nobody likes being wrong and, especially, having to re-start a business project when you’ve already done so much.
My humble advice to anyone is: build up self-confidence and understand that having someone advising you to go in the opposite direction might be a blessing as it allows you to think about what you’re doing and adjust along the way. It is not an offense to your way of thinking or original idea, there’s no point in getting emotional.
I would say that having the humility to keep finding opportunities to learn is one of the most important attributes in life that will not only be useful when creating a business but is also a tool of tremendous value in every other area of your life.
There is nothing as important as having rock solid determination. Determination is the single and most important ingredient for any entrepreneur.
Along your business creation and also when you are already running the company, there will be unlimited challenges to solve. You will also find that, very often, the challenges you will face of high complexity and risk to your overall business. We might be talking about issues like “If I don’t put this machine to work right now so I can sell on this event, I won’t be able to pay salaries this month”. Stuff that goes way beyond your comfort zone will appear along the way.
Likewise, you will find uncountable reasons to give up. It will always be so much easier to give up and get a job, trust me. Every single day you will face some kind of issue which, if not handled properly, can lead to critical injuries on your business and after several months or years with these type of issues, it might get tiresome.
Being an entrepreneur won’t be easy, but if you have the right determination and self-confidence in your capabilities, be sure that no matter how many times you fall, you will always have the energy and perseverance to get back up on your feet.
Now that we’ve discussed what really matters to build up the right mindset and that ideas are not as important as our entire society makes us believe, I’d like to wrap up by recommending this amazing video I’ve watched couple years ago.
It is an Angela Lee Duckworth’s TED Talk on “The key to success? Grit”. Angela Lee Duckworth took a job teaching math to seventh graders in a New York public school and she quickly realized that IQ wasn’t the only thing separating the successful students from those who struggled.
Here, she explains her theory of “grit” as a predictor of success.
Some days ago I’ve seen one interesting comparison. Ramit Sethi, a great reference to me, presented several distinctions between the wantrepreneurs and the real entrepreneurs.
One of these distinctions was that wantrepreneurs would wait forever for the perfect business idea, whilst the true entrepreneurs would just get started and would adjust along the way, with steady and unbeatable determination.
This is food for thought.
No doubt, no one is perfect, it isn’t true that there is a clear distinction between wantrepreneurs and entrepreneurs. Many times people use simple examples just to make a point, but real life tends to be way more blended.
We are all human beings, some days we are entrepreneurs, some days we are wantrepreneurs, it is the average of our options that will decide where we stand.
Never forget about this.
As it seems, real life success comes from doing NOW the things other guys will delay forever.
Enter Angela Lee Duckworth.
Thanks for reading guys, this was the second article of my “How to build a business in part-time” series and I will be launching a new chapter every week. This series’ purpose is to provide you with a structured, complete and friendly guide on how you can build your part-time business to a tremendous success, so later on you can dedicate yourself to your dream company.
Feel free to let me know which topics would you like me to address, I’m glad to reply specifically to your question.
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