The Art of Starting a Business

“Everyone should carefully observe which way his heart draws him, and then choose that way with all his strength.” – Hasidic Saying [Reference: Guy Kawasaki’s “The Art of...

“Everyone should carefully observe which way his heart draws him, and then choose that way with all his strength.” – Hasidic Saying [Reference: Guy Kawasaki’s “The Art of the Start”]

Everyone has at least one idea that could be turned into a viable business. The idea sparks something inside of us and ignites this little frenzy of passion which is difficult for some to ignore. When we feel this spark start to smoulder in that passion part of our being, we do one of two things – we either act on it or we let the spark sizzle until it dies.

If you are the type of person who can’t ignore the spark, you might wonder, “What is my next step?” You could be met with some hesitation or fear – that is completely normal. However, to be truly successful and unstoppable, we must be able to turn our fear off. Throw caution to the wind and lead with our passion centers.

Igniting the Spark
After you’ve had your initial idea, it’s time to hit the Internet to check out your competition. See what it is they are doing, what their USP (unique selling point) is and how you can do things differently. However, one thing to keep in mind during this stage is to avoid the comparison trap. It’s easy for us to get caught up in comparing, analyzing and over-thinking – all of which is a detriment to our moving forward. It will keep you stuck.

Once you’ve checked out what else is out there and identified how you’re going to do it better, faster or with better storytelling, it’s time to develop a web presence. Keep it simple to start with. If you check out the Internet Archives, you’ll see that all websites had a very simplistic start. You don’t want to get caught up in ‘design drama’ as you’ll spend excess time and money on something that may not matter or, could change very quickly.

Lastly, use the speed of implementation to be first to market. If you let your idea linger or spend too much time on the design, construction or on your fear, someone else will beat you to market and will leave you wishing that you had just taken action.

Adding Fuel to the Fire
Once you’ve began the process of getting your idea in motion, you want to now soft launch to your trusted colleagues, peers and a small group of potential customers. Here, you want to really, really listen to what people are saying they need. Take in all initial feedback and tweak your offerings, your site, etc. to make it more appealing to your target market.

Be transparent through the process. A lot of technology based websites keep a development blog where they share with their customers the feedback they are receiving and how they intend to fix it. The customer then becomes a part of the experience and can see the inner workings of your company. You become more accessible and in showing your customers you care about their opinions, you become more likeable.

If your business idea isn’t met with rave reviews, it’s here that you have to make a decision. You either decide that the business idea needs to be tweaked and re-launched for review or you decide to quit. Quitting or dropping a business idea is not a failure. In fact, knowing when to quit and when to forge forward is a gift. It means that you are leading your business with passion but also without emotion. We want to love what we do but not go down in flames because of that love.

Discovering How to Make Fire
A long time ago, man discovered fire. He figured out the process as to how fire is best created and over time, we’ve perfected it. Keep in mind that all business ideas should go out to a test market before they are perfect. In fact, your business or your idea will never be perfect – no matter how hard you try. Instead of worrying about perfection, continuously improve the process.

A great way to launch any idea or business is to take your idea to a web presence (website, social media, etc.), tell stories to your target audience about what drives the idea, be transparent throughout the process, involve your tribe wherever you can and finish in launch and edit mode. Launch and edit allows you the space of knowing you don’t ever have to be perfect. You are going to be in a continuous, evolutionary process.

Ignite Your Own Passion
In closing, the only question you should be asking yourself is, “What am I waiting for?”

Contributor: Erin Blaskie


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