5 Secrets for Starting a Successful Business

5SecretsBusiness

I spend a lot of time covering the deep psychology of how to find a job, but today, I wanted to do something a little bit different.  I wanted to share with you how you can start your OWN BUSINESS.

This has to be one of the most common questions I get.  From CFOs to entry-level employees, everyone dreams of the freedom of starting “the next big thing.”  We all want to do it, but so few ever do…and even fewer succeed, so I’m hear to give you a kick in the ass in the right direction.

Now, I don’t know whether you want to make enough money to quit your day job or just supplement your income so you finally can start investing money (or maybe even to start saving up for a dream vacation) but regardless of why you want to start a business, these tips can help.

So, let’s not waste any more time, let’s jump right in:

1. Your Ideas are Terrible

I thought I’d start things off on a positive note by telling you that if you have a business idea right now, it’s probably not good.  This is because we all tend to have too much invested in our own ideas.  In fact we have SO MUCH invested that we are incapable of properly vetting our ideas.

People will tell you to follow your passion, or to run with your idea.  Those people don’t have your best interest at heart and those are a surefire way to fail.

Think about it, many people have you ever humored when they tell you about their idea for a business or invention?  If you’re like me, the number is roughly everyone who has ever asked you.  And people are doing the same to you.  So if you’ve got an idea, ignore it…for now.

2. Steps 1-3: Find your Audience

Along the same lines as believing that all of our ideas are good, the biggest mistake most people make is believing that if they build it their customers will find them.

That’s just delusional.

There are TONS of people making amazing passion projects out there that no one ever buys from, we call them starving artists.  If you want to make money, on the other hand, you need people to buy your product.

Which is why before you start making a product, before you design a service, and before you even start figuring out what you might want to do, you should find an audience you have access to.

After that, find even more audiences to truly vet your idea.  You may end up finding an audience or idea you would have never thought of.

…oh and make sure they can pay for your product or service, while you’re at it.

3. Make it Hurt

The best businesses and products solve problems that hurt their audiences.  In fact, an old marketing professor of mine used to say, “The purpose of marketing is to create a mild state of depression in your audience, and offer your product as the only or best solution to relieve it.”

And no matter if you are making a candle-making business or a business coaching consultancy, your ONLY job is to alleviate your audience’s pain.

Once you have an audience, finding out what your product should be is as simple as asking them what their biggest pains are.

If you can’t define in clear terms what pain point you’re solving, go back to #1, because your idea is terrible.

4. Competition is a GOOD Thing

I think most of us get it in our heads somewhere around our teen years that if something is popular, it means it’s not useful.  That attitude follows most people into business too, where people assume that if lots of people are already offering the product, that they should do something that other businesses haven’t thought of yet.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

Competition actually confirms that there is a market for your business!  And the more competition, the larger the market.

If that wasn’t true, we wouldn’t have the seemingly infinite number of clothing companies, shoe companies, car companies, even banks!

So if you’re looking into a business that has lots of competition, keep going!

5. Move First, Aim Later

Too many people get what’s called “Analysis Paralysis.”  They spend their time trying to perfect an idea before putting it out to the market.

Really, you should use the market to tell you how to refine your offering, because remember: your ideas are terrible.  Your customers’ ideas on the other hand, are great!

So rather than perfecting something first, find a way to get it moving ASAP. (Even if it’s just a quick and dirty version of the idea) When I started doing what I’m doing now, I gave free speeches to test my ideas.  Using that feedback I built what is my current business.

And I didn’t stop there.  When I wanted to try my hand at making an online course, I didn’t want to waste thousands of dollars to make something that wouldn’t sell.  So I used the equipment I had on hand and created my course Authority Academy 10 Days!

And then AFTER that, I was able to go back and refine things.  But momentum is more important to a business than absolute direction, just look at how many major businesses have changed direction after many years in business.

There are many more secrets to starting a business, but if you follow these five you’ll be miles ahead of everyone else.

Share in the comments which of these will help you start your dream business the most.

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