Terry Gold, Growth Entrepreneur in Residence at the Centre for Business Growth
1. A problem to solve
Most of us see problems every day and think, “someone should fix that”. Going from “someone should fix that” to “I’m going to fix that” is where you become an entrepreneur. It can be a small problem, like “You should be able to buy a good hotdog in this neighbourhood” or a really big problem, like “Everyone in the world should have access to clean water”. Pick your problem carefully. It has to be something other people really care about or you won’t have customers, and it has to be something you really care about or you won’t have the motivation you need to solve it.
2. A way to survive while working on the solution to the problem
How do you pay the bills while you get your company started? The best first step is to lower your standard of living. Can you live on half of what you are making today and save the difference so that you have money in the bank to live on, in the early days? If you start a window washing business, you might have money coming in this afternoon, but most businesses take time to get their first paying customer. Starting a business in your spare time can be done while holding down a job, but it’s so much harder. It might be easier to work two jobs now, and then focus everything on your new business after you’ve saved some cash. And don’t expect anyone to invest money in your business until you have invested a lot of time and effort yourself, to prove you have a great solution to your problem.
3. A will to keep going
It is hard to start a business, but you have to keep going when you are tired, broke or discouraged. The good news is, working in a job is hard too and most people keep getting up and going to work every day. So just use that will power to make yourself go to work every day on your own business!
Originally published in unisabusiness – October 2016