There are some really great ways to destroy your business. One is sitting around waiting for an idea to hit. Another is looking for the funding to build a prototype. Finally, there is the desire to be perfect, which prevents you from actually doing anything. In the meantime, someone out there has something similar to you and, while you were waiting for all your ducks to line up, they hit the shelves and are five steps in front of you.
All these problems can be eradicated and you can build your business completely pain-free if you are willing to make a mess. Just roll up your sleeves and make as many mistakes as fast as you possibly can.
The idea here is to launch your business without a product or service. You have a great idea, go with that. Work backwards.
Make a sales mess
This has been a successful strategy for many entrepreneurs who achieve six figure earnings, work locally and love what they do. They started out with a wish or a concept and got pre orders and sales before their product had even been created.
It worked for Lily, a drone that sold 5000 units without being built, the Tesla that sold 400,000 cars after it’s prototype unveiling, the iPhone that sells 4 billion before people have even seen it!
Have you ever noticed that the only time ducks actually line up in a row is when they are moving?
I call it, making a mess. You say you are going to do something spectacular (or that you have already done something spectacular) people want your spectacular thing, so you do it. It’s the ultimate form of accountability. The bigger your following, the more pressure is on you to make good on your promise.
And no, it’s not going to be perfect. It’s the fastest way to learn and when you are a budding entrepreneur, it’s the best time to get your hands dirty. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Even better, the knowledge you gain in your first business launch will power you to greater successes smoothly and rapidly when your next business idea is ready to be unleashed on the world.
You can have the perfect strategy but if you don’t execute it, it’s worthless
The most important thing to remember, and the thing that cripples so many bright, talented entrepreneurs is, it doesn’t have to be perfect. Actually, it can’t be perfect. You’d be the first person in history to launch something perfectly if you were able to pull it off. If you do things perfectly there is no room for growth or discovery.
Wanting to cover all the bases and tick all the boxes causes your business to slow down. It loses momentum, traction, and usually comes off the rails. You have to move swiftly. Strike while the iron is hot is definitely a saying that works for start-up entrepreneurs. You want to stay ahead of your idea, that means there is no room for hesitation.
Hesitation equals pain.
To launch your business backwards you begin by gaining a loyal following, generating an interest, tailoring your idea to you loyal followers, then making that into a product.
It’s a much more efficient way of working for people who are perfectionists or like to do anything else but put their effort and energy behind their new project.
A lot of people get business stage fright, and yes, developing your own models and going out on your own is a risk, but you can’t let your nerves get the better of you. If you stop and think about all the things that can go wrong, starting out as an entrepreneur can seem impossible, so don’t think, just do.
Working backwards forces you to work in the moment. You can only focus on what you have, instead of dwelling in the past or the future and all the things you don’t have.
It forces people to move along and take the next step because you have motivation of the people behind you, their encouragement and also their need to have their product delivered. You will be scrambling to get it done in time, but otherwise it never would have been done at all! In that scramble you forget all the ‘shoulds’ and ‘musts’ that tie so many people up and you generate something completely authentic.
Clarity comes on the journey
I know what you are going through, I’m not trying to trivialise your journey. Starting out as an entrepreneur is hard, there are so many skills other people have that you do not, there are resources you cannot afford, and you are lacking experience. What I want to remind you is that hasn’t stopped thousands before you.
Yes, there are things you don’t have, but there are just as many you do. In a start-up there is no such thing as critical blocks, you are small enough and nimble enough to dodge around obstacles. Being successful doesn’t mean having everything at your fingertips, just keep moving, have the commitment and the focus to see your plan through and you are there.
Can you imagine what current computers would look like if Steve Jobs and Bill Gates didn’t go crazy with them? They took a big, difficult and expensive machine that was almost impossible to use and created an art form. No money, no experience, they just pressed forward.
I guarantee they didn’t stop to consider all the boundaries and all the obstacles. They used what they did have and built companies that literally changed the world, on nothing. Their plunge into the business world was sloppy, sometimes counterproductive and even amateur. That sounds ridiculous but they were amateurs, they had no formal business training and no idea what they were doing. None of that matters. They got computers to the public, rapidly. They became the world’s biggest entrepreneurs to watch and the biggest moneymakers imaginable. Who cares if it wasn’t by the book, they made a mess, it got cleaned up and everybody profited.
Disrupt the status quo
What they had was passion and desire, to a fault maybe, but it drove each of them to incredible heights. In true Troublemaker style, Bill Gates, who was obsessed with computers, called a computer company that had just launched a new machine, and told them that he had written a programming language they would be able to use (which was bull). He asked them if they wanted to buy it. Of course they said they wanted to see it, they were super excited…and a mess was born.
Then came the scramble, using the computers at his university (Harvard) he wrote code until he fell asleep on the keyboard, when he woke up, he would keep going. It was crazy, but he pulled it off.
It would take years, almost a decade, for Bill Gates to perfect his work, in the meantime, he made mistakes, learned the ropes and developed street smarts that would make him the world’s youngest billionaire.
On a completely different tangent, Steve Jobs was fascinated by Eastern spiritualism and had a burning desire to travel to India. He had no way to get there but he knew he wanted to study Eastern culture. In order to finance this dream, he earned money designing video games for Atari. Those two things have nothing in common, at all, yet he was able to leverage one to get to the other. Anyone can do that, it just takes total commitment and focus.
Later the first colour graphics personal computer, the Apple II, earned $3 million in its first year and $200 million in the third year. People know about the Apple II, but they don’t think much about how there must have been a I. Of course II follows I and there was a first Apple that was created on nothing but mistakes, learning and practice. We all need to learn to look at our Apple I, instead of aiming for Notebook Air.
Commitment is the key
All you need is to really anchor to who you are. What makes you tick! Then get completely committed to where you want to go.
Take that one awesome idea that means a lot to you. Locate other people who feel like you do, pitch your idea at them as a product (that you don’t have) and watch their reaction. Highly excited people means your project is a go. Scramble, put it together, get feedback, get down payments and launch.
Keep you loyal followers happy with information, let them know where you are at, provide blogs and videos, webinars and gifts as you discover new things and grow, share with them.
If I made that sound easy, it’s probably because it is. It’s risky and choppy and messy but it’s easy and with the right way of looking at it, so much fun!
Happy mess making.