You don’t need me to tell you that one of the world’s most common gripes is “I hate my job”. “If only I were the boss, I could do a way better job!” say basically all of my friends stuck in the icy grip of a mediocre-paying corporate job. “You know, give it 2 years, and I’ll go start my own company. It’s my passion: I’ll get to do what I want all day long, get to work less, and be a manager!”
On the outside, I smile. On the inside, I roll my eyes.
I am acutely aware that my well-intentioned friends have absolutely no clue what they are talking about.
And given that their reasons for wanting to have their own business are along the lines of above, they would probably be doomed for failure if they did try to start.
You probably shouldn’t bother trying to start your own business.
With a slight flare of anger, you ask: “How could you say that RC? Are you just afraid of risk, you weakling! Don’t try to poison others’ confidence, you wastrel!”
Actually, I’ve started multiple companies, and though they’re all still in development, everything’s going great. It’s one of the most rewarding—and most scary—undertakings in my life. I wouldn’t trade it for the world.
And it’s because I’ve done this myself that I can say authoritatively: you probably should not try to start your own business.
The #1 Secret of Entrepreneurship: There Are No Secrets
When you think of starting your own business, do you worry that “only the lucky are successful”? Or “you need to have a great idea at the beginning in order to be successful”? That you “need to learn to program” or that you should “follow your passion and the money will follow”?
If you think any of these things, I guarantee you that you haven’t actually done anything at all to learn about entrepreneurship and starting your own business.
Because if you had, you’d know that success in business is formulaic; a function of setting and following an oft-tried and essentially-proven system for success. That formula, repeated over the long-term, delivers results.
For example, consider my blog (which I consider a business), and this article here on Famous Bloggers. Writing contributing posts for others’ blogs (like mine for Famous Bloggers) is a tried-and-proven way to drive traffic to your own blog.
Increasing your site visits is formulaic. I know if I write 5 guest posts per month, I will get about 500 new visitors, and 30 new subscribers. Then, you rinse and repeat. Following the system is a guaranteed way to build blog followers and subscribers.
I didn’t come up with this on my own.
I went and I read about it from the other successful bloggers who have written and given countless interviews on this topic.
But how many people would have taken the ~200+ hours I did before starting the blog to prepare, learn the system, and execute in a pre-defined manner? How many people would actually write 5-10 guest posts per month?
Very few people, that’s who (including me a year ago, with my old blog that completely failed after hundreds of hours of work…what a waste of time). The average Joe’s going to get wrapped up in over-romanticized thoughts about “passive income” and “writing about their passion”…thinking about sitting in a hammock in Rocky Point, tanning and writing 2 hours per day as the dough flows in. They’ll think their blog is already “awesome”, and that guest posts are “beneath them”.
Success in business isn’t about being fed up with your boss, wanting passive income, quitting the 9-5, following your passion…or any other overly-emotional, substance-lacking reason. If any of those are your sole motivating factor for starting a business, you should seriously reconsider.
Business is about learning the skillset of developing a repeatable, formulaic system for creating revenue.
And that goes back to the original question “why?” If you’re not willing to pursue best-practices by planning and system-creation, and your main driving factor is emotion, you’d likely fail anyway (like I did with my first blog). So if your approach is wrong from the get-go, why bother trying?
Success in business means hundreds of hours learning, planning, and setting goals, all before even spending 1 hour trying to sell a product.
Luckily for you, though, you’re not reinventing the wheel. Learn from those who have done it before, and success is much more likely.
Success in starting your own business is entirely possible. I know hundreds of people who have. But it’s the realists and the pragmatists who succeed…those who follow a system and stick with it through tough times, and those who aren’t driven by superfluous emotions that win in the end.
So I ask you: why do you want to start a business?
Think long and hard, ensure you know what you’re getting yourself into before you try, and have a system. There’s so many resources available to help you (my blog, and the writings of far more well-known writers and entrepreneurs to boot). Make a smart decision with your time and money, and you can be successful.
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