Your Story Is Your Vehicle Home
Picking the type of business that you want to start is very much like picking your next car. You have to ask yourself similar questions such as "What can I afford?", "Where do I intend on taking it?", "Do I want to be best-prepared for bad weather?", and "How long do I want to have this a part of my life?".
Many people will begin their life as an entrepreneur in the wrong vehicle. I did, that's for sure. Like most, I had no idea where I wanted to go. And it's pretty tough to prepare for the journey if you don't know what lays ahead.
My goal was to make $30K in my first year of my first business. That's all I knew. The problem with that fantasy was my inexperience in the business world. I had no clue how to set realistic goals, no idea how to set price points, no lead generation strategy, no belief in SEO, no idea how to manage people, no understanding of attorney fees, no clue about insurance, taxes were a complete mystery, no accountant, no cushion of money to fall back on if things went wrong (and they did), no sales, no finished product, no connections, and most importantly; no one to ask who has done it before.
We began a software business to track customer shopping habits for small businesses. The only downside was we had no idea what we were doing.
There we were, making every mistake in the book. We gave away free promotional items that were quite expensive. We gave away our product for free, HOPING that they will see the value and offer us money later on for it. Also, our product was offered for an incredibly low price, making it extremely difficult for our inflows to exceed our outflows. We spent months developing a softare program without having concrete evidence there was a demand for such a product. We tried to be too clever with the name and taglines, which confused everyone. We had poor communication with the market and any changes would cost a significant amount of money.
The vehicle that we created was sluggish and it always needed maintenance. It required many people for it to operate. And it burned through fuel (MONEY) with very little effort.
It took me a few years to realize I was in the wrong vehicle. I was meant for something else and eventually I found it. Overtime, I began to understand my strengths and weaknesses on a whole new level. I realized who I was and who I wanted to become.
I fought like hell to get speaking gigs, build my contacts, get noticed, and be taken seriously. It wasn't until I wrote a bestelling book that all of that started to happen.
My message is this:
Your choices become easier as you discover more and more about yourself.
If you know where you're going, the perfect vehicle isn't too hard to find.
In the end, your startup needs to be light on its feet, extremely maneuverable, more simple than I'm sure you will ever want, and it has to be an extension of who you are inside. That last piece is crucial!
Remember, the more bells and whistles, the more easily something will breakdown. In addition, if you experience early success and reinvest the profits into building a more expensive vehicle, it could turn out to be a major liability if demand for your product decreases suddenly. These are all things that we learned the hard way.
It's our mission to keep the dreamers, the visionaries, and the entrepreneurs safely on the road during the hardest days of their life. Someday, all of your doubters will want a ride. Contact us if you want to turn your story... into your vehicle.
Mike Fallat helps entrepreneurs write and publish bestselling books. Then, teaches them how to use it as the ultimate marketing tool.