Biggest Misconception About How to Start Up a Business

There is a huge misconception out how you start up a business. I’m going to unveil it right now. The misconception is this:

“If I’m going to start up a business, I have to quit my job, invest my life savings, take a second mortgage on my house and ‘hope like hell’ that it works.”

If that’s true, it’s no wonder our economy is suffering and there are so many people working in full-time jobs that they don’t like and aren’t fulfilling them.

But it is absolutely not true. Today is different. This is how you start a business in 2012:

  1. Build a passionate and engaged following of people around your expertise.
  2. Ask them what they need help with.
  3. Sell it to them.

I believe so strongly in that principle that I built a company around it.

I love to run and the other day, I was running through an industrial area near my house in St. Louis, Missouri. The area I was running in is very industrial and most of the large warehouses and buildings were built around the turn of the century. I love running around there because I find the history and architecture to be so wonderful and inspirational. It always makes me think about what it must have been like to build a business in 1895. Did they Google, “how to start a baby carriage factory?”

I am, however, certain they did research before starting their companies. They probably asked other business people what they wanted and needed. They probably asked local people what products and services they had to travel the farthest for. They probably did this by polling people on the street, asking them at church, or maybe worked with owners of similar or complimentary businesses to get access to their customers. Maybe they asked people who purchased certain products what they felt could be improved about them and set out to improve them. Who knows? But I’m sure they did some research about what products or services were needed in the area.

Back in that day, in St. Louis, and most major industrial areas, you didn’t travel far for your groceries, hardware, ice cream, or to get your shoes fixed. You did it in your neighborhood. So, if you are researching what business to open in a neighborhood, you simply started the business that was desired there.

Now, it’s 2012. Geographic barriers are gone. You now have the ability to create a community of people around your knowledge and expertise. Give them lots of great information and value and they will keep coming back for more. Then, all you have to do is ask them what they want. They will tell you. Then, you create it and sell it to them.

That’s actually quite the opposite of the myth! And furthermore, it’s not really a new concept. Successful businesses have been born out of people communicating their desires and businesses stepping up to fill the need for years. You can do the same.

So, I think we can put that old myth about dumping your life savings into a business to rest, cool?

Image Credit: Photo by Mohammad Rezaie on Unsplash

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