Here’s a little something I shared recently with a bold new entrepreneur. A few days earlier he had cleaned out his desk at a well-established corporate employer and decided to build a business on his own.
Good luck and congratulations! I’m taking the liberty of offering some advice I wish someone had shared with me when I was getting started:
- One Thing: Figure out the one thing you want to be really good at. Once you’re sure it’s a good opportunity, don’t look back. Don’t ever let yourself get distracted or tempted to expand past that one thing until you’ve absolutely nailed it.
- Define: Articulate that one thing in a way that you can share it with your organization, customers, and industry. Write a mission and values statement that is really unique to you and your one thing. It will help you make tough decisions over and over.
- Know Your Audience: Work really hard to understand and think like your audience (customer, competitor, vendor, employee, and even yourself). Do not ever think you are your audience. Separate yourself from those you are trying to convince, sell to, hire, or compete with.
- Communicate: Find a plan for how to pass information along within your organization quickly and efficiently. If you cannot make sure the information is shared with everyone who needs it, you are going to waste a lot of time and money.
- Ask: Ask a lot of questions. Talk to everyone you can. Every conversation brings another new idea or confirmation that an old one wasn’t crazy.
Have fun. You’re about to start the best job of your life.