September 25, 2015
You want to start a venture, business or startup? Great – we’ve all dreamed of being our own bosses at some point, but where on earth do you start? I’ve been through this myself and wrote about my own success in my previous tech.co article “6 years of failure”. But how do you find your starting point?
Opportunity is everywhere
Literally everywhere – You just have to be willing to open your eyes and see where it takes you. For every single problem out there, there is a niche and a host of solutions you can generate. With the internet now reaching billions of people worldwide, every niche, no matter how small has the potential to be profitable and it always starts with small beginnings, usually in something you wouldn’t expect.
Warren Buffett, one of the most successful billionaire investors in the world started his journey as a child with a single pinball machine. He saw opportunity where others couldn’t and by placing a single pinball machine in a barber’s shop, he eventually made enough money to buy a 90 acre farm by the age of 14. Ask yourself what problem can you solve that no one else is trying to? Buffett saw people were idly sitting with little to do while waiting for their haircut and weren’t averse to spending money to cure the boredom. You don’t always have to reinvent the wheel either, simply improve and refine it.
Be passionate about your niche
Almost all successful entrepreneurs that I know start with small ventures that they are passionate about, not where they think the money is; profit comes as a side-effect of delivering something you truly love to do. If you know nothing about golfing but you decide to open a golfing range merely because it looks profitable; you will almost certainly fail. I started and failed at various ventures because the underlying problem was I did not have the passion to deliver something above what everyone else was doing. The first sign of trouble in such ventures almost always leaves you doubtful and demotivated and ready to throw in the towel. Picking something you’re passionate about gives you the drive to break through such barriers and overcome them.
My own success came in delivering resources to schools and students across the country because I was passionate about this subject and I had done so well in it. As one small successful niche grows you then diversify which should be the number one aim of any successful entrepreneur. Looking at Google, Microsoft, Samsung or even Apple; the biggest tech brands out there started in one niche and then diversified to numerous others once a strong foundation had been built. Google are moving into literally everything, Apple moved from computers to phones, music and tablets. I moved from the small niche of gcse psychology revision resources (school grade) to A level psychology revision resources (college grade). This worked because I was not only passionate but knowledgeable in these areas; Which brings me to my next point..
Pick something you know inside-out
Passion is great but you need knowledge alongside with that. I’m a techie myself and love my gadgets, I suppose you could say I’m quite passionate about them but in terms of being knowledgeable I would say I am average at best. This is the reason why my first venture into starting a tech blog failed. I didn’t know any more than your average person out there and I couldn’t offer anything else others weren’t already doing. Pick a subject you have extensive knowledge on, far above the average majority and if you’re passionate about it, you can begin to offer something of value that everyone else is unable to. For every successful startup or venture, people pick something they have more knowledge in than most the people around them and this is what you need to ask yourself; what do I know more about than anyone else? What am I good at?.
Sit down and brainstorm all your areas of knowledge and this will provide you with a list of things you can try your hand at.
Never be afraid to fail
Do not worry if you fail; failure is one of the most important steps to success – it strengthens you and weeds out all the people without the tenacity to keep going.
You will fail, in fact I’m not sorry to say you’re likely going to fail a lot. My best advice regarding failure (as someone who has failed a lot before succeeding) is never bet what you are not prepared to lose. Do not go all in with any venture, leave enough behind that you can keep going and try again – start small and grow.
As Thomas Edison once said regarding failure:
“I haven’t failed, I’ve merely found 10,000 ways that won’t work”
You only need to find one single way that will.
Image Credit: Pexels.com
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