“The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.” – Walt Disney
I’ve had many successes and failures along my path. There are so many poor, but popular, pieces of advice out there for starting your own business, and I’ve probably tried most of them.
Unless your business is already generating revenue, here are the top 10 most overrated things you need to do to start your own business. In other words, DON’T let any of these concerns stop you from starting your business now.
- A Business Plan – By far the worst question, I ever get asked is, “How do I write a business plan?” Spend your time on an Executive Summary not a business plan. An executive summary is much more dynamic, so you’ll get much more mileage out of this.
- Articles of Incorporation – You don’t need an LLC, S-Corp, 503(b), etc. You need revenue.
- Financing – You don’t need VC funding, angel funding or bank financing. If you’re cash poor, then get a 0% intro APR credit card. One thing I love about this method is that it will force you to make money fast so that you can payoff the credit card.
- A Tax ID – The only reason that you need a tax-ID is to pay taxes, hire employees or a checking account. Right now, you can open an Ally Bank checking account for free. If you actually end up having a business, then you can go open a business checking account.
- an MBA – When I entered my MBA class in 2008, I was shocked at the number of people who said that they thought they needed an MBA to start a business. The only way an MBA is relevant to business is so that you know how to optimize a business once your idea has actually become a business.
- Time – You’ll never have enough. The other day I had my car windshield fixed. I made small talk with this super-friendly–black, short, glasses-wearer, multi-job, mother, any number of excuses at her disposal if she wanted them–woman who repaired my windshield. I was amazed that she was a single mother of 4 kids; but then was even further floored to find out that she also has her own business on the side. If she can do it, anyone can do it. #respect #hustle #drive
- a Budget – Establish a budget over what you can afford to spend not what you think your costs will be because they will never be what you thought they were going to be and other expenses will always come up.
- Research – I wouldn’t spend more than hour researching whether to start your business because your research will come from the process. If you want a good start or are just obsessive compulsive about research, then make a Porter’s 5 Forces matrix and fill in the blanks. These are very popular amongst MBAs and academia.
- Quitting Your Job – Put this out of your mind. It’ll make you force things rather than focusing on your business. You’ll just know when you need to quit or are able to quit. Rule of thumb…if you have to think about it, then the answer is, “No.”
- Do Anything Requiring a Lawyer – In 99% of any situation as an entrepreneur you should always “shoot first and ask questions later.” You can do anything legal after you actually have cash flow coming in to pay for one. Nobody is going to want to sue you or come after you unless they can get money out of you. You have to have money to give money.
In summation, just start something that means something to you that can generate revenue. Stop worrying. Stop talking. Just start.