One of my biggest flaws is that I am an eternal optimist.
Even if all the evidence points to the opposite, I expect whatever I try will always work out.
It is a problem. Whenever I come up with a new idea I start daydreaming about how awesome it is going to be. Then I immediately start work on it, dropping whatever it was I am currently doing.
I don’t think it through properly and have countless times found myself committed to a project I didn’t really care about while neglecting my core businesses. It’s not that I get bored with the previous projects. It’s that reality hits. I realise how hard it is and assume my new idea will be better.
I’m starting to understand just how lucky I am to have this flaw.
Since starting this blog I have sat down with lots of old friends who wanted to get advice on their business ideas. We normally chat for a bit, both get really excited and then they head off to start the work.
I have heard ideas for blogs, YouTube channels, products, smartphone apps and restaurants. But do you know how many of those friends ever took them beyond the idea stage? Almost none (although I am holding out hope for one guy).
There are so many excuses. “There’s too much competition”, “it’s too complicated”, “I don’t know the legal requirements”, “I don’t know how to start a business”, I don’t have enough time”, “my aunt told me it was a stupid idea”. And the most common of all:
“I’m going to do it, but I just need to do some more research”.
There is a saying in Jiu-Jitsu that the most important belt is your white belt. The very first belt you get for turning up and starting on the journey. Just being willing to turn up on that first day already puts you ahead of 99% of the people out there.
The same is true for business. They say that 9/10 businesses fail. Well, that might be true, but 999,999 out of 1,000,000 businesses never even start.
I’m not saying that business is easy or that you’ll definitely succeed. But I am saying that the without trying, success is impossible.
Business is a learnable skill and the only way to master it is by doing. You will learn much more on the job and from necessity than you could possibly from any amount of research done from the outside.
Your first business might fail. In fact, it probably will. But that’s OK.
By failing you are already doing better than most people. And you are learning lessons, getting those skills, moving up the belts. After each business, you will be more and more likely to succeed with the next.
I dive into new projects too quickly. But most people don’t dive in at all. Starting a business is scary, complicated and very hard. But don’t overthink it. Just start and the rest will follow.
Short on ideas? Have a look at Amazon FBA, kindle self-publishing, starting a blog or matched betting. They’re all businesses I have personally started before and know can be done in your spare time with very little start-up capital.