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Bill Gross from IdeaLabs gave a very famous TED Talk a couple years ago about “timing” being the single biggest reason for a startup’s success or failure. If you think about yourself and your aspirations of becoming an entrepreneur, you have to think of yourself as a startup and what your timing looks like. Honestly, there is no right timing for anyone to become an entrepreneur. It could happen in your 20’s or in your 60’s. Even though I had ambitions of creating some kind of company in my 20’s, I became an entrepreneur at the age of 36. What helped me determine my timing?
Three things. I always had a significant passion for what I was doing, marketing and branding, so much so that I loved it and became an expert. Second, what I learned in marketing agencies early in my career was the business of marketing services, where it made money and where it lost money. The third thing I learned was cash flow, that a business would die without a steady flow of cash. Learning these three things, and becoming an expert at marketing, gave me the confidence that I could actually create and run a marketing company.
Here are seven insights that might help you on your entrepreneurship path and prepare you for the right time to jump into your opportunity.
The attitude of ABL. Always be looking has to be your mantra as it will fuel your curiosity and your drive to attend events, meet people, read voraciously, walk into new stores and try new food. If you have ambitions of being an entrepreneur than always be looking for ways to learn more about entrepreneurs and potential opportunities.
Building a strong network. Having a great network is a lot like getting insurance on a new car. You don’t know when you need it but you can’t get it after an accident. Your network is similar as the better you build a strong and diverse network the more likely an opportunity will find it’s way to your doorstep. I was introduced to my co-founders by someone in my network.
Becoming an expert. Being an expert in anything just gives you more confidence and extends opportunities to you. People like to be around experts, they will pay more for one and others will believe you are more credible. That could lead to speaking, training, and presentation opportunities where you might meet the person who could be your co-founder.
Minimize your risk. If you are good at what you do and know the basic business model of how a new venture could solve a problem, create value or make money, you have definitely reduced your risk. Also if you follow a “first mover” company into a new marketplace that is large, your risk will be greatly less. Lyft following Uber. Facebook following MySpace.
Financial stability. This does not mean anything more than being prepared for an entrepreneurial venture. Keep your costs low, don’t lease a BMW, buy a ten-year-old car for cash. Keep your rent low. Accumulate 3-5 months’ worth of cash that you could live on if you had to. Spend money on important things and not frivolous things. Try to get to a point where your current income covers your monthly expenses and you still have more than $1,000 left over each month. Put that away or invest it in a low cost market-tracking ETF.
Importance of co-founders. I knew early on that I was not going to create a company by myself. The reason is the accelerated power of a team is greater than any one individual or even the sum of the individuals. For me, a fast pace in my own life kind of dictated a fast pace to any company we would create (in fact, we exploded to $1 billion in revenue in just five years). We would also minimize our company’s risk in case any one of us got sick or had any other issues arise. The team would survive and continue on.
Ride a wave of either trends or problems. It’s always easier to take advantage of a rising trend “wave” where all companies will rise due to the market demand for the solution to the problem. Witness the recent rise in plant based companies where both Beyond Meat and Impossible Meat are having problems fulfilling orders with grocery retailers due to demand. That will actually allow, good or bad, hundreds of copy cats to move in and try and take market share. This will actually grow the total market size and usually, the best companies and brands will survive and become the real leaders.
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“There Is Never A Right Time To Be An Entrepreneur. Here Are Seven Insights To Better Prepare You For Your Opportunity” | Written By: Bernhard Schroeder, Contributor / Forbes – Entrepreneurs
November 18, 2019 at 11:02AM
VIEW ARTICLE ON Forbes – Entrepreneurs >> https://www.forbes.com/sites/bernhardschroeder/2019/11/18/there-is-never-a-right-time-to-be-an-entrepreneur–here-are-seven-insights-to-better-prepare-you-for-your-opportunity/