The Five Factoids of Early Entrepreneurship
So you want to be an entrepreneur.
Marcus Lemonis once said work-life balance is a myth for entrepreneurs.
That statement will always stick with me because we start businesses because we want more free time. Well the ironic truth is, I’ve never had less time.
Unless you’re venture backed, a college student, or live in your moms basement, by month three, you’ll still have a day job. At least for a while. Hooray! You decided to launch your bubble gum company this month! Oh nooooo (Kevin Hart voice). Mortgage is due tomorrow. Light bill, cable, water, cell phone, you get the point. You started a company… life didn’t stop.
Your staff is so small that everyone has ten jobs, so after you’re done being a social media manager, you’re off to be a customer service rep. Some people love this aspect because they get to do everything and “work in every department,” so to speak. However, it can be mentally draining and you never really get great at anything. Plus, two things tend to happen.
A. You do what’s easiest the most.
B. You do what you’re good at the most.
So if posting to social media is easy and you like making memes, your social will be lit. Your design, manufacturing, customer service, marketing, and accounting will be…not so lit.
You literally have six months to build a tribe. If you don’t, move on, because your business will likely fail. If we were to weigh these factoids for importance, this would be the 6,000 pound gorilla of factoids. A wise man once said, fail fast. That means, don’t putt putt around in your business designing Flintstones cars when everyone around you is making Ferrari’s. Your tech is old, your money is low, so fail and move on.
Secondly, build your tribe. First six months, focus on nothing but building one. Your tribe consists of those early adopters who believe in you the most. The people who share your contests because they want to see you succeed. The people who buy whatever you launch, as soon as you release it. The people who tell their coworkers about how great you and your business are. My good friend from high school’s mom, who took time to evangelize on her Facebook page about our brand. TRIBE.
Building your tribe is a different article unto itself, but the key is your email list. Create an email list using a software like Mailchimp and keep your tribe happy, informed, and engaged. Add all your friends to it, tell them to add theirs. Growing your list is hard to do, but it’s the singular key between success and failure. More so than your product, your team or your processes. Your list. That’s your key to freedom. I just saved you a grand on Tony Robbins tickets.
You will spend a lot of time and money focusing on the wrong things. This is probably the most frustrating part. You create an awesome product, you have a great team, the right processes, and no results.
You spend time, beautifying your website, filming 15 second videos with MLK narrating, writing “want to be an entrepreneur” blog articles, posting on social media, fine tuning Facebook ads, signing up for every SaaS platform that promises to make your rich, Redditting, emailing bloggers, explaining your ideas to friends, giving away products foolishly, on and on. Then you look up and realize, you haven’t converted a soul. Not one sale. Not a dime in your coffer. Not a single extra subscriber to your email list. Soul crushing.
Focus on what A. grows your tribe. B. grows your bank account. If after a month it’s not making you money, it’s probably a waste of time. We at Anderson & Company had to have a real Come to Jesus moment when we realized how much time and money we were wasting on superfluous crap. We had to get back to the basics. We had to grow our tribe.
None of this is easy and there is no magic bean. I run a menswear brand, I’m not an entrepreneur whisperer, so I don’t have all the answers. There are a ton of resources out there in the Google machine if you look for them. Check out Simon Sinek for inspiration. If you aren’t already a part of our Pack (we call our tribe a pack, because we are wolves, get it), sign up today and you’ll get treated with lots of love.
If you’ve made it this far kudos to you. I’m sharing this information primarily because I was asked it. But two, because one of my core personal beliefs is that we can alleviate a lot of the societal issues that face the world through community focused social entrepreneurship. So lets create more entrepreneurs. More risk takers and problem solvers. More people who look at what exists now and automatically think, “I can do better.”
Thanks for reading. I run a menswear company, and we make the coolest ties on earth. Save 20% on your today.
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