The entrepreneur’s starter guide

Starting a business is no joke. It’s terrifying, heart wrenching, exhilarating, and exhausting. A lot of entrepreneurs wouldn’t have it any other way.

But you have to forget all the success over night stories you’ve heard because there’s no way around the fact that you have to plan.

Get feedback

How many entrepreneurs have had an amazing idea they just “knew” would take off only have it flop?

They poured everything they had into their idea without asking questions.

What’s the target market?

Would this service/product solve “x” problem for you?

Would you pay for this service/product?

Sometimes it takes a lot of effort to get feedback. You might get mixed results and need to change things up before you get to a product people show interest in.

Sometimes, it’s a no go from the start. If you are killing yourself trying to sell your idea, it’s not going to work. Don’t force it.

Get a customer, and then build your business

Recruit at least one customer before you start your business. You don’t need to have everything just so to start. Get customers before you go all in and iterate.

You can ask for feedback and improve as you go along. Starting out with a customer is huge. It gives you confidence, makes you look viable in the eyes of investors, and lessens stress.

You can start with relationships you already have. Sell to them or ask them to introduce you to people who might be interested.

Check out, “How I Got My First 3 Customers” for inspiration.

Get your financial bearings

Along with a good idea, you need money to start a business.

Are you going to work your full-time job until the your business makes money? Do you have investors lined up, or are you going to work using a nest egg?

Some entrepreneurs have miracle stories where last minute funds saved the day. The odds are already against you, so plan and budget.

Get help

Get someone to help you ASAP. Remember this, “There are two types of people: big-idea people and get-it-done people.” You’re probably not both.

Hire someone, delegate, and use their talent instead of wasting your time on tasks you don’t like and aren’t good at.

Take care of yourself

There’s this myth that you should be working 18–20 hour days if you own a business. You’re getting more done than the other guys the longer you work.

Study successful entrepreneurs and see what their daily routine looks like. Science says you’ll be more productive working an 8 hour day with good sleep than a 20 hour day with little sleep.

Everything about your business is going to be mediocre if you feel like crap. Sleep, exercise, good nutrition, and relaxation is key to leveling up.