For many people I’ve met, the answer to that question was very easy and usually along the lines of:
‘I love flowers and I want to open a flower shop!’
Cute and perhaps idealistic. But where’s the reality?
Let me explain. Here’s an article published a while back by the online publisher ‘The Entrepreneur’.
It’s typical of the things people read when they are thinking about starting their own business.
The article is full of general advice and examples of businesses which succeeded in their quest. And it is easy to think that you could do that too. Of course you can, who’s there to say you can’t?
And even so, I agree in many parts; starting a business is a race of time. You need motivation and a lot of energy, but without products or services, resources and enough money, you won’t make it.
If you don’t have any money, how are you going to survive? If you don’t have any resources, services or products, what are you going to sell to make money? If you don’t have the right motivation, how will you keep going?
Part of being an entrepreneur is understanding and reducing risk
With that in mind the answers to our questions become much easier. If you have great products or services and lots of motivation you’ll need less time/money. If you have lots of motivation and lots of time/money, you can create your products and services as you go along. If you have lots of time/money and great products and services you’ll need less motivation.
You’ll need to make it before you run out of time/money
If your money allows you to keep going for six months and you need to spend most of your time developing your products or services, you’ll have less time developing your customers and the other way around. Of course motivation is a major driving force and can speed things up immensely. However if you run out of money your time is over.
So let’s assume you are highly motivated, but you have a limited amount of time/money (probably the most common situation) and you’ll need good services or products for your customers. That’ll give you the time to set up the business and to find customers. If you don’t have the right products or services you’ll need more time/money to establish that.
To take the example with the flower shop from above, you’ll not only need great flowers to sell, but you’ll also need to know a lot about it. The more experience you have in the flower business, the easier it’ll be – and the better your services and products are then you’ll need less time/money to get going. If you don’t have the experience then go and get it. Work in a flower shop for 6 to 12 months. Find out everything you can while having an income that supports you. Then when you’re ready, start your business.
Are you good enough?
Another way is to find out what you’re already good at. The reason you’re good at it is because you have been doing it successfully for quite a while and constantly improved your skill. So why not start your business in something you’re really good at?
This will give you more time to establish your business. You don’t need to worry about learning a new skill. You can concentrate on finding your clients while your services and/or products are top from day one.
I can recommend this book: So good they can’t ignore you from Cal Newport. It gives a lot of examples and explanations why skills trump passion every time.
And, if you really want to find out if your destiny awaits you in a flower shop, have some fun with our Sweet Spot Discovery Kit .