Put Your Work Ethic Where Your Mouth Is

Starting a business is no joke. It's not easy, it's not usually delightful.

It's rewarding. It can be if you approach it with a mindset of continual learning and change.

On a weekly basis I hear from people who want to start a business, make a product, capitalize on their idea. They say “I want to start a business.” So I inquire, curiously; What’s your business going to be? Who’s your business for? Are there already businesses like yours? What will your business offer that will make it different than your competitors? Have you vetted your idea? Have you planned to vet your idea? Can your target market sustain another business like this? How will your customers benefit from working with you?

Usually I don’t get many of those questions out before a person’s eyes glaze over, they become despondent, and regret telling me they wanted to start a business. The truth is, any good designer and strategist  should be asking you these questions. My goal in asking these questions (beyond satisfying my curiosity) isn’t to frighten you, it's to help you merely glimpse what you’re about to get into.

Success won’t happen overnight, not fame, not world domination (if you're into that kind of thing). Those people, brands and products who've gained notoriety, whose names you, worked and hustled and sweated and cried and fought for years, even decades before their name became household status. But this is such a narrow view…

First of all, the definition of success is to each their own. Maybe it's a certain amount of monetary compensation, for others it's family time, others it’s flexibility and travel and perks. For me, and I feel safe to say for you it’s a combination of these things and more. It’s important that you define what success looks like to you.

Time, research (real on the ground, asking people things research), positioning, development, prototyping, testing and ideation, ideation, ideation. And marketing and promotion and more marketing and analysis and more promotion to make something good, to get people to take notice.

This shouldn't deter you, if you’re really in it, this should make you feel determined and a little queasy. There are so many articles listing reason after reason for you to start a business, create a product (still starting a business), become a consultant (still a business), and a bit of truth is in order. It’s best you know the truth.

Now, if you’re still here. GOOD! When you go to create your thing; make it viable, make it feasible, make sure it’s needed. And, for god-sake, market it.


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