“My best advice to entrepreneurs is this: Forget about making mistakes, just do it.”
-Ajaero Tony Martins
I think you’ll agree with me when I say:
The road to becoming a successful entrepreneur can be hard!
But does it have to be?
Whether you’re aspiring to launch your first venture, or you’re well on your journey, there are some rules that can help.
In this article, we’ll take a look at 3 rules that can help with your entrepreneurial journey.
1. Validate Ideas Before Diving Head First
The absolute worst is putting time, energy and money into an endeavor that’s a complete bust.
If you’ve read “The 4-Hour Work Week” by Tim Ferris, you’re familiar with ways to test a product or service before building an entire business around it. If you haven’t read it, grab a copy.
With today’s technology, there are countless ways to test your product or service. You can even get presales before you dive head first.
Some have created entire websites with purchase capabilities without having any products actually created. All under the guise of validating.
Think about Kickstarter, it’s a breeding ground where ideas get funded before they are built.
A major factor is not being afraid to share. You can’t be fearful someone will “steal” your idea.
Now, there are protection measures to put in place before sharing, so don’t be ignorant to these. Some ideas, depending on their complexity, may require protection.
The faster you begin sharing, the faster you receive vital feedback. And such info can help you pivot accordingly.
Whatever you do, don’t be the one who builds a business around a product or service in complete solitude, and then brings it to market just to realize there’s zero consumer interest.
2. Authenticity Builds Trust
It’s a fact, we’re exposed to more marketing and advertising than ever before.
We don’t just have ten products in a particular category; we have thousands. And with all these choices, why do we select any given one?
We choose the products and services we trust will deliver the quality we so desire in any given moment. So the question is, how do you build trust, so much so that individuals feel comfortable with you, your products or services.
You build lasting trust by being authentic. People these days have become reasonably skilled at sniffing out BS. Never attempt to be something you’re not as to avoid overpromising and under-delivering.
Even though it may seem like common sense –to be authentic – it’s definitely not common practice.
I bet you can look around and find countless examples of people or businesses attempting to be something they’re not.
Perhaps they are modeling others, and in return, they lack any sense of true identity.
Without authenticity, you can push potential customers away. And it may take years, if ever, for them to trust you, either initially, or once again.
Your goal is to be true to yourself and your brand.
3. Don’t Fear Competition
Imagine signing up for a race, showing up, and realizing you’re the only competitor. Here’s a question, “Are you running at your best?”
The reality is you didn’t sign up, put in the hours of practice, and show up to run solo. You did it to compete against others. And that drove you to practice and prepare to be your best.
In this sense, competition is a great thing. It pushes you to be the best version of yourself. It tests where you are so you can find holes in your performance. It gives you the opportunity to rise to the next level.
One of the greatest gifts we receive from our competition is the gift of accountability. With them at our heels, we keep our foot on the pedal.
Sure, it stings a little when competitors outmaneuver us. But that’s the nature of the beast.
You didn’t jump into entrepreneurship thinking it would be all rainbows and butterflies did you? You didn’t believe you’d present yourself, your idea, your product or service to the world without any resistance, right?
Exactly, because that’s just not reality.
Just be sure not to become so fixated on your competitors that your house falls apart. It’s why a competitor sometimes gets ahead.
The key is to focus on how to serve your customers with enough value that any competitor is a distant second to the service you provide.
As I started out, entrepreneurship isn’t easy. It’s a rollercoaster ride and filled with bumps and bruises along the way.
One thing I know for sure, if you have some rules to follow the ride becomes better.
Grab a copy of the “10 Rules of Entrepreneurship” below, which includes these 3 rules and 7 others for your journey.