People are afraid to pursue their ambitions. They think they lack the authority and expertise.
I have seen a lot of them hide behind acquiring further knowledge – be it schooling, attending more conferences, networking. Nothing is wrong with these activities – it is actually bright to do them. Just they should not be an excuse for not starting.
Your background does not determine whether you can do it or not
Steve Jobs was not a programmer and apparently he never did code. But he founded and ran technology companies. He had idea uses. He got partners who could produce. Then he pursued ferociously.
Elon Musk studied physics and economics in tertiary. He wasn’t the best programmer probably. Apparently when his company Zip2 expanded, “new software engineers had to rewrite the codebase due to the poor coding methodology used by Musk”.
I doubt if my homeboy Musk cares much about he himself being the best programmer or car mechanic. His obsession is making idea uses come to life – a lot of them.
There are shortcuts to breaking into different industries. Getting a partner who can program or hiring is a shortcut if you want to start a tech company.
Even, the internet is filled with shortcut coding lessons or whatever lessons for that matter: speaking, writing, marketing, carpentry etc.
Again I believe in learning for a purpose (action), i.e. if you want to do a specific product, learn how to build the specific product whilst building it.
- It is more interesting and you learn specifics – which saves time.
- You become a product use expert, i.e. as you test the product in the market, you learn what works, what users want and conceive other uses.
- You are the one who takes the product to the market – good businessmen are trained in this fashion.
- Versus going to school for a 3 year degree, in this way, in a year you could learn how to build 3 products. You will have the opportunity to fail or succeed in sales, marketing, relationship maintaining, networking, cash flow, etc. You would have learned what to do and not do – breakthroughs and discoveries happen in between these. School only teaches you what to do.
Products are about use, not expertise nor authority. Expertise can be hired, rented or partnered in. Authority is bi-product of action.
Do it if you care about it
The deal is I cared so much about entrepreneurship. So I became one. Through hard knocks, I learned what to do and not do. At the end of those days, I still gave a damn about entrepreneurship. I am still one even today.
Then I realised a business plan is a useless teaching tool. Everyone (the entrepreneurs) thought so. The discussions in between, of what works and matters (validation) – then became the book ‘Forget The Business Plan Use This Short Model’.
I now sell the book to aspiring entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs.
If something is true for you, true for a niche, you care about it; then it is enough to invest in creating a product out of it. This is what the Elons and Steve’s of this world did.
They did it a number of times. I am sure they failed at certain adventures.
Mark Cuban puts it this way: “It doesn’t matter how many times you fail. It doesn’t matter how many times you almost get it right. No one is going to know or care about your failures, and neither should you. All you have to do is learn from them and those around you because… All that matters in business is that you get it right once. Then everyone can tell you how lucky you are.”
No product is perfect
If you ask any car manufacturer if they made the best cars, they will outright say “YES”. Yet we have seen millions of cars being recalled for one fault or another. Toyota, Kia, Isuzu, Chevy and who else? Now VW has been caught for installing some emission cheating software.
I am certain McDonalds has recalled thousands of burgers over the years – if not millions.
If you were at McDonalds right now and you caught a fly dead in your meal (hopefully not a cockroach), you then brought it to their attention – they will say “sorry” without maybe really accepting the blame. But they will make it up to you by offering a replacement meal or refund if that is what you seek.
No product is 100% solid perfect. The gage is it needs to be good enough for use and with a slight differentiator at least (either price, quality, location and whatever works in that given case) – the weak links can be serviced and maintained.
The car makers, the cell phone makers, they do not produce all components they use themselves. They outsource what is available and what is available is not necessarily the best. The best is yet to be made. So every year, while operating, they search for the next best component to be made.
Even Tesla is searching for that perfect battery. But they are on the ground running (not waiting) as a motor company already.
Since no product is stunning perfect, why are you waiting until yours is Godly? Get on the ground and run – better ideas will come. Don’t be afraid to do it — and make up for it like McDonalds and the car manufacturers.
“Action precedes creativity” Grand Cardone.
It would be ingenuine not to address fear. There was never a point where I was about to put out a book or whatever product and I didn’t feel scared. Fear that people won’t like it and will tell it to my face. Fear that it isn’t good enough to be on shelves. What if they say my product won’t work – it is poorly designed – I lack expertise? My stomach turns when these thoughts visit.
I was reading that Stephen Dubner, author of Freakonomics, was shit scared before it came out. Well it went to sell over 5 million copies.
Fear is real. Let’s not fight it. But, for instance if it’s a book, I know if work hard on it – I vet each concept critically – I am honest – and I write blog posts (not book posts) almost every day (to practice), I will have an honest product.
There is no way of testing yourself and growing as entrepreneur if you don’t put your product out there. No product no entrepreneur. So fear just has to take a back sit, however powerful it is.
Although failure is undesirable, it is a better builder of men than success.
It is not so much that trying tests potential, it is that trying builds and exercises potential. As sportsmen get fit through training, so do entrepreneurs when they try.
We will never exercise our potential if we don’t try, if we don’t put anything out.
So you there you have it, failure, whatever imposes it – won’t you get you anywhere but nowhere.
Take it from me, being laughed isn’t nice. But being able to laugh at myself is another thing. It is a fantastic high and it kind of makes up for everything. It discharges a renewed and robust spirit to try again.
Those we call successful (the millionaire definition) made products (not the most perfect), sold a lot to make millions and offered after sales care. That’s all. Think about it!
I felt a bit hurt when I heard one author (I cannot recall who) say: to have a best-seller, write another book and another until you become one. As you keep writing and marketing, your breakout book will spiral on the previous books. I am on my third book; it is called The Anxious Entrepreneur. Pre-order it here. My next book will be called Pride Economics; it comes out 2016 or 2017. I will be doing this for a long while.
“Do what you love and let it kill you”
Are you going to let the fear of lack authority-ship stop you from doing what you want to do? Do you want to be killed by what you do not want to do? There should always be a tit bit of what you love in your everyday, until it takes over. I am saying even if you start small but as long as what you love factors into your day.