What is the key ingredient when it comes to starting a business? While the answers likely vary from person-to-person and business-to-business, the fact that inspiration exists is what really matters. What makes one person excited doesn’t always bring the same excitement to another person. The same is true for business.
There are so many guides, books, webinars, conferences, and many other forms of “best practice advice” that it is often challenging to sort through the noise to get to the actual helpful advice. Many buzzwords also fall into this category as some experts profess inspiration lies solely in a term or mindset.
So, what’s good and what’s not? And, how can you discern one from the other?
The Copycat Mentality
One of the biggest mistakes in “getting inspired” is trying to find it in the same way someone else did. Gary Vaynerchuk is a fantastic speaker and role model, but not everyone that listens to him speak, reads his books, and watches his online shows is going to be as successful as he is. I promise I am not intentionally trying to be a “Debbie Downer.” I am, however, trying to be realistic, which is important when starting a business. Having big dreams is one thing, but setting realistic expectations is another.
Talent Ain’t All That
As important as it is to find the right talent, there are so many other factors that go into starting and building a successful business. In addition to talent, skills that enable execution and motivation of projects are critical. Ideas are great, but if there’s no way to develop and push them out, they will not result in profitability for a business.
Need or Want: A Must-Have
It doesn’t matter how hard you work or how “cool” your product or service is, if it doesn’t meet a need or a want, it probably isn’t going to sell. This is why it pays to have the right product. It’s not always about great marketing; a product that fits has to exist too.
Defining Success: Hmm…
What determines success? That is the question. To some the answer is money. To others, it is building awareness, creating a niche, raising the standard, and many other factors. In the end, it all goes back to goals. If you fulfill your goals, then you’re successful. No, you may not make a million dollars but most young entrepreneurs don’t set out to make that. It’s all about perspective.
Ultimately, a business’s success is determined by the business itself. It is okay to look to other business models or experts to see what they have done, but it is important to use discernment when doing so. Your business is unique to you, and because of this, the “key ingredient” may be something completely different from all of the known business greats.
Image of “Debbie Downer” courtesy of NBC’s Saturday Night Live.