Many friends always ask me how I started my business or inquire on the things they need to do to get started. Here are my top 3 tips from pure experience:
1. You must be passionate about the business you want to start or you won’t succeed.
I can still remember times at the University of Florida when I was in class secretly reading CrossFit articles while my professor(s) were giving lectures. I spent every waking moment reading and watching everything I could about CrossFit. The house I was renting my senior year was quickly turned into a garage gym. I purchased a weight set of Craigslist having to drive 100 miles to pick it up in a friends truck. Every client that trained with me only did CrossFit. I started a blog for my friends back at home so they could train the same way I was training. Needless to say I was passionate about.
My passion has taken me a long way. As an entrepreneur there is no such thing as a 9-5, weekends, or holidays off. You work until the work is done. Without passion I would have quit a long time ago.
2. Don’t quit your day job until your business is profitable
In a perfect world, we would come up with a business idea and the next day have all the means and resources to start a business. Unfortunately, this is not a perfect world, and if you drop everything to open a business you will find yourself working mostly off fear and emotion. In a start-up there is no room for emotional decisions. If you quit the job that provides your main source of income you will find yourself acting on the fear of not paying your next bill. These brash, quick decisions could cost you a potential business.
After graduating college I moved back to my hometown. I knew CrossFit was what I wanted to do but I didn’t know how I was going to do it. I already had committed to high school teaching so I knew I had to do that for a while. In the time, me and my business partner opened up a really small CF gym with about 400sq/ft of usable space. I would go from teaching high school classes, to being an assistant coach on the football team, to running CrossFit classes at night. I did that for 2 years before my gym became profitable enough for me to step down from teaching and run the gym full-time.
If I would have quit my teaching job before becoming profitable I’m not quite sure what irrational business decisions I would have made. As bad as you want to stop everything to start your new business DON’T. Slowly but surely if you keep working at it when the time is right you can make the transition like I did with the least amount of stress on you and your family.
3. Just start with ONE thing today. Not tomorrow. Don’t wait another day.
If someone told me that I would be required to do all the things I do right now on a daily basis I would say that was impossible. I might have thought otherwise about opening my own gym. The things I do today have been developed over five-and-a-half years of running a gym. They started out with small things like posting to the blog daily or getting prepared to coach classes. I have other people do those things for me now. Today I’m about how I can become a better leader to my employees, coach to my athletes, and husband to my wife.
Business is the same way. Start that one thing today and tomorrow do another thing that adds to the piece of the puzzle. Overtime you end up creating this beautiful masterpiece you are proud of.
Last but not least remember this, the idea of entrepreneurship for us is this; that you are doing something that your are passionate about, it provides an income for you and your family, and most importantly it makes you happy.