In the beginning – it’s just the beginning!

  • You don’t need a PR agency.
  • You don’t need an expensive office (or any office/ studio/warehouse).
  • You don’t need a bank loan.
  • You don’t need an all singing all dancing website.
  • You don’t need an expensive logo.
  • You don’t need to spend the next six months planning out every detail.
  • You don’t need partners.
  • You don’t need a 5year business plan.
  • You don’t need a team of employees.
  • And you don’t need a VA/PA or an MBA.

My point is in the beginning you need less than you think you need and you can do more than you think you can do.

Don’t rush into spending money where it is not needed and the whole journey will be a lot more enjoyable and a lot less stressful.

In the beginning there is a definite trade-off between time and money and the chances are you don’t have much of either, so choose wisely.

Don’t waste time on tasks that are not a priority. You will overstretch yourself, de-motivate yourself and quickly resemble a headless chicken.

Use ‘free’ first. In other words don’t signup to expensive third party software, analytics and website add-ons on day one. There are plenty of free options out there you can use until you start making money. Always take the ‘free’ option, if it works.

Bootstrap everything. If you can do a task yourself do it. If you can’t, ask yourself ‘do I need it yet’? Bootstrapping is the process of launching a business using only what you can afford with the skills you have at hand.

By the way you really should take my free ‘12 Simple Rules’for starting out in business lean & mean – email course It will save you a humongous amount of time and a shed load of money!

My number one piece of advice is…

Get advice – get a mentor

‘A single conversation with a wise man is better than 10 years of study’ – Chinese Proverb

The biggest obstacle you face when starting a business and building a brand is that ‘you don’t know what you don’t know’.

We make avoidable mistakes but make them we all do.

The advice we need is knowledge, based on wisdom and experience. Without it you will waste your hard-earned money, time, energy and opportunity.

Warning

Not all experts are equal – Not all advice is good.

I have met many people over the years that thought that as long as they knew more than the client they were the experts.

“Knowledge becomes wisdom only after it has been put to practical use many times.”

I got a call from a national radio station, they were running a programme about unusual travel destinations and asked would I like to come along to talk about space tourism.

Apparently I was an expert on the subject (their researcher said so).

The truth was I had written a couple of articles once about space travel but, as I had never been on a radio programme before, I thought “What the hell, it will be fun. What’s the worst that can happen?”

Just to be on the safe side I didn’t mention my upcoming radio debut to anyone I knew, including my wife and kids.

“It is better to remain silent at the risk of being thought a fool, than to talk and remove all doubt of it.” – Maurice Switzer

The night before I was due to go out live to the nation I thought I had better read up on the subject, as I did not want to sound like an idiot. So I white knuckled it until morning.

I arrived at the radio station at the appointed time, armed only with a sheet of facts and figures, ready to face whatever perils lay ahead of me. In case I was beginning to doubt, they gave me a chest badge saying ‘Space Tourism Expert’.

So it was official, but how did that happen and what did it mean?

Thankfully the show was a great success and my pearls of wisdom were appreciated. The only embarrassing moment was when my sheet of facts (which I had hidden on my lap) slipped under the table and I had to get down on my hands and knees to retrieve it (along with disapproving glances from the studio sound engineer).

As I left the building I made a mental note NOT to add ‘Space Tourism Expert’ to my CV.

 

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