Are you thinking about starting a business? Maybe you have a few different ideas clanking around in your head, a stockpile of domain names waiting patiently for their websites to launch, a brilliant blog idea that you are sure will be a hit. As the owner of Skillcrush, an online job skills learning platform, I am here to tell you that there has never been a better time to start a business.
If you want to succeed, you must stop daydreaming and start taking action — immediately — even if you have little-to-no resources to start with. Sitting on your business ideas, and waiting until you have money to spend or the right connections, could actually cost you thousands of dollars over the course of your career.
Don’t think it’s possible for you to get started right away? Not only can you, but doing so will give you the greatest chance of succeeding in the long term. Here’s why.
1. Entrepreneurs fail their way to success. No matter how brilliant your business idea is when you develop it, your end product will likely be quite different than you first envisioned. So, how do you get from where you are today, with your slightly unformed, little-bit-off-the-mark product idea to the flying-off-the-shelves reality you’re hoping for?
You start with your idea and test a thousand variations — and fail hundreds of times — until you finally get it right. And the key is to start testing now, before you have a lot of money invested or an audience to lose. In fact, the smaller the audience and the less money you risk, the better, because you will be more daring with your experiments.
But don’t worry, these failures are neither painful nor insurmountable. They’re likely simple things, like the name of your product or its positioning or its exact set of features: Stuff that can be easy to fix.
Before Skillcrush was what it is today, it was called Digital Divas and was a deck of flashcards. And before that, a printable cheat sheet called Lovely Ladies. What does Lovely Ladies even mean?! And a cheat sheet? I have no idea what I was thinking.
Here’s the thing, when I started working on this silly Lovely Ladies side project, the fact that the name was totally off the mark and that there is no way to stick a business model on a cheat sheet really didn’t matter. I was in heavy experimentation mode, and all of those failed names and failed executions were crucial to building the online job skills education company I have today.