By Hipolito Munoz, Managing Editor/Publisher
If your father is a lawyer, your mother a doctor, your uncle a filmmaker, your sister a recognized artist or is if your family is financially healthy, you have a good chance of having the opportunity to “start” your own business because, well, you have a nice cushion to start. You an strategically balance these folks and their talents and financial status to help you with advise, guidance and may be some cash, but what if you have none of those types of people in your circle, what do you do?
Well, here is where to start. Question your own reasons, and if your ultimate reason is to make a lot of money, good luck, its not a bad goal, it just does not have enough energy to carry you through the agony you will be suffering in pursuit of your “dream.” So the first critical question is: “Do I have the skills necessary to develop the business that I want to engage in?” We are taking here about technical skills. Technical skills are defined as; the knowledge and abilities needed to accomplish mathematical, engineering, scientific or computer-related duties, as well as other specific tasks. The lase three words are critical, “other specific tasks.” What are those specific tasks you can execute? And are they in line with the core foundation of your business. At the core of most new technology start-ups, like Facebook and Google, most of the founders are programmers. It is so important that you are able to sell something; your knowledge, a product you have developed; an application, a new business strategy, your experience, or just your ability to make people feel empowered. Folks must be willing to pay for your service otherwise you will not survive.
Don’t get caught up on any of the fun and fancy distractions until you know what it is you are selling. A website, an office, all of that will place an unnecessary burden if you are not clear on your product. Even if you have cash available, how long is your start up phase? Give yourself at least 3 – 5 years, if by 3 years you are not achieving any of your goals, check to see what you have learned and see if you need to reroute, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.
Once you know what you think you can sell, become an expert…. read, read, read and network in this environment. Develop your conversation and speaking skills, learn to listen to people openly; yes, these are skills.
It is critical to remember and truly understand that the first thing people will buy into is you. You are the person who they will be working with and it is you, at the beginning that people will trust with their time and/or their money. Do not pretend or buy into the idea that you should not care, you should or you will become reckless. Expect to work too many hours, not take vacations and to be blamed for things you had no idea existed. But, you are doing what most folks will never do; you will be forging your path. Buena suerte…