Chapter Two: Get Direction
You have your two lists: the one with things you want to improve on and the other a list of things “to do.”
It may look like this:
Things I want to improve
- Public speaking
Things that other people need
- Driving kids around
- Financial planning
- Shoe repair
Nothing jump out at you so far?
Try for a moment, to think of this as a puzzle, and to put it all together you have to consider the many possibilities. Could you become a concert pianist? No, you say. Okay, fair enough.
Are you a competent financial planner? Definitely not you say. Fine then.
So what good are these lists, you ask?
If you already know what business you’d like to start ? but just don’t know how ? then stay with us, because we’re coming back around to move forward in just a moment.
For anyone who doesn’t already know: putting things down on paper is the best way to work through something inside your head. Look at what you wrote and spend a few days thinking about each item. Say you know nothing about, nor would you enjoy working in shoe repair. What is it about shoe repair that made it come to mind? (Yes, I know the items on the list were my idea.)
Suppose people in your neighborhood have been asking you for a good shoe repair shop. What’s to stop you from finding the best shoe repair shop around, and then create a pickup and delivery service for shoe repair? Work out a deal with the shop and you may get a fee plus a markup price. Your hands never touch a brush. This is called adding value and it can be done in an infinite number of ways. It’s about creating or delivering something that is more helpful to someone than before you touched it.
We could go through anyone’s list and pick almost any item and think of ways to add value.
This is Main Point #1: Always think in terms of adding value – ahead of anything else. That means instead of trying to be “number one in your industry in five years,” or instead of worrying about “blowing up Twitter” with your new brand, think about how you can add value to anything.
This is the mindset that can make or break your business before you even begin. And if you already knew what it was you wanted to do, you also need to ADD VALUE.
Back to our lists. You say you’re only an average pianist? Ok, can you teach it to beginners? Remember this – you don’t have to be great at something to help others = add value.
Use the two lists as a jumping off point. Add items in either column. Reflect on what you’ve written. If you are stumped by this question you need to sit back and really think about what it is you can do to start a business. It’s not a sign you shouldn’t have your own business, it is just part of the process to really think this through. It’s not unheard of to spend a year or more thinking about this alone. Here’s a little tip though – the best ideas are often so obvious we don’t see them until they are “activated” through necessity.
If you need to do some reflecting, bookmark this section and come back when you’re ready. For the rest of you, next time we take your “added value” idea and start to build it.
Catch up with:
Part 1 – Launching You, Inc.
Jason Veduccio, author of The New American Dreamer: How to Land That Ideal Job in a Nightmare Economy is a hard-working entrepreneur following his dreams, and he wants you to dream, too. Drawing on his experiences working with companies on marketing, technology, hiring, and workplace issues, his regular column will demystify the job search process and identify strategies for moving up the corporate ladder. Founder of In1Concepts, Jason also knows the ins and outs of launching a new business. He welcomes your questions and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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