Starting a side-business — The wrong v/s the right way to begin
I was with a friend the other day who is thinking of starting something of his own.
A side business. A second source of income. Something outside his day-job. Just something that makes him excited waking up everyday.
He seemed very jaunty for a reason.
Him: "I'm almost finished with starting my business"
Me: "Ohh, that's great! Like what?"
"I have the company name registered. My business card is almost ready! I've told my friends, family, everyone!"
Look, I didn't want to kill his excitement, so I am still listening intently. But, wait, things aren't over yet. Something funny happens now.
He reaches over inside his pocket. "Can you guess?"
"Nope, Maybe a lakh rupee client cheque?" (Ok, I know I've a weird sarcasm!)
He removes his business card, shows me, hands me over and goes -
"Everything is just perfect! I just need to re-arrange the font size and this logo position should be shifted more towards the center."
I probed : "And now what?"
"Now what? Now the business begins, Zubin!"
"Yes, but how? Does your idea have enough demand? Have you validated it? Where are your customers? How are you going to find them?" I tried to schmooze casually.
He goes "Well, yeah, yeah, NOW I just need to figure that out"
----------------------------End of Story-----------------------------
Are you kidding me? You're obsessed about all the things which are useless, instead of the things which actually matter?
You do all the work on meaningless stuff instead of focusing on something which is going to get you the most results?
Introducing the Portrait Theory: Key Things to Start a Side-Business
Have you taken a portrait picture? What's the most important aspect of it?
One of the secrets why portrait pictures are sharp, high-quality and of course amazing are because of its singular focus on the object, and ignoring everything else which is either low-quality, or poor, or just not important to keep it in the frame.
In short -- focus on ONLY the important things, ignore everything else!
The Portrait Theory tells us that when starting anything new in the beginning stage, the singular focus should always be on the few 2-3 important elements which will help you achieve tangible results, while also ignoring everything else not important.
How can you apply this when starting your business? I'll tell you -- what if you know the key things to succeed, and also the unproductive things which are essentially time-wasters?
Few key things like -
- What's your idea? (and have you validated it?)
- Is there demand? How do you know?
- Who is your ideal customer?
- How are you going to find them?
- Can you get 1 paying customer? (Once you get your first, the next 10 are relatively simpler)
These are the things I'd focus on if starting something new, and this is something I want to encourage you as well.
To me, this is liberating because now I can say "Wow, I ONLY have to focus on X, Y and Z, and NOT WORRY about anything else!"
Here's the lesson for you --- Before you even think about doing all the "fancy" stuff, you need to have the basic foundational pieces in place.
Guys, let others talk about the "fancy" stuff (facebook page, website, followers, likes, etc.)
Focus on the few key things. Get that right, and you've an amazing portrait, a.k.a your own side-business!
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