Building A Business Is Like Learning On Steroids

Everyone should run a business.

Even if it’s just a side gig, and even if it’s something you only do once. When it comes to gaining valuable lessons about money, wealth and life, running a business is like learning on steroids.

It’s the difference between reading about the real world, and experiencing the real world.

Some will make a few extra bucks and remain in the nine-to-five world. Some will move on and gain control over their financial lives.

All will be better for it.

Selling Something People Want To Buy

This is an exercise in thinking about what other people find valuable.

If you’re a plumber, an accountant, or a personal trainer, you probably started working as an employee somewhere. Those are all professions where you can master a skill and strike out on your own.

You’ve got something valuable that people want to buy.

Some of you need to think a little more. The mistake a lot of first timers make is trying to sell something they want to sell, and not something that customers want to buy. Being a master at crossword puzzles is great, but try getting someone to pay you for it.

Look at it this way: every day there are people walking around you with things they need and problems that need solving. They’ll value the solution more then they’ll value the money.

People could watch YouTube videos and learn to file their own taxes and fix their own toilets, but they don’t want to do those things or don’t have time to do those things. There are plenty of problems that need solving that are right in front of you.

Pick one problem you think you can solve and run with it. If nobody wants to buy, go back to the drawing board and pick something else.

Managing Your Own Time

When you’re on your own, the only one watching the clock is you. You’re the one responsible for getting work done on time. There will always, always be temptations to blow off an afternoon. We live in the most distracting world there has ever been.

The other side of the coin is that nobody is there to tell you to stop working. Workaholism is the respectable addiction. You can destroy your body, your relationships, and even your mind because you don’t know how to turn it off.

When people say ‘work life balance’ they’re getting it wrong. You don’t balance it and walk away, you balance it everyday. It’s a skill you need to learn. The good news is that everything you need to succeed in business is a skill and you can learn any skill.

If you’re serious about running a business, this is a skill worth paying to learn.

Side note: if you’re already good at this and can teach others, you’ve just found something you can sell that people want to buy.

Be Ready To Fall On Your Face

Most people don’t get it right the first time. Maybe you can’t make any sales. Maybe you get sales but you can’t do the job without losing money. Maybe you make money, but you end up hating the work.

These are good things.

Running your own business will teach you more about the world and about yourself than any book or any school ever will. In real life, sometimes things don’t work out the way you’d like. What matters is what you decide to do when this happens.

The piece that people forget to do is to occasionally stop, get some perspective, and look back at what you’ve done. What did I do right? What did I do wrong? Should I keep going, change direction, or backtrack and start over? Is there a skill I’m missing?

Being able to rise above the sting of not immediately getting what you want and to rationally decide what to do next is the hallmark of someone who is going to make it in business, and in life.

Side note: If you’re already good at this and can teach it to others, you’ve just found something you can sell that people want to buy.