In a crummy economy where jobs are scarce, Scott Gerber, author of Never Get A Real Job, believes that the only way to secure your employment and financial future is to start a company.
“The resume-driven society says, if we work hard and go to school, we’ll get a job and be ok. That traditional thinking no longer applies,” says Gerber. “Now, more than ever, you need to be entrepreneurial to be successful; you need to create a job to keep a job.”
“When you work for someone else you’re putting all your eggs into one basket that you don’t own or hold. If you want to secure your financial future regardless of the bad economy, you need to be in control of your own life,” he insists.
Ready to take a stab at entrepreneurship?
'You can't build a successful business if you don't have your priorities straight and ego in check,' says Gerber.
While entrepreneurs should be confident, if you go overboard you'll get in your own way.
'If your idea is not simple, you're stupid,' says Gerber. 'Build a business that is nuts and bolts practical and not complex.'
'Create a simplified product or service that sells X product to Y customer for Z profit,' he says.
'Every decision should be thought through; plan for the worst so you're not caught off guard if it happens,' says Gerber.
'Come up with three alternatives for every decision so you've taken all outcomes into consideration,' he suggests.
'Too many people think they need to reinvent the wheel, but if they do, the wheel will run them over,' says Gerber. 'Instead, focus on bettering an idea that already exists.'
Use creativity to market an unoriginal idea. 'Think of the guys who started College Hunks Hauling Junk,' says Gerber. 'They put a creative spin on a pre-existing idea. At its core, it's just a junk removal business.'
'Start a business that is efficient with few monetary demands in the beginning,' says Gerber.
For entrepreneurs will minimal resources, Gerber says to start a business around the little cash available. 'Your ideas, then, need to be focused on making money. When I started out, I didn't have much at all. I just focused on business ideas that could turn a profit quicker and didn't have many startup costs.'
'If you want to start a business, you need to change the way you spend money,' says Gerber.
'Know the difference between a frivolous expense and a necessity that can be bartered, bargained for, or partnered on.'
Assess if a partnership makes sense before you jump into it.
'Your friends might seem like the best partners, but they might end up slacking off and doing nothing. Or someone who seems great might take you through the ringer later on,' says Gerber. 'Make sure you evaluate what a partner can bring to the table and make sure it's worth it.'
Gerber is a fan of one paragraph startup plans. Anything longer is not necessary. 'Stop thinking you have to write a business plan for investors or dense dissertations. You don't need a traditional plan to be a small business owner,' Gerber says.
'Business planning isn't a revenue-generating opportunity. Instead, get started on your business so you can make money as soon as possible.'
Gerber recommends writing one paragraph in question and answer format in lieu of a 95-page plan that takes six months to put together. 'Don't use business plan software, don't listen to experts -- they're nonsense. All you need to do is organise your thoughts in a way that's good for your business.'
By this, Gerber means to constantly be marketing your company in new, creative ways.
'Put yourself out into the world. Always be selling yourself without being a used car salesman,' he says. 'Join groups, network regularly, and find different ways to get your business in front of people.'
Be afraid to have never failed. In other words, the idea of not trying should scare you.
'Be afraid to wake up 10, 20, 30 years from now and be pointing your finger at the TV saying, that was my idea!' says Gerber. 'What you should never be afraid of is to never get a real job.'
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