“I don’t have a business yet. I’m still visualizing about what I want to do.”
This is what a friend told me on Facebook the other day. He was posting nonstop memes about entrepreneurship and running a business. I was curious to hear about his business so I sent him a quick message. I found out that he was still visualizing and reading articles about starting a business.
Most people will post memes about starting a business without ever actually starting a business.
It’s fun to post about being the boss and working for yourself. We’re all in a hurry to post a picture with our laptop and an amazing view in the background.
Who doesn’t love an inspirational quote? Who doesn’t enjoy hearing the story of how some friend started a billion dollar app in their mom’s basement?
We all do.
I’m just annoyed with all of the useless entrepreneurship advice. I wanted to write an article for all of the realistic people out there. This piece is broken down into two parts:
- Why most business advice online is useless.
- What you can actually do to start your own business.
Here’s why most entrepreneurship advice is useless…
Most people don’t want the process.
We all want the success story.
And no this isn’t an opportunity to throw in some inspiring failure quote or story.
Every single person reading this dreams of a success story. Nobody really talks about the process or the journey.
At wrestling seminar one of my idols growing up mentioned that there isn’t always a jewel at the end of the journey. Sometimes the journey is the jewel.
We’re terrified of failure.
Failure sucks. Sure, I can insert a quote here about failure, but who actually wants to deal with being a failure?
Most people aren’t willing to go out on a limb. They’re not ready to fail. They just don’t have it in them.
It’s fun to dabble with different ideas. Going all in is terrifying.
All business-related advice is pretty pointless to most because we’re going to stick to what we’re comfortable with.
Most people don’t want to work all of the time.
Working all the time isn’t all that exciting. People actually think that they can earn passive income with zero effort and no money.
I’m writing this article on on my phone (finishing on my laptop). I came to Colombia for two weeks. I worked every single day. Most friends wrote me comments about how I should put the phone down and enjoy myself.
There’s no putting the phone down. You have to work all of the time.
The worst part is that you can never catch up either because you’re always going to feel like you’re falling behind. Of course, I put my phone down on my trip to party and have fun. However, the unwritten blog post was always lingering in the back of my mind. One night I was hanging out some new friends and I had to quickly edit the publish date of an article because I didn’t want to launch a piece that wasn’t finished because I chose to have some drinks that night.
You get the point. Entrepreneurship quotes are exciting. Working all night on a vacation isn’t so exciting.
The advice isn’t really practical.
“Work hard. Be yourself.” — Most useless self-help gurus
What the hell does that mean!??!
- Were you planning on being someone else?
- Was your goal to not do any work?
- Are you assuming that I’m a slacker?
- Do you normally pretend to be someone else while you don’t work hard?
You’re not going to do anything with this advice.
Successful people don’t always give the best advice.
They focus on getting their work done. They don’t have time to analyze why something worked 12 years ago.
When you’re busy growing your business, you don’t really have time to give good advice so you tell people to follow their passions. What else can you say?
Most successful folks know that you don’t want to hear about their long day or about how they haven’t been able to sleep properly because a new project is always on their mind.
We don’t actually want to do anything.
I read blogs about all sorts of topics just for amusement or to waste time.
I’ve given friends the blueprint to getting in shape, starting a blog and so on. They’ve done nothing with the information. They just wanted to read another article on the topic.
If you want to take action, immediately read this article on starting a blog.
It’s not fun.
It’s fun to turn your brain off on the weekends and when you’re not at work. It’s fun to have vacation time. It’s fun to make fun of your boss when they’re not around.
It’s not fun to have to be responsible for everything. It’s not fun to always stress about your business. It’s easier to just read another post on starting a business and to visualize.
We want to make lots of money with minimal effort.
Most people will get into reading about starting a business because they want to make lots of money while they do the bare minimum. This whole passive income craze has gotten out of control. Friends have scoffed at business ideas because they required work.
That’s why most entrepreneurship advice will be pointless.
For the record, I totally get it. Watching sports is fun. I got caught up in the EuroCup last summer when Poland was doing well. It’s fun to share another meme and to visualize. You can do this forever because there’s no effort involved.
What can you do if you want to start a side business?
“I have far more respect for the person with a single idea who gets there than for the person with a thousand ideas who does nothing.” — Thomas Edison
Just do it.
What can anyone really tell you?
Every tactic, formula, and hack is out there. There are no secrets in any field. There are no shortcuts. There’s nothing new that you’re going to find out. You’re not going to discover a hidden secret by reading more memes on Instagram.
That UFC champion won’t tell you that they never took a BJJ class because chances are that they’ve been studying every martial art since they were kids.
You just have to do it. Every successful person has the same story. They showed up and took it from there.
Okay I’ll be more specific.
Pick a channel and a platform. Stick with this until you’ve done everything possible to make it a success.
A friend sent me a grappling tutorial. It was useless and I was offended. He put no effort into it. There was no editing. No description. Nothing. I kindly informed him that he needed to put some effort into this. There are some amazing grappling videos online. If you want to compete with them you can’t be posting crap.
When I launched my YouTube channel, I worked on high quality video production and I ensured that my descriptions were solid. I studied the best channels to see what they were doing differently.
Guess what? My channel still isn’t a success. This doesn’t mean that I’m going to give up on it.
Study the best and steal.
Study the best and see what they did to get there.
You should do all of the following:
- Ask your successful friends lots of questions.
- Go to conferences.
- Go to training sessions.
- Buy books.
- Read blogs.
- Listen to podcasts.
Stop waiting at home for someone to come rescue your life. All of the best material is out there available to you FOR FREE!
Focus on solving specific problems.
“People care about what your business can do for them. How will it help them? What’s in it for them? Will it solve their problem? Make their life easier? Provide them with shelter? Save them money? Educate them? Make them feel something? Tell me, why on God’s green Earth should I give your business money? What value are you adding to my life?” — M.J. DeMarco
This is the toughest piece of advice. I often get lost here myself. I star thinking about optimization and funnels when I should be worried about solving real problems for real people. If you don’t solve specific problems, then don’t even bother. The world doesn’t need more general self-help advice.
Keep your day job.
“I want to quit my job to focus on wrestling.”
Someone told me this the other day. The reality is that most professional wrestlers on television worked full-time jobs while they wrestled on the weekends until they made it big.
Don’t go quitting just because you had a bad day. Don’t quit your job because some guy online told you that you need to follow your passions.
There’s a dark side to following your passions. You’re not going to get rich in your first year in business. You won’t be able to buy a luxury mansion after sharing a few motivational memes. And that’s okay. Stop stressing about passive income and focus on your active income.
I’m just as addicted to posting motivational memes as anyone else out there. I just don’t want you to become so addicted to the stories that you forget to actually grow a business. Sometimes it’s better to shut up and to focus on the process.