Doing startups takes guts. it’s a painful process and hard to successfully pull off. Starting a business will absorb every moment of your day. Everything takes longer than expected. You will be developing the product, working on a website, handling some unique customer service issues, making payroll for employees when you begin to hire etc.
Being an entrepreneur means more than a great idea and a killer product launch. It means you invest yourself, your soul, into your work. Maybe not forever. But definitely long enough to get momentum, stability and the resources to get other smart people involved.
But… it’s worth it. Even when you fail. Because you’ve become a greater contributor to the world through your actions, commitment, learning, and hopefully, giving.
Here’s the shorthand for making money the startup way:
1) Find a problem.
2) Solve the problem.
3) Turn the solution into a service or product.
4) Sell your solution.
It doesn’t get any simpler than that. But it’s not that simple. A few more things you need to get right.
1) Take something you’re passionate about and make it your business.
2) Find the market gap (the underserved area or issue within your passion)
3) Prototype using existing resources. Beg and borrow the talent to make it happen if you have to.
4) Presell it to individuals, teams and the market channel using Kickstarter, Indiegogo or similar crowdfunding service (so you’re both preselling AND funding, all in one fell swoop). If crowdfunding won’t help you, try other means including savings, friends and family, angels (prepare for hundreds of pitches) to stay in business.
5) Get busy marketing. Go find your target audience.
6) Keep refining. Test and otherwise make happy customers. Iterate fast.
This infographic by Anna Vital of FundersandFouders explains how to make money the startup way.