In my continuing quest to gain magical insight and advice for starting up a new venture, I recently “climbed the mountain to seek the guru contemplating upon a rock” (metaphorically speaking of course) and met with a highly successful husband and wife business team.
“What would you say to the budding entrepreneur, I asked? What great insight can you offer, what magical pixie dust can you spread?”
Their insight? Their stunning revelation? The wisdom of the ages that will propel you and me to heights of fulfillment, realization, and success? Drum roll, please.
The fundamentals. The basics.
In many ways, the fundamentals are where the magic can be found. At the very least, it’s where success and failure often lies.
Hearing these two emphasize the basics made me realize that sometimes the seemingly obvious loses its import and criticality leading to inevitable failure.
Plus many of us are always looking for some amazing new thought or sexy silver bullet while the fundamentals are so boring so we look right past them. Kind of like looking at a beautiful oasis in the distance and therefore overlooking the cliff you’re about to step off of.
So before you get all wrapped up in the Big Idea, some clever strategy or magic bullet, consider this husband and wife team’s advice…FIRST!
Dick and Norma Sarns own and operate NuStep which makes exercise equipment that is incredibly well suited for just about everyone from Olympic athletes to the elderly and those with disabilities. Dick and Norma are in their eighties, still, run the company and are just as involved, sharp and motivated as they were when they started the company when they were in their 50’s.
As a budding entrepreneur you hope that when you sit down with successful people, they’ll toss some magic pixie dust at you that will catapult you to success.
It turns out; the pixies dust is the fundamentals:
Write out your business plan. Even if no one reads it. That’s how you figure everything out and make sure you’re covering all the bases.
If you can’t express it all and express it well in the business plan, you probably never will be able to and you won’t succeed.
You gotta make money. Therefore determine how, when and how much?
You may experience a magical moment when you get your idea or amazing insights and plans to develop it. But there are file draws full of absolutely fantastic and viable ideas fulfilling great needs for massive audiences that never came to fruition because the basics and the fundamental hard work was not executed effectively.
More Dick and Norma Sarns “Magical” Fundamentals:
Beta Test your ideas and products. Families, friends, mentors, and successful business people and entrepreneurs.
Keep in mind no one is supervising you and checking your work.
Expect the unexpected. The unexpected will happen. Things will take longer and be more difficult than you expect. You are going to find surprises and face difficulties you could never have imagined. How well you respond can determine success or failure.
Be willing to say “no”. When you’re starting up, perhaps a little scared or desperate, it can be easy to say “yes” to a deal, bringing on a partner, an employee or even obtaining funding when in your gut you’re thinking “no”. In the long run, your gut is probably right.
Constantly make adjustments and be open to new ways, possibilities, tactics, and strategies.
Seek out advice and mentors. Those that have come before you, succeeded and can help you launch (see Stewart Nelson’s keys to launching a business).
Last but not least, they say there’s never been a better time in history to start a business than now.
When they started up 30 years ago it was extremely difficult. There were really no venture capitalists, angel investors or Kickstarter. Typically banks were not very supportive of entrepreneurs. There was no Google with unlimited instant information and certainly no Internet and a slew of headline success stories to reveal the world of possibilities.
Now we have all of these amazing tools, opportunities, and perfect timing. It’s up to you to execute the magical fundamentals turning them into your own magic.
What are your fundamentals and where are you lacking?