Perhaps you've heard it said that the "number one skill of an entrepreneur is- raising capital"? Okay. That's true to a certain extent. But here's what I think that number one skill of an entrepreneur is:
I'm working with a couple of people on new start up companies right now- helping them in launch phase. I very much enjoy this phase because to me, the idea and launch phase are right up my alley as it involves a high degree of creativity- because you absolutely must be creative if you are going to have any degree of success in the market place.
Consumers have so many choices open to them now- so it is imperative that any business, and especially any new business, distinguish themselves early on and have something more to offer than just the standard fair.
Business who struggle to stay average will not stay average- they ultimately will fail.
Nonetheless, back to these two different deals I'm talking to you about.
Both men are very talented at what they do- and both are in entirely different fields. But it doesn't matter to me, being an entrepreneur; as the same general rules of business still apply, no matter what kind of deal you are putting together.
One guy says to me, "Yeah, but I don't have this and this and this yet." Don't worry about that! If you want to succeed, you can not afford to start getting bogged down with what you don't have. Or what you don't think you have. You keep putting the deal together- keep moving- and what you don't have will fall into place.
And sure enough, the first guy is raising the cash flow to start pulling the materials he needs in order to do even bigger, more lucrative deals. But if in his mind he kept focusing on what he didn't have- where would that have gotten him? He would have stopped dead in his tracks and gotten a job working for someone else, never realizing his goals and potential.
A real entrepreneur just doesn't let that happen. It's reprehensible, heresy, anathema, disgusting- to have a great business concept and know for sure you've got an edge, and yet, not to follow through with it!
You just don't drop a good deal.
Let's talk about the second guy- crazy talented. I was going to hook him up with a friend of mine also in his field and very successful. The purpose of the meeting will be (is going to be) to flesh out the legitimacy of his concept and talk about success in today's terms. Talk about investors because no bank is going to loan you squat right now.
At first, I get excited about his concept but quickly cooled to the idea because of two reasons-
(1) I know next to nothing about this genre of business but I do know enough to know that the profits can be razor thin and it's a highly competitive and easy-to-fail at venture; to the tune of "out of every 10 possible, 9 fail."
(2) How serious is he? He mentioned this idea to me but his persistence let me know he's serious. Persistence- KEEP MOVING. He kept calling me about his deal and wouldn't let me off the hook. I respect that. If you mention something to me and then drop it- okay. You certainly have that right, but I'm not going to help you because I can see you don't want it very much.
While I won't be the investor in his enterprise, I do know key people that can help him. The friend I'm hooking him up with next week was in his exact field some years back. I mean this man is one smart cookie. By the time he was in his mid twenties, he was a multimillionaire times over.
He's not in this exact same business venture anymore- but he certainly knows enough to help advise my other friend, who is. Who is aspiring to be and go where he has been and gone.
In my experience- sure- I'm not saying capital isn't important. I'm not saying you don't need it. I'm not saying you don't need to raise it. But look- you just keep moving with that good deal you have going on. Keep making those phone calls. Keep setting up those business meetings. Keep putting your business plan together. It will fall into place if you just keep at it. I know this is absolutely true because it's happened to me too many times for it not to be true!
I've heard it said that he hardest part of building any business is at the beginning. You don't have any momentum. No one's listening. For me, that's never been a problem. I can build the momentum and I can get people to listen. It's the day to day administration that can eat my lunch.
Administration bores me to tears. However without these three strong suits-
any business, irrespective relative to how niche, and how cool, and how wonderful it might be- will surely fail.
Keep moving on your idea. If you hit a legitimate wall- assess it then. If the wall is really enough to break your deal, okay, let it go. But a very good idea in a niche market with a good return on investment, always finds a way around the wall, always finds a way to keep moving towards success.