Digital Marketing Hacks

How to Start a Business

How to Start a Business? Stop Waiting for Permission

There may be many reasons why you want to start your own business.

For me, it’s because I can’t sit still in an office chair, and I declared myself unemployable. My head’s always running with unexplored ideas and plans daily and it just wouldn’t work out in a corporate environment. I enjoy testing new ideas, finding new ways to solve problems and I love destroying and creating systems.

There are many friends that tell me: Marcus, I want to an entrepreneur, I want to start my own business, I want to rich. However, they never ever took the time, effort or money to invest in skillsets that’ll help them launch their own business. They often go back to being an employee, and reliant on someone or some organization on income.

How to Start a Business?

I was like that for years. I was also idealistic, and always chasing that one magic bullet to help me launch business. First I left University, started a blog, knew nothing about SEO, marketing or positioning, failed miserably, and became a freelance sales consultant for an IT company, trading websites.

When I finally invested into an SEO course, I took my certificate, and pitched to business owners in my warm market. I thought: well, I’m certified now, the SEO projects will come automatically, they’ll agree right? I was met with lukewarm response. I was dejected, I packed my bags, went back to University and started working in insurance.

I hated my life for a couple of years straight. I was half assing it. I was also secretly waiting for someone to give me permission to succeed. Who was I to declare myself entrepreneur, and start consulting business owners on their digital marketing channels? I didn’t have a degree, I didn’t have much formal work experience, and I convinced myself my deep SEO and digital marketing knowledge wasn’t enough.

How to Start a Business 01

Excuse 1: Your Fear of Committing and Failing

Beneath all of that, I was afraid to be controversial with my life. Whilst the rest of my friends are completing a ‘safe degree’ or working for big corporate companies, I was going to run the opposite direction and declare myself an entrepreneur.

I was half ass-ing it. Should I create my own brand as an SEO consultant? Okay, maybe not. Let’s just stick to freelancing. You have a certificate? Why bother creating your own brand? This decision stuck with me for 2 years. I always had a way out. I always managed to clinch a couple of thousand-dollar project, I would use the money, take a cheap flight somewhere, and call it a day.

Okay, so what made me decide?

Freelancing and getting projects from my warm market wasn’t going the way I wanted. I felt under paid, and under valued. I lost projects up to $20,000 because of political issues. I figured, okay, I need a marketing system. I cannot rely on my warm market anymore. Screw this, I need a brand. Hence, this digital marketing company was born.

Excuse 2: You Need a Degree in Business or ‘Work Experience’

Secondly, I always thought you needed a ‘degree’ or some ‘working experience’ to start a business. After all, that’s what everyone around you said right? Your friends, your parents, your dog, your teachers and society.

Utter rubbish. I used close to zero of my knowledge in business school to start a business. Have you ever wondered why aren’t finance professors rich and business professors running their companies?

Can work experience help? Yes, definitely. However, you’re reliant on established brand. For EG. If you’re selling financial products from the company Prudential, yes, you may excel there. However, if you’re launching your own brand, your own company, it’s a whole different ball game.

Should you get internships or work first to get ‘entrepreneurial experience’? Yes, you can to build up work ethic, discipline and some cash on the side. However, you’ll never get a taste of the entrepreneurial grit in companies, unless you work for a start up.

Let me ask you, why do most people stay employees for the majority of their life? Shouldn’t they have enough ‘working experience’ after 10 years in the same company to start their own business?

You need a Lot of ‘Capital’

This used to be true before the internet. You need some form of capital to start a business. However, in today’s digital economy, you can start a business just by registering with the authorities, a simple website and a domain name. This will cost you around $100 a year. It isn’t a lot.

Here are some digital marketing skillsets that require time and effort to learn, however, are low capital intensive services:

  • Website design

You can learn how to use WordPress off tutorials on Youtube. You can then pitch to business owners that do not have a website.

  • SEO

You can learn basic SEO off guides like this one, pitch to business owners that already have a website, however, isn’t SEO optimized.

  • Copywriting

This is similar to SEO, you can pitch to companies to improve their sales and conversions through their digital profiles.

  • Digital Real Estate Rental

Let’s say: you are great at SEO AND copywriting. You can create a website, target commercially valuable keywords, rank for them, optimize the conversion rates, and rent the website to another business owner for a retainer fee a month.

Stop Waiting for Permission

Ultimately, it isn’t the money in your bank account, the degrees that you’ve accumulated, your work experience or the number of internships you have under the belt, it’s about giving yourself the permission to start a business and overcoming your fear of failing.

This is the complete opposite of school and work. When you’re at school, you need permission to go to the bathroom. When you’re at work, you need green light from your boss for a certain project decision. However, in business, there’s no one to pat you on your back and say: you’re ready now.

That’s alright. There shouldn’t be. That’s because all you need is permission from yourself, and no one else.

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