As a “green” entrepreneur, meaning around the time when I went full-time with my site and platform, I didn’t really understand much about entrepreneurship. Since I started as a blogger and my brand has evolved since 2016 with the podcast and the summit program, everything happened organically for me. I have gone into almost every idea I’ve pursued completely unaware of what would come out of it, and I attribute a lot of my success to the fact that I never had any expectations.
I always let my drive lead me, prepared to fail and equally prepared for something to come out of it.
Even though I enjoy going into everything having no expectations (it makes life so much more fun) there are ways to grow a company and gain traction. Most of you are probably closer to my age or in your 20s, so I understand that it’s harder to jump right into something. You already have a career and a college degree, so how do you know if pursuing entrepreneurship is the right move?
You don’t need millions of dollars or millions of followers from the beginning to be successful. What you do need is the drive inside of you to pursue something.
There are a few factors I advise people to look at when it comes to deciding if you have the right idea.
1. Is this the type of idea that keeps you up at night? I genuinely believe that all entrepreneur’s have a unique drive inside of them. If you’re not passionate about something, why would you want to pursue it? Becoming an entrepreneur will not be easier than your day job (if that’s why you’re trying to launch a company). There are thousands of other factors to keep in mind! IF you have that drive, follow it. That’s one of the first pieces to the puzzle of success: how BAD do you want something and how HARD are you willing to work for it?
2. I thought about the summit for a year before I brought it to life. It was something that I knew would work because of the track record of what I knew that young people needed, but it also wasn’t something I was ready to take on at the time. I had that burning passion to bring it to life, but I initially sketched myself out of the idea! I knew that I had to pursue it because sometimes I have an idea and it’s like a scratch that I can’t scratch, and so I need to eventually scratch it. I HAVE to try even if I fail because then I know I can move on. In this scenario, I knew TOO much about conferences and how much work goes into them that I went back and forth with whether it was a feasible idea. Once I got that one yes from Drexel, I followed the yes all the way to the finish line.
3. Your best proof that something works is to ask. Ask the people in your life what they think about the idea you have. Put together a focus group in your area and ask for honest feedback. Spend $20 and buy some coffee and chips (something!) and encourage people to join you for a conversation. The worst thing to do is going into building a brand not knowing if you have a product that people need or will respond to.
4. Can you make money off of this? It’s the most important factor in deciding to pursue being an entrepreneur because you can’t be successful if you have to live in a car. With the summit, I knew there was an avenue to monetize the concept because I know that brands need to be in front of this unique demographic. Even something as small as me deciding to put on a live streaming of TILU made me think about how I can monetize that one particular panel at the summit.
If you’re building a brand around a sellable product, there’s always a way to make money. You need to spend a bit more time researching the best avenue for making money the quickest while you’re first starting so that you can live and pursue what you love. You might simply need to keep your day job and pursue this idea as a side-hustle until sales roll in.
5. STOP LISTENING TO WHAT PEOPLE THINK! Oh my gosh, if I had listened to my parents or friends up until I got traction I likely wouldn’t be where I am. Not that I was often deterred from pursuing blogging or the summit, but friends and family are meant to have your best interests at heart and when you call them freaking out about who knows what in the scheme of your company, they freak out too! As Sara Blakely said it, don’t tell anyone your idea who is closer to you until you know you’re diving into it.
No one and nothing is going to hold you back besides yourself.