My comments regarding Neil Patel’s post Harsh Realities of Starting a Business:

December 2, 2009 at 4:06 pm 1 comment

Neil Patel suggests these top 7 harsh realities in starting a business.  I agree with some, but there are more important harsh realities that, although small, can eat you up inside and make you fear that the there is no light at the end of the tunnel.

His ‘Harsh Realities’:
1. Starting a business is like a roller coaster. He says there isn’t a ton of glamour in creating a company; instead it’s like a roller coaster.  You’d have to be a complete moron to think that starting out on your own is ‘glamorous’. This is a HUGE harsh reality, and fact.  There is no guaranteed level of comfort in the 1st year of business. Instead there is hope, but not too far from that there also lies failure.

2. Owning a business isn’t easier than working at a 9 to 5 job. He says that this is what most entrepreneurs believe, but it is very inaccurate. He explains that instead of having one boss you have many and that when you work at a 9 to 5 job all you have to do is work from 9 to 5. Hmm, well I know many entrepreneurs that choose their own clients, hence don’t have ‘bosses’ because they work with/for people they WANT to work with, and also hold regular work hours.

3. Consumers have to believe you are solving a problem. He says it doesn’t matter if you think you are solving a problem, all that matters is that your target customer thinks you are solving a problem. Is this not lying then if you really aren’t solving a problem?  Not only do you have to make life easier for your customers (hence the solving a problem) you actually HAVE TO SOLVE their problem(s).  If your marketing cries out a solution, then you must follow through with it.  Or else it will come back to bite you in the a**!

4. You have to make money. OK, ummm ….duh!  Unless of course starting a ‘business’ to you means donating your time/money/resources, then making money isn’t important.

5. You have to give a lot to get a little. He says in today’s world you have to give a lot. Whether it is free information or samples of your product, you have to do something to build trust from your customers. If they don’t trust you, they won’t spend money with you.  I agree with this, but at the same time, this is not new (I.e. …in today’s world).  Building trust and creating long lasting relationships is inevitable in business.  Your most loyal customers are the ones that trust you the most. David Maister speaks wonders on the issue of trustworthiness.

6. Coolness is inversely correlated to success. Here he compares Exxon Mobil to Facebook and Twitter in terms of coolness.  These are two completely different industries. You don’t have to be ‘cool’ to supply one of the most important resources, oil.  All you have to do is extract it and sell it.  When you are talking online terms, coolness IS important.  Answer me this; which brands are considered ‘cool’: Amazon, Twitter, Facebook Zappos, Piperlime?   Answer: all of them.  Now, answer me this, which brands are considered necessary: Exxon Mobil, Toronto Hydro, Twitter.  The 1st two. Twitter we can live without, but it is still cool.

7. Time is worth more than money. He says if you take your time and release your company when you think it’s perfect, you’ll be in for a big surprise. You will never be able to please everyone and you will always run into things that you never thought about. I can go on and on here, but really this all depends on your industry. Whether or not you’re selling a product or service, you MUST test it, research it, and understand it, before you make the launch.  You don’t want to bring a dysfunctional product to the mass market. It will instantly tarnish your brand.  Find a happy/safe medium between public launch, beta testing, and behind-closed-door testing.

My biggest and most obvious conclusion is that, yes entrepreneurship can be difficult, and it is not glamorous, but more specifically if you are going into business for yourself doing something you love to do, then it is NOT WORK. It is your passion.  David Foster said to the Editor of Success magazine, “If you aren’t working on Saturday or Sunday, then you don’t like what you do”.  In David Foster’s eyes, Neil Patel doesn’t like his job.

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Entry filed under: entrepreneur, serial entrepreneur, small business, small business tips, Social media for small business. Tags: .

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. BusinessAdvantage  |  December 16, 2009 at 3:48 pm

    You make some excellent points. I agree that a lot of his comments are pretty debatable. I think entrepreneurism is only as hard as you make it. My answer is and always will be – if you enjoy what you do then it isn’t as hard as you think.

    http://businessadvantage.wordpress.com

    Reply

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