So the title might be a bit deceptive - this article is not about sharks at all. It is about something much more frightening - it is about taking a leap that is larger than any leap you've ever taken before. It is about entrepreneurship.
It is about whether or not you're fit to start a company. I've written on this topic before, but it is one that I am continually asked about - how did you get started? Typically this question is asked by someone who is unsure of their own abilities to start a company and may have good ideas, but just don't know the first thing about entrepreneurship. I am here to say it is okay.
- You don't have to know everything at the start of the journey
To be an entrepreneur you don't need all the skills and knowledge - those can be learned. You need to be passionate. You need to be so passionate that you would do it for free. For the first few years you probably will be doing it for free and you'll get super burnt out if you're just looking for a paycheck. You'll be working longer hours than ever with little to no pay. You HAVE to be passionate enough that you would do it for free without issue. Then the money will be a fortunate side effect if/when it comes.
Don't worry if you're the right person to do it. Just work against the tide. If you want it enough you can learn or hire for any skills you need.
2. Get Mentorship From Entrepreneurs
If you don't know what you're doing just talk to people who have done it before. Most people are super cool and will be glad to help so find those people and exploit your ability to talk with them. The internet has opened so many doors where almost anyone is accessible to speak to.
Take everything anyone says with a grain of salt. Sometimes they will give you the right advice, but seldom they might request something you're either not comfortable with or would not be the right decision for your particular business.
3. Take Everything People Say With A Grain Of Salt - Trust Your Gut
Trust your gut. It will almost always be right.
4. Never Stop Learning
Learn the industry as quickly and as extensively as possible. Call possible customers, contact retail stores if you'll be selling a physical product. Talk to anyone and everyone to find out what magazines you should be reading, who you should know, what conventions you might want to go to, and other industry knowledge. Read everything you can get your hands on.
It is not going to be easy. It is a hard, long, lonely road. However, if you love it you'll push through. You'll probably often want to quit. You might even cry yourself to sleep some nights (I would be lying if I said I haven't). However, it will all be worth it when you see you went after your dreams.
Worst case scenario you learn a ton and 'fail'. Big deal. That is way better than never knowing if you could have done it.
Best case scenario you create a company that makes other's lives better and provides you the income you need while giving you a job that you love.
Take the leap. The statistic that says 90% of businesses fail shouldn't concern you. It doesn't matter. Jump in the pool of sharks. You might get bit. You might also come out a champion. Either way it is better than never trying. Just get started. You're not going to know how to do everything, which is perfectly ok. You'll learn as you go, we all do. That is how entrepreneurs become successful. No one knows everything going into a business. Entrepreneurs learn as they go.
Now get to work!