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GOLD! Do You Have A Successful Entrepreneurial Premise?

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MJ DeMarco

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Do You Have a Successful Entrepreneurial Premise?

The most common mistake aspiring entrepreneurs make is to approach entrepreneurship with the wrong premise. You've heard the doom-and-gloom statistic that 90% of all new businesses fail in 5 years. While this stat is disheartening, it can empower you to become the minority 10% who don't fail by understanding why most do.

Quite frequently I read posts from people, albeit well-intended, with grandiose goals of making a fortune by starting a business. You've heard the countless questions repeated dozens of times:
  • How can I make money starting a business?
  • What business can I start with $200 and still make $5K per month?
  • What home-based business can I start?
  • I have a friend who manufacturers widgets; you think I can make money selling them?
  • How can I make a passive income?
  • What's a good product to sell on Ebay?
  • What's the best business to start on a shoestring?
If you find yourself sitting around asking yourself these types of questions, your entrepreneurial premise more than likely will lead you into the 90% failure category. Why? An entrepreneurial premise predicated on money is like building a house on sand; it's likely to come crumbling down. Start with a weak foundation in any task and your odds of failure increase.

Fastlane Principle: Selfish premises do not make good, long-term business models.

Businesses should not be created to make money. Businesses should not be created to satisfy your desire to “do what you love”. No one cares about your selfish ideas about dreams and making money. The world doesn't care about your business, your desire to make money, and your dreams of owning a business “doing what you love”. Again, no one cares!

What people DO CARE about is what your business can do for them. How will your business help me? What's in it for me? Will it solve my problem? Make something easier? Provide me with shelter? Save me money? Educate me? Make me feel a certain way? Tell me why should I give your business money for your product or service?

The problem with new business owners is they create businesses based on the faulty premises; faulty premises that don't lead to profitable business.
“I need a new income stream”
“I’m an expert in [blank] so Ill do that"
“I read a book and it says to start a business”
Wrong. Wrong. And wrong.

Fastlane Principle: You begin to attract money when you STOP BEING SELFISH and turn your business focuses from the needs of yourself to the needs of other people.

Businesses don't attract money -- businesses that solve needs do. If your goal is to attract wealth ethically and with integrity, selfish motives, albeit a powerful motivator, won't serve you well to attract great wealth.

Money is a like a mischievous cat; if you chase it around the neighborhood, it eludes you-- hiding up a tree, behind the rose bush, or in the garden. However, if you ignore it and focus on what attracts the cat other than the cat itself, it will come to you and sit right in your lap.

The foundation of all highly successful business is the satisfaction of consumer needs as reflected by sales in the marketplace. The marketplace-- people, not you-- determine if your business is viable. If you sell 10,000,000 of Product XYZ, 10,000,000 people have voted that your product will help them, or satisfy one of their needs. People vote with their money.

Fastlane Principle: Focusing on the needs of others is the only entrepreneurial premise that improves your odds of business success.

Growing wealth germinates by solving needs on a massive scale, or in a highly impactual way. It could be as gigantic as starting a software company like Bill Gates or Larry Ellison, or something seemingly minute like putting a new spin on something old. If you own a website that services 10,000 people daily, you're making an impact. If you own real estate company that provides housing to 1,000 people, you're making an impact. Make a freaking impact!!

Is this an all-inclusive rule? No. Exceptions exist. Many profitable businesses are founded on greed -- however profit in the name of greed and selfish interest usually lands those companies on the television or in the Better Business Bureau complaint files. Consumer greed also exists and greedy business owners can serve this demographic well (The all too popular consumer mantra: "We want the best price" often ends up as a scam or services rendered poorly.)

The objective of this post is to increase your odds of business success. While you can chose to ignore this advice and continue moving forward with selfish interest, I'd speculate your failure odds are inline with the stats -- 90% -- whereas moving to an unselfish premise might increase it to 50%.

EXAMPLE
Joe was an expert in martial arts and he loved his craft. Following the advice of gurus, he set out to "do what he loved" and opened up a martial art studio. Within 10 months, his studio closed down as he could no longer support his family on his $21,000 year business profit.

Before starting, Joe was destined for failure due to a faulty entrepreneurial premise based on selfish needs: "I'm an expert in martial arts and love the art, therefore I should open a studio".

The correct premises are: Is there a need in my neighborhood for a martial art studio? What are current martial arts studios doing wrong? What are they doing that I could do better? What better services and value could I provide to the martial art student? What do I bring to the table to this community?

Had Joe analyzed and answered these questions first and foremost, his odds of business success would have increased dramatically.

My advice to aspiring business owners is this: Quit looking around for money-making opportunities -- instead, look around outside of yourself, stop being selfish, and help your fellow man solve their problems.

If you can make 1,000,000 people achieve any of the following:

1) Make them feel better
2) Help them solve a problem
3) Educate them
4) Make them look better (health, nutrition, clothing, makeup)
5) Give them security (housing, safety, health)
6) Arise a positive emotion (love, happiness, laughter, self-confidence)
7) Satisfy appetites of all kind, from basic (food) to the risqué (sexual).
8) Make things easier
9) Enhance their dreams and give hope

Do any of the above and I can guarantee you this: You will be worth millions.

So, the next time you hear yourself trolling around for opportunities to make you money, sit back and ask yourself this ...

"What do I have to offer the world?"

Offer the world something of value and the money will be close behind.

MJ
 

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John Stafford

New Contributor
Oct 3, 2007
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NJ
You're the man MJ.

People in my town do this all the time when they
open up stuff buffets and bakerys, most of the
good ones are full non-stop. Human beings are
slaves to their appetites and lazy by nature.

Anything along those lines and you'll do very
well.


John
 

Sid23

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Aug 9, 2007
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amazing post MJ.

rep speed +++
 

michael515

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Aug 27, 2007
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:thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup:


A business only makes money when it provides a SERVICE to a customer.
 

yveskleinsky

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Jul 26, 2007
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Man this is SO true!!! It seems if an entrepreneur combines Russ' motivation of finding your own personal "why" with MJ's ideas on finding someone else's "why", success and enjoying the process will follow. ++rep
 

M-M

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Aug 27, 2007
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I see business come and go constantly in my small town (pop. 6,000). I shake my head in disbelief, as they go in with exactly the wrong mindset. Too bad, since some of them seem quite ambitious.
 

aptohosting

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School Tuition- $80,000 (4 years)
Money spent on books/materials- $6,000
Time wasted in business school - 4 years

Logging and getting the best piece of financial advise free from a multimillionaire...priceless

"Money is a like a mischievous cat; if you chase it around the neighborhood, it eludes you-- hiding up a tree, behind the rose bush, or in the garden. However, if you ignore it and focus on what attracts the cat other than the cat itself, it will come to you and sit right in your lap."

4 years in business school, and this is by far the best explanation I have ever received.
 

iiinvisi0n

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Sep 25, 2007
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I second that motion...this is by far the best site I have ever been to..I've gained so much valuable knowledge here.
I get so inspired to know that I'm on the right track. The fastlane....
 

MJ DeMarco

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School Tuition- $80,000 (4 years)
Money spent on books/materials- $6,000
Time wasted in business school - 4 years

Logging and getting the best piece of financial advise free from a multimillionaire...pricesless

"Money is a like a mischievous cat; if you chase it around the neighborhood, it eludes you-- hiding up a tree, behind the rose bush, or in the garden. However, if you ignore it and focus on what attracts the cat other than the cat itself, it will come to you and sit right in your lap."

4 years in business school, and this is by far the best explanation I have ever received.

Thx!! Send McLovin some Lovin!

Man this is SO true!!! It seems if an entrepreneur combines Russ' motivation of finding your own personal "why" with MJ's ideas on finding someone else's "why", success and enjoying the process will follow. ++rep

Dana you've got it. Your personal "why" (which is selfish) gets you up in the morning and motivated. Everyone has their whys and the fire it creates should not be denied, but harnessed into action. Now you get Speed++ for summing it up in one nice easy to package sentence. :)

I second that motion...this is by far the best site I have ever been to..I've gained so much valuable knowledge here.
I get so inspired to know that I'm on the right track. The fastlane....

McLovin thanks you.
 

aptohosting

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More love to Mclovin...
 

Yankees338

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Jul 24, 2007
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Excellent post, McLovin'.

I was just gonna post that your selfishness is what motivates you while your willingness to help others is what attracts people to your service. The combination of both is what creates a successful businees. However, I see Yves/Dana already beat me to it!

Excellent thread. Thanks for sharing. Speed +++

P.S. I agree with Tom. Excellent point with the cat analogy.
 

BlackHollow

New Contributor
Jul 31, 2007
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Northern Colorado
WOW!! MJ, I just learned more from those 1140 words than probably ANY book I have ever read. :icon_super:

While my business has not failed, I do understand why it hasn't taken off like the rocket I had envisioned. Much like your example (actually, very, VERY similar), I created my business out of my passion; custom automotive metal fabrication. I build custom fabricated metal parts for auto restorations, resto-mods, 4X4's, one-off customs, etc. Mostly, I have about a dozen parts that I have designed and manufacture in my shop. I built a CNC plasma cutting table to cut large runs of parts and, along with the mounting hardware and install instructions, sell them on various auto/truck forums and eBay.

All this time, I thought I WAS providing a service and/or product to the gear heads, a product that THEY wanted. I am starting to come to realize that I am merely providing a service and/or product that I wanted for MY project, and knew that there would be others that would also want them, and would pay for them.

Items that I am producing are available elsewhere in the aftermarket, and are nothing new. And I know that the largest majority of my sales are from the folks that either know me from the different boards, or folks new to the boards that simply read the threads and see that I have something they haven't seen because they don't have a lot of exposure to the various aftermarkets.

Basically, my business is totally wrong from the get-go. What I saw was an opportunity to take my passion, my hobby, and make money. I am starting to see that I am offering them a product of my design and ideas, where as I should be offering them a product of their design and ideas....... :smx8: I am trying to sell what I want, what is in my head, and not what they want or need.

MANY rep points added for you!
 

Russ H

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McLovin' said:
If you can make 1,000,000 people achieve any of the following:

1) Make them feel better
2) Help them solve a problem
3) Educate them
4) Make them look better (health, nutrition, clothing, makeup)
5) Give them security (housing, safety, health)
6) Arise a positive emotion (love, happiness, laughter, self-confidence)
7) Satisfy appetites of all kind, from basic (food) to the risqué (sexual).
8) Make things easier
9) Enhance their dreams and give hope

Do any of the above and I can guarantee you this: You will be worth millions.

So, the next time you hear yourself trolling around for opportunities to make you money, sit back and ask this yourself this ...

"What do I have to offer the world?"

Offer the world something of value and the money will be close behind.

Home Run on this one, MJ.

Like you need extra rep speed at this point . . .:notworthy:

But I gots to give rep speed where rep speed is due . . . :)

-Russ H.

[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VvjE0bb3ih4"]YouTube - I am McLovin[/ame]

All Hail McLovin! :banana:
 

Bilgefisher

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Aug 29, 2007
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I don't know what to say...other than wow. This should be a poster in ever small business development seminar and forum. Better yet, when you make the wiki page, this should be one of a few posts that are under the heading Read this First
 

china

New Contributor
Sep 27, 2007
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That's a great post! I think it explains what you need to do to create a business of lasting value!

My first business (which was successful) violated some of your rules. I created it solely because I needed the money (credit card bills). I took something I loved and parlayed it into something that made money.

I only planned to have a two-month business (to pay off the bills), instead I've had it for nearly 20 years. It's been successful but the problem I've had is that it is not scalable. It depends on me to be successful. I can't hand out most of the work to others. When I really work the business, I make huge amounts of money. When I slack off, I make none. Feast or famine.

Anyway, that was a really good post. Much rep++ to you!
 

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MJ DeMarco

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Great post :notworthy: :notworthy: :notworthy:

You hit the nail on the head once again.

Can't wait for the book

+++ rep speed

I can't wait for it either ... WTF is taking so long ... ha ha :)

I will make a follow-up thread about how to change your entrepreneurial mindset.
 

BeingChewsie

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Thanks MJ.

I think it is really true what they about Maslows hierarchy of needs if your basic needs are not being met, you'll never be able to focus on the self-actualizing needs...like serving others.
 

EricThePilot

New Contributor
Nov 27, 2007
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Yucaipa, Ca
I love this thread! MJ is right on the money with this. In fact, the core of the message is even stated in the Bible. Proverbs (written by King Solomon, the wisest and richest man who ever lived) 11:24-25 "One man gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty. A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed."
 

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