How do I start a business? That is probably one of the most asked questions I get whenever I am meeting new people or speaking at an event. The question usually comes from the younger crowd, and I usually translated it to “I want to be cool and rich. How can I do that?”. I am also asked by people who are genuinely interested in how to actually start a business, but that’s another article for another day. Today, I want to answer this question for the eager entrepreneur who is excited about the “money” and “fame”.
To answer that question, I usually ask, “what are you reading now?”
I have yet to meet a successful business person who does not read. A successful person does not become successful, then start reading all of a sudden. They become successful by reading. Every time I had a business question or challenge, my coaches and mentors would always recommend a book to read. Most of the time I would find the answer or develop a new skill based on what I read.
One of my former employer, who is now one of my mentors had an interesting habit; every time he would interview a potential candidate for a job, he would always ask them what they were reading. It didn’t matter what they were reading as long as they were reading something. The answer to that question usually determined if they were going to be hired or not. His reason for it was simple. “I need to know if they can solve problems on their own.”
Many people have great ideas, but they lack the knowledge needed to transform that idea into a business. You don’t have to be a genius to start a business, just pick up a book and read how the other guys did it. There is so much information at our fingertips nowadays, and young people aren’t much into reading.
From my experience, reading has helped me develop great communication skills, both verbal and nonverbal. It helped me memorize better and have a richer vocabulary. It helped me learn English, and yes, it definitely helped me built my business. It helped me gain knowledge and insight from other successful leaders.
If you think that starting a business is all “cool” and “fun”, I am afraid you might not survive. If all you think about is the money, you will be extremely disappointed when you realize that for the first several months or so, you are probably making less than minimum wage, and your shift doesn’t start at 9 and end at 5. Not trying to scare you with the idea of starting your own business or freelance, just trying to bring you back to reality. Nevertheless, the hard work definitely pays off and it’s totally worth it.
One of my top favorites business gurus is, Gino Wickman. His books are phenomenal. I would recommend starting with “Traction” as your first read by him.
Click here to get it on Amazon.
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