In today’s podcast I focus on recent questions about taking steps to take control.
Almost daily I am approached by people who feel lost in what they do for a living. They see other people succeeding and they have desire to do something, but do not know where to start. Today, we look at some of these questions about starting your own company and taking control of your income.
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Question #1:I have a very entrepreneurial spirit, but I do not know where to start. How do I find my calling in a venture that actually makes sense? — Dave in New Orleans
a. First be aware you need to expand your view. Think about being a movie or TV actor. The normal approach is to get an agent and wait. But, as an alternative we see some who take control. The reality YOUTUBE stars the ShayTards are a great example. They took control of the process and just did it, without agents. Instead of doing the same old thing, they tried something new and it worked.
b. Next you have to THINK. You might call it brainstorming. To do this, you can download my free ebook on “how to find your calling”. Download the ebook on the right side of the blog page at dalecallahan.com.
c. Read, observe, and explore.
Ben Carson, the famous neurosurgeon that grew up in poverty, says his mom observed what wealthy people did and mimicked their behavior.
Mrs. Carson noticed the following:
– People on Welfare never get free from the government, so she refused welfare. She did not want to be a slave.
– Wealthy people read a lot and did not watch much TV, so she turned off the TV and gave the kids books to read – even though she could not read herself.
d. Get inspired. Some great resources I use to help my thinking:
- 48 Days by Dan Miller
- Career Renegade by Jonathan Fields
- Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki
- Resumes are Worthless by me. I still use a lot of the exercise in the book for me as well as with others.
e. Thinking with pen and paper. I remember hearing an audio from Earl Nightingale where he said we RARELY think. So, perhaps we should THINK for a change.
– Write at top of the paper “I need extra income doing what I love.” This is your problem statement. Now, brainstorm. Talk through with your spouse or others you trust.
– Change your words. Saying “We do not have enough money to do …” is significantly different from saying “How can we earn the money to ….?”. Words matter!
f. Do reverse interviews. Constantly! To learn more about them, see the link on my blog to the reverse interview.
Question #2: I work for the public school system as a math teacher. I see a big weakness in what we do in connecting with kids, and I have developed ways to teach math that connects. How do I get my idea into the public school system? Stephanie in Birmingham, AL.
Answer: It is hard to change a system. Instead focus on what you care about – helping kids.
– Tutor. This gets you in direct contact with the issues.
– Blog or film videos on the web based on how you do the work. Khan Academy is a great example of someone stepping out making it happen.
– Work into the school after you have a following. Once you are respected, they will listen. Otherwise, it is a hard road to work your way in. Check out Michael Hyatt’s book Platform – great path to get respect.
Question #3: “I had a friend killed in a plane accident where the plane lost airspeed and no one noticed until it was too late. I have worked for years to develop a tool that will solve this problem. I am passionate, but do not have to large funds to make these devices and get them connected to the carriers. What do I do?” Sheri in Mobile Alabama
I hear this type of idea a lot. Basically what we discussed (and I discuss in the podcast) was
– Problem with major infrastructure changes.
– Refitting costs a lot of money – in this case $50k each aircraft.
– Tough to get to manufacturers and carriers.
In conversation she had one major competitor, but her idea was better.
So my advice
– Approach your competitor. You have to get beyond the engineer and get to where the financial problem lies. Engineers like to solve problems, but solutions have to pay. Best to see if they will buy it your idea. Similar to Dyson story.
– Approach smaller manufacturers who might show more interest.
– Connect with key players in the industry by going to conferences. Which ones? Call and ask where they go and after go where the decision makers will be. (sometimes easier to do this then get in the door at their offices) Also think about association meetings.
– Instead of making device, how can you become an expert advising in the field? Sheri felt like she was not an expert, but after talking she seemed to know a ton about this one problem – therefore she is one of the few experts. Should could write about it, blog about it, get heard. Share ideas.
Key Principles in Getting Started
1. Find something you do already. Something you wish other people would offer for you to buy.
– May already see similar products. Improve or make different.
Example: My focus is helping people find alternative to corporate jobs. Pam Slim, Dan Miller, Jonathan Fields all do similar things, but my focus is a bit different and my audience a bit different.
2. Start NOW. Tonight!
– We started a homeschool math education business. I wanted to perfect the videos. My wife Lea said – “Go now and turn on the camera and start teaching. People do not want high end production, they want teaching.” She was right. Start now and ship it.
3. Avoid perfection syndrome.
– This podcast I started pretty quick.
– Spent $200 on logo design and just went at it. If this does what we want it to, we will improve over time. Most people who start podcasting start with less!
– Just do it – and do it now. Where you end up is not ever where you start.
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Question: What can you start in the next week that will take you to a new place? You have seven days – start now. You can leave a comment by clicking here.