The Passion of the Entrepreneur
"Passionate" might be the best word to describe Neil Godin, business trainer and speaker, Neil Godin International Inc. The effusive Godin explained to a captivated audience at today's Managers' Toolbox, that one of the secrets to succeeding in starting your own business is to be passionate about what you do. Godin outlined several different areas that he feels most would-be business owners should focus on before they quit their day jobs and go into business for themselves.
"Turn your hobby into something that pays," said Godin, counselling the diverse crowd of potential business owners to discover their passion. "Don't just pick a top ten business because it's got a track record of success. Pick a business that you can't live without doing. That way, you won't let it fail. " Godin talked about a friend in Ontario who started a woodworking business because he loved to do it and had all the necessary equipment.
Once people discover their passion, Godin suggested they speak to roughly 100 people about their business idea to see if it's viable. "The most important thing you can do before you even start your own business is to have a waiting list of customers," said Godin, who was careful to mention that this type of research wasn't considered selling because you're simply looking for feedback on an idea. But the potential of this kind of research is that it can translate into customers down the road.
Godin then talked about building a blueprint for success, citing the old clichA©, "A failure to plan is planning to fail. " "Many people think that the best way to start a business is to work hard on writing their business plan, when actually the most beneficial work you can do is to market research," said Godin. He recounted a story about a couple that wanted to open a bed and breakfast on one of the Gulf Islands, but didn't know their market. Godin suggested they do some research on their target customers. Where? "On the ferry, on the island where you're hoping to start your business," Godin told them. And in their research, the pair discovered that their target customers were not only looking for a place to stay, but also wanted interesting things to do once they arrived on the island. So the answer for this couple was to open a bed and breakfast that offered activities and excursion planning-an excellent niche in a crowded bed and breakfast market.
Godin also lauded women for being much more successful in business startups than men-by a three-to-one margin-because they were much better planners.
"The number one reason small businesses fail is the failure to start," said Godin. "So go and discover your passion." Sound advice from someone who's proved he knows what he's talking about. This content was provided courtesy of the Vancouver Board of Trade. To read more related articles, go to www.boardoftrade.com.