As every honest entrepreneur will tell you, starting any new venture is always more complicated than you think.
The book version of “It’s Your Business” rolls off the presses this week. Publishing a book was certainly a new venture for me and it offered several important reminders of value to anyone getting started.
1) It’s a lot easier to talk about doing something than to actually do it. Good ideas are fun and exciting, but real value lies in implementation. In response to reader’s requests, I began talking about putting together a series of articles in a book format nearly four years ago. Eventually commitment and effort supplemented all the talk and good intentions to get the job done.
2) Everything takes longer and costs more than you initially anticipate. This isn’t a reason not to start or to give up too soon, but it is a dose of reality. No one starts a new venture without being an optimist, but even the biggest optimist must plan for worse case scenarios or they run the risk of running out of time and resources prior to reaching their objective.
3) While the driving force behind any new venture often comes from just one or two people, the success of any new venture is dependent on a matrix of contributions from a number of people. While it’s my name on the cover of this book, there wouldn’t be any book without the support and efforts of friends, family, editors, printers and many others. If you fail to recognize how dependent you are on others, you become even more dependent.
4) Use experienced professionals whenever possible. Starting a business, writing a book or getting involved in any new endeavor is an infrequent event for most of us. It only makes sense to draw on the experience and expertise of someone who specializes in those activities. With no experience at marketing a book, I’ve been fortunate to have an experienced editor and the professionals at Thunderbird Books to assume the important responsibility for marketing the book.
5) If there’s something you really want to try, stop talking about it and give it a try. Despite the effort, the time and the stumbles along the way, the enjoyment of picking up that finished product made all the work worthwhile. As Bo Jackson the business consultant advised us in an earlier IYB article, “Just Do It.”
6) Most importantly, remember that the final shape of any new venture is determined by the needs of its intended customers. I never started out with the thought in mind that “It’s Your Business” would someday become a book. If it weren’t for a lot of interest and requests from loyal readers, it probably never would have happened. I’m glad it did and I thank you all for your encouragement.