Starting A Business? Don’t Be Selfish

“Be Your Own Boss” “Follow Your Passion” “Escape 9 til 5”

When I hear statements like this, alarms bells immediately go off. Whether it be through Facebook targeted ads, or a friend who convinces me to attend some MLM event – it revolves around the same selfish reason – YOU!

These statements forget the one crucial element that every successful business understands – the customer. It’s almost as if the needs of the market are ignored! “Who cares what the customer wants, I love poetry and kids – these things inspires me so I will start company that sells poems to junior school”. 

This may very well be a great idea – if you have identified a gap in the market or an unfulfilled need that your poetry will help address. But to simply start a business from the premise of your own selfish desires is rolling the dice and hoping for the best!

“But Allan – doesn’t your bio say you want to help people find the enlightenment through their work?”. 

Yes but in order to have work – you must have a sustainable business. And a sustainable business must first and foremost solve the needs of a market.

So this means that even though you might be an expert body builder and love the gym – what really makes you think you’ll dominate as a personal trainer against the other 2,000 PTs working in your city? Now, on the other hand if you happen to spend some time with PTs, learn their pain-points, learn enough coding to build a lead-gen system that brings qualified leads to PTs – you may have a viable business on your hand.

You'll need more than muscles to differentiate yourself in a crowded market
You’ll need more than muscles to differentiate yourself in a crowded market

Simply learning coding is not enough and I would argue that learning coding for the sake of it is selfish. You need to be purpose-driven. Technology does not trump solving actual needs and helping real people solve their problems. It (coding) is merely a tool to use to help customers AFTER you understand their needs, behaviours and pain-points.

Will this be difficult? You bet your ass it will be! But if you’re serious about differentiating yourself from the other 2000 PTs – you don’t have an option.

Initially, instead of focusing on YOU, focus on the needs of the market and providing value to the consumer. Once these needs are met (and hopefully exceeded!) you have a sustainable business and can begin to shift the focus onto YOU, and your role within the company. E.g. hiring staff to perform administrative duties, customer service or other tasks that don’t fit your work-DNA.

Ironically, the market is selfish and doesn’t care about your passions – like a crying baby, you must give it what it wants before you tend to yourself.

Author: Allan Manuel

Allan is a Digital Marketing Consultant who specialises in startups. Get in touch with Allan here.

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