“An innovator is one who does not know it cannot be done.”
A brilliant engineer named R.A. Mashelkar uttered these words during a TED talk 5 years ago. Though at the time he was discussing new and noteworthy designs for cheap products, the words apply to entrepreneurship more aptly than anything else.
It’s actually quite atrocious how many people are miserable at their jobs. As reported by Forbes, unhappy employees outnumber satisfied employees two to one worldwide. My own generation came of adult age around the Great Recession and have therefore been scarred for life in all matters of finance and credit. It seems that it’s resigned us to the false ideology that we have no other option but to drag our feet to tiny cubicles we despise each morning.
To the contrary: there has never been a better time for a new idea.
You don’t have to work 12 hours daily if you don’t want to. In contemporary times, the traditional 9-5 work schedule is antiquated.
Go back to school. Opt for the route of a full-time freelancer and work on something new every day. Or, lastly, and what I’ll suggest with most gravity: start your own business doing something you love.
It’s daunting, but very likely easier than you think.
Initiating a brand new project will ever be a walk in the park, but it seems that we’re all running on a misassumption regarding what it means to be an entrepreneur.
Most business owners fail the first, second and third time; 8 out of 10 new businesses don’t make it, to be exact. Almost inevitably, your first pursuit will be unsuccessful.
The clincher is that these aspiring entrepreneurs come back, having learned what worked and what didn’t a la Donald Trump the Crazy and Follicle-y challenged. He’s filed for corporate bankruptcy not once but four times. Simply put, the best approach is to keep at it until something sticks. People who believe in themselves and their ideas are a force to be reckoned with. Which brings me to the fact that…
Even the industries you think can’t be improved have room for the next big innovation.
Just this year, we’ve seen public transportation reinvented by the likes of Uber, Lyft, and like-minded companies. Prior to their inceptions, who would’ve thought, “Hey, I don’t like taxis and I don’t want to pay $20 to go around the block. I think I’ll make everyone a taxi driver and charge far less money”?
The thought is rudimentary and yet it took us this long to develop the technology to make it work; without smartphones and apps, the concept wouldn’t have been feasible. Now the tech world has deemed it a “real-time mobile logistics company” and it’s making nearly $20 million a week.
As long as there are innovations in technology, anything can happen.
There are so many ways to make an idea a reality. Our seemingly never-ending source of iPhones, laptops and billboards can shuttle any thought anywhere. People with new ideas are so highly respected they actually have an official title in “Thought Leaders.” Think marketing guru Seth Godin and designer Paul Adams of Facebook.
But what about money, you say? Ah, well…
Funding isn’t simple, but it isn’t impossible.
Most people don’t realize that many businesses got their start on a few Jackson notes from Uncle Fred. Reaching out to family and joining local organizations geared towards entrepreneurship are solid first steps.
Apple, Amazon, Google, Mattel, Microsoft — these massive companies all, literally, started in someone’s garage.
There are certainly places that it’s more probable to become funded by the big shots. It’s no secret that San Francisco and New York are tech meccas rife with accelerators, or companies that exist solely to make start-ups work. If you have a solid enough plan and the confidence to approach people who could very well make a lot of money off of that plan, you’re set. Most of them accept applications and many are specific to certain niches.
There are nearly 10 million millionaires in America. As a matter of fact, that number hit a record high just last year. $20K is nothing to them, and it’s possible to gain a lot of traction on that amount if it’s leveraged well.
You could even shoot big and target Shark Tank, which is how my own company garnered much of its funding, and the publicity certainly helped. We’ve become San Diego’s #1 fastest-growing private company in a matter of a couple years.
If you’re thinking you don’t know anyone you could even remotely justify reaching out to in pursuit of this endeavor, consider that…
Anyone has the means to start their own business.
Etsy, Fiverr, and even Facebook are accessible for about the $100 that it requires to get an internet connection.
The internet abounds with success stories that were made possible by these platforms. Just last month, an article went live on a woman who made a living on Etsy selling handmade rubber stamps. She was no business mogul; the stay-at-home mom was quite plainly an artist with drive.
She was what is called an “accidental entrepreneur,” which is a title shared by the likes of Mark Zuckerburg. So consider this…
There’s more range in sales platforms and business models now than ever.
Even if you don’t think you have a business plan, if you have a few ideas, you’re developing one. You don’t need to have a business degree to provide a service someone would pay money for, and you certainly don’t need one to be successful.
Start doing what feels right to you and one day you might draw those steps down on a piece of paper. BOOM, you’re official: these things are overcomplicated.
There’s a pessimism out there that’s quenching the fires of creativity in business.
Success is so much more attainable than we’ve all been led to believe.