Three Rules to Build By
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We’ve developed 3 rules to build your business by.
We could probably come up with 100 more rules, but these are the top 3 because they address mistakes we see independent entrepreneurs make again and again.
1. Make something people want
Starting your own business, blazing your own trail as an entrepreneur, requires a ton of faith in yourself.
Most of our life we’re trained to stay in our seat, get good grades and move up the corporate ladder. To reach escape velocity from that culture requires an enormous amount of faith in yourself.
And sometimes that faith backfires: we get stuck too deep inside our own head.
Being in your own head is great for a hobby or making a piece of art, but that’s not what a business is. In a business we have to make something people want enough to pay us for that thing. Which means we have to know WHO wants WHAT before we can make it!
Now, in the roadmap we’re going to guide you through that, but the lesson in this rule is this: you can’t get stuck too deep inside your head; You have to make sure there’s actually a market for your idea to make something people want.
2. Treat ideas like hypotheses
Your job is not to know what’s going to work, as if you’re some prophet or palm reader that can tell the future perfectly.
Nor are you an iconoclastic genius who fights for your idea no matter what.
No, you can’t KNOW what’s going to work. But you CAN work it out.
See, every part of your business idea and every piece of your business plan is simply a hypothesis.
Here’s how Webster defines hypothesis: “a supposition or proposed explanation made on the basis of limited evidence as a starting point for further investigation.”
Or, as another dictionary puts it: “a mere assumption or guess.”
(We like to say hypothesis because it sounds more sciency!)
Your business idea is a guess, you’re not a fortune teller, you don’t know if it’s going to work. It’s a hypothesis, so you have to test it, work it out over time, like a researcher.
You see, if you think of yourself as a researcher, your lab coat on, clipboard in hand, it’s a fundamentally different way of thinking about building a business. It’s patient, observant, iterative…. which means it’s SMART.
Now, we are going to walk you through the iterative way to work out your business in the roadmap, But here’s where this idea really pays off: when you treat your idea like a hypothesis, there’s no such thing as failure… there’s only feedback.
You execute, record the results, iterate, make changes and try the next test.
When you get into the researcher’s mindset you can launch and grow and learn and adapt, turning what others call failure into feedback and fuel. Please, treat your business ideas like hypotheses.
3. Don’t go it alone
As an independent entrepreneur you will experience intense highs and lows. Don’t go through either the highs or the lows alone.
Yea, there’s isolation and loneliness that comes with this kind of work… this isn’t about that.
Yea, you can save time and frustration by asking for insights from others who’ve been there before…. this isn’t about that either.
This rule is about a simple fact we’ve seen again and again: every successful entrepreneur has strong connections with other entrepreneurs.
Some swear by mastermind groups. Others say that keeping a progress log has been the key for them. We’ll walk you through both of those later on in the roadmap.
If you want to survive this, if you want to create a thriving, sustainable and profitable business you’re proud of, you will need to invest in a community of like minded entrepreneurs. Don’t go it alone.
- Make something people want.
- Treat ideas like hypotheses.
- Don’t go it alone.
Three simple rules to build your business by. Break a leg.