Hey, guys. Calvin here from Young & Wildly Successful from the beach in Sri Lanka. The sun is setting. I thought I’d take a moment and just record a video for all the budding and aspiring entrepreneurs out there. I get asked so often, “Cal, how do you start a business?” I’m going to be detailing the steps in this video about how you go about starting something from the ground up. How do you go about actually getting the ball rolling? How do you take an idea from concept to execution, implementation and get shit done, so to speak?
I’m going to be detailing all of that, but I want to get started by saying this. If you’re actually serious about becoming a business owner, you’ve go to invest heavily in yourself. You’re going to learn heavily. You’re going to make sure you’re constantly pushing the envelope. You want to make sure that you’re always adding value. These are just principles of success. If you think just getting a business started today is going to be simple and easy just because now we can set up things on the Internet or you can use Facebook marketing, I’m really sorry to say that it’s not. It’s a huge amount of work and time, energy, and effort but I promise you it’s worth it.
So if you’ve got a big idea, if you’ve got something that you want to change the world, the first step to getting started is to get started. And that’s really the only step. I said I was going to detail them. There’s only really one step and that’s get out of your own way. In fact, it’s like move. Get out the way. Because so often we set ourselves in our own limitations. We self-sabotage because we think we’re not ready.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve spoken to people and they say, “I’m getting ready. I’m just prepping. I’m putting my plan and shit together.” Bullshit. Your plan doesn’t need to be put together. The best plan is sales. That sales is the oxygen. If you can’t produce sales, you don’t need to plan on how to create sales. You need a back-of-an-envelope calculation on how many people are going to buy your shit, how much it’s going to cost, and how you’re going to get started. And how you’re going to get started is to get out there and start selling it. You don’t have to have elaborate, concrete business plans. None of that stuff matters because what you think you know in business, by the time you actually come to implement and execute, it’s going to be fundamentally different.
When I got started with Young & Wildly Successful…we’re now three years on, we’re a multi-million dollar company, we’ve got a team that travel around the world…I didn’t imagine that any of the things that I’m actually doing today would be the things that I’m actually doing. I actually was thinking I was going to be doing X but then X led to Y and Y led to this and we then just created a tapestry. What’s more important than getting the right plan is just getting a plan into action because that means so much more than just simply having the right plan.
Now some people go, “Cal, I don’t even know where to start.” Start by going, what’s my product, who’s going to buy it, and can I sell it? If you can do those three things, you’ve got what’s called proof of concept. Proof of concept is where you’ve actually been able to prove that your concept works. If your concept is a mobile app or something like that, then getting a couple of users on board that give you positive feedback, that’s proof of concept. If it’s a restaurant, starting by actually making the food and if people like it and if they’re willing to buy it in small quantities at markets.
If your product is a physical product, maybe like a selfie stick for example or something of that nature, if you’re inventing something for the first time, again markets and pop-up stores are such a great way of creating it. Why not do a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter to get proof of concept? If you’re a service-based business, the old school way of calling, of prospecting, of getting out there and cold calling people is absolutely freaking essential and we want to utilize that.
So let’s just get out there and hustle some people, do some beta tests if you’re a service-based business. If you’re out there and you’re selling goods and services that are higher price point, obviously that might be a bit more of a challenge than setting up a pop-up store, but you might be able to get some early tech enthusiasts to get behind your idea. And if that’s the case, then all you need to do is to be able to get a couple of people on board and get some initial feedback.
Guys, it’s so easy to get started once you get out of your way. And the big question you want to ask yourself is this, who can I sell my product or service to today? Because if you do that every single day, you’ll have a successful business. One of the things that I learned early on was that if you’re not making a sale every day in your business, your business is dying. If you’re not making a sale every day in your business, your business is dying. And so I would encourage you to keep your sales alive. Sales is oxygen and proof of concept really comes when you make sales.
So your business can’t just be, “I’m going to do webinars to people, I’m going to do a challenge.” It has to be a business model and I like to think of the business model as really having four parts. Free content or value to the market. An irresistible offer to get people started. Bring them in, then sell them the core product or service. Then have the premium offer. Four levels. Free value, irresistible offer, core program, and then a premium program. And we have programs and courses that’ll teach you how to set this up but fundamentally you should be able to get a business started and making money within 30 days. If you can’t get a business started and making money within 30 days, you’re making it too complicated. And if you can’t produce that, you shouldn’t be in business.
Now some businesses are going to take a little bit longer to make money obviously. You’re not going to set up a rocket company or a car company in 30 days and start making money. However the best companies know this one principle. That is sell first, build second. If you can’t sell it, then probably it’s not good and therefore your product and service is going to be crap. What you should focus on is, “What can I sell,” and then, “How can I make it the way that I want it,” because at least then you’ve got oxygen and the door to be able to make things happen.
So I just want to encourage you guys to get started. The first step to getting started is to get started. To make sales. And you don’t have to have a meta-concrete plan because sometimes the plan holds us back. We think we have a plan therefore we have to follow the plan. In fact, it’s about having flexibility. When I think about any business, I think about the product, I think about the customer. Okay, cool. Are they into sync, are they in alignment, are they in congruency? If they are, I then do some back-of-the-envelope calculations. How much money can I sell it for? How many people are going to have to buy it in order for me to make serious money?
If you’re not making 100, $200,000 a year profit at the end of this within a couple of years, then you’re wasting your time because you could make that money somewhere else getting a J-O-B. So don’t fall into romance with your company. Fall into romance with your customer and you’ll then have a very successful company because you’ll continue to innovate. People that fall in love with their idea and try to sell their idea, what they forget is that it doesn’t matter if your idea is good or bad. All that matters is if the customer’s willing to pay for it. And if they’re willing to pay for it, you’re going to have success and if they’re not willing to pay for it, you’re going to have struggle.
You’ve got to meet the customer where they are and then move them forward. It’s the same for politics, it’s the same for relationships, the same for jobs. You can’t be too far ahead of the customer that they don’t actually value what you have to offer because you’re too far ahead of your time. And I think that’s really important for a lot of the innovative, creative, visionary people. Sometimes we miss the mark because we’re too far ahead and this timing is very, very important. Timing’s very important. So guys, if you’re looking to get started in business, hopefully those lessons lead you in the right direction.
I want you to understand, trust your gut, guys. You’re going to make so many freaking mistakes, it’s not funny. In fact, I want to share a quick story with you about failing fast. I’ve just been finished reading a book about Elon Musk and he had these machine parts he needed to test for a rocket system. These were $75,000 panels of glass, $75,000 that they needed to hold the fuel. And they were doing some tests in the Texan desert. At 75,000, they had three of these, that’s all they could afford. Three of these parts.
In the first test, they tried and the glass broke because the pressure was too big and then they made some changes. The second test went off again, the glass broke a second time. And then Elon Musk ordered the third test to get done and the engineer’s like, “What are you doing? We only have three of these panels.” He says, “Test it.” The third test went through and it broke.
He spent, what was it, 150, 200, 225,000…$225,000 in the space of 15 minutes. He says, “Guys, I didn’t think that that panel of glass was going to work. Now we know it won’t work. Let’s find a new solution.” But some companies would have waited and spent a couple of more months testing the product to make sure if it was the right thing, then they would have tried it, then they would, “Oh, we don’t want to spend the 75,000 now go and try something different. Maybe we’ll fix the old one.”
Nah. Make mistakes quickly. Learn from the failures quickly and then you’ll be in business. The aim of business is not to see who wins. The aim of business is to see who fails fastest and learns fastest. And you’re going to make so many mistakes. In fact, you want to make ten times the mistakes your competition does and that means while they’re still trying to learn and figure their shit out, you’re already ahead of the curve.
Guys, I just want to encourage you, as always…apologies for the quick video, I’m a bit inspired today. The sunset’s just magnificent here. I’m going to show you that. I want to encourage you guys no matter where you are to live strong and live for passion. To make today and every day a phenomenal, life-changing adventure and above all else, guys, wherever you are around the world, guys, I just want to encourage you to live life on your own terms. I’ll see you very, very soon on another video.