How To Become A Startup pro - On The Side

Book One In The Start Up Pro Series

Chapter 1 - We Are All Born Entrepreneurs

It’s a sad fact of life that the majority of wannabe entrepreneurs will never get to fulfil their lifelong ambitions, dreams and aspirations of becoming successful startup owners. Many will spend their valuable time talking about doing it but will fail to take the action needed to actually make it happen, whilst others will only ever muster a token “have a go” gesture but will rarely commit with enough “all in” effort to cross the finish line successfully

Unfortunately for the growing army of wannabe entrepreneurial freedom fighters and soon to be “billionaire business tycoons” they often find themselves held back by their own lack of self-confidence, limiting beliefs and the constrained mindsets that have built up over the years. They will often focus on and listen to negative narratives, associate with the wrong types of influencers and continue to be guided and often misled by others. More often than not they believe that “success” is what happens to other people and deep down don’t believe that they too have the skills, knowledge and expertise to become successful “on the side” startup entrepreneurs.

For those of you out there having doubts about your ability to make it as an “on the side” startup entrepreneur, I’m going to demonstrate how you already possess all the qualities and attributes needed to turn your dreams into a reality. The biggest stumbling block for many new startup founders is not, as many believe, a lack of ideas, finances or resources. The real challenge is that their true and natural entrepreneurial spirit has become dumbed down and buried over the years by the ongoing drudgery of day-to-day habits, routines and behaviours. This situation is further exacerbated by the overwhelming compliance to think, act and conform to the traditional rules and role models that others have defined.

The truth is, we are all born entrepreneurs, salespeople and expert marketeers. In fact we are naturally born that way and learn to hone those skills early on in order to survive. Don’t believe me? Simply take a look at any child. Children are masters of the entrepreneurial craft. They are highly skilled sales people who deliver compelling pitches, create irresistible offers and are experts at removing obstacles, solving problems and reframing their proposals. Every child also has the uncanny knack of maximising emotional hooks, they are never afraid to ask for the sale, and will unashamedly use every psychological trick in the book to close the deal. Now that sounds like all of the ingredients needed to become a first-class entrepreneur to me. I know from experience that my own children, and those of others for that matter, have sold me time and time again and that’s with an intimate knowledge of how this stuff works. My advice for budding entrepreneurs follows that of the great Jim Rohn:

Think like a child.”

From a young age I was always curious about the mechanics of how things worked, and this curiosity naturally led me to start up a number of small “on the side” enterprises over the years. I grew them, overcame unforeseen challenges, navigated the inevitable ups and downs and had a fair degree of success, even if it was on a very small scale at that time. What’s important to understand here is that these early successes were achieved without the benefits of any real-life experiences, soft skills, business education, training or access to the mass of free online resources that are available today. The point is I set up my own little enterprises out of sheer necessity and ran them on nothing more than pure instinct and gut feel. I was not following a grand plan or trying to replicate anyone else’s successes. I just got up and did what needed to be done in order to deliver the desired outcome. In many cases my simplistic child-like thinking and resourcefulness was, as it turned out, all I needed to succeed. When we are young, unencumbered and carefree, everything seems uncomplicated and achievable. We don’t care too much about rejection, politics or spending time reasoning why or how failure is so inevitable, we just tend to knuckle down and get on with it, happy to experiment, fail and learn as we go. You would think that with age and wisdom alongside the benefits of hindsight, experience and education that it would be easier to navigate the complexities of getting a startup project successfully off the ground. The reality however is very different. With time, knowledge and experience comes belief, emotion and complexity, whereby we appear to lose our natural born talents, curiosity and the ability to think, and more importantly act, with the same freedom we did as children. Remember that simplistic view of the world where anything and everything was possible, and where failure had little or no consideration or consequences in your plans? Back to the real world and this way of thinking seems to have vanished into a cynical quagmire of opinionated views, immovable perceptions and self-limiting beliefs that continually serve to restrict our actions.

We are all born as free thinkers and resourceful problem solvers, in fact our very survival depends upon it. The challenge facing most of us in today’s modern society however is that we have become accustomed to being constantly spoon-fed, directed and told what to do, when to do it and how. It’s this fundamentally flawed command and control mindset that’s been slowly eroding our true natural resourcefulness down the generations. But here is the good news. It’s simple to get that resourcefulness back and to start thinking like a child again.

You can start doing this quickly by implementing a “simple thinking” strategy into your everyday life by choosing to take a child-like view of situations, problems and dilemmas. Challenge everything, start using language like “why”, “what if” and “why not”. Train yourself to strip away the complex, simplify everything and start seeing things for what and how they really are rather than what you are told they should be. Take a single-minded approach and be mindful not to become adversely influenced, controlled or manipulated by others. Be open with your views but bloody minded and unmovable when it comes to execution and application. Whenever you find yourself lost in complexity, or your thinking starts to become limited or biased by your limiting beliefs, just take ten seconds out and ask how your six-year-old self would approach the situation. Apply this simple practice routinely for several weeks and you will be amazed by how simple and possible everything suddenly starts to look again.

Chapter 2 - The Startup Universe

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How To Become A Startup Pro On The Side - James Kingham

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