How To Become A Startup pro - On The Side

Book One In The Start Up Pro Series

Chapter 3 - What YOu Really Need

Many startup “gurus”, books and new entrepreneurs themselves for that matter often focus on the big startup vision. This normally involves grand plans of heading up a large venture capital funded industry disruptor that will quickly redefine entire industries or generate completely new markets, with notions of becoming the next Facebook, Airbnb or Uber before being acquired for a gazillion dollars. Whilst having BHAGs (Big Hairy Arsed Goals) for your startup is great from an aspirational perspective, the reality for most entrepreneurs is a whole lot more down to earth. In my experience, what most new entrepreneurs really want is to be able to develop small on the side projects, boutique businesses or solo practices that can augment or replace their current incomes in order to increase freedom, choice and discretionary time. They also want to become accountable for their own security rather than being at the mercy of others for a paycheck. In essence this book is for you, the everyday “on the side” entrepreneur.

Big startups, and most start off way too big by the way, take lots of time, effort and money. They can be all consuming, are fraught with risk and have frightening rates of failure. Let’s be honest here. You don’t really want the hassle, worry and uncertainty of a startup. What you want are quick and easy ways to generate income under your own steam and on your own terms. The best way to do that from a startup perspective is by developing and launching your own portfolio of small discrete micro startups. Micro startups are small simple ideas that can be quickly developed into robust sustainable income streams. The beauty of the micro startup approach lies in its simplicity, speed of setup and income generation capability, whilst keeping investment, uncertainty and risk to an absolute minimum. The second, and some would say greatest, advantage of the micro startup is that you don’t have to bet the bank on them. Quitting your job and going “all in” on an unknown quantity is a high-risk proposition that’s tantamount to gambling. What a micro startup enables you to do is to take your ideas and get started in a small risk-free and fun way. If it works, great, scale it like mad; if it doesn’t, scrap it and move on to the next opportunity. It sounds simple and it is, so long as you keep it that way.

As you’re reading this book you’re probably the type of person who already has a number of great startup ideas and a burning desire and passion to share them with the world. You’re probably not afraid of commitment and hard work and are willing to do whatever it takes to make it happen, but for some reason real success is still eluding you, and you’re not getting the results you desired or expected. Perhaps you have even ended up working longer hours and in some cases are earning less money. So what went wrong? The most challenging obstacle facing new entrepreneurs is simple. It’s the knowledge and ability to get started the smart way.

This book is not intended to be some kind of a staunch prescriptive step by step startup methodology. My approach is far more descriptive in nature, whereby I provide you with simple ideas, actionable strategies, and guidance about starting Quick, Small and Simple micro businesses on the side based upon your own specific requirements. I also wanted to share my own experiences, knowledge and expertise of setting up the systems and processes I have used to start producing fast results.

Like all entrepreneurs I have made a ton of mistakes along the way. I have had my fair share of failures or “opportunities to learn” as they are romantically labelled, but I have also had some great successes along the way. The truth is, you absolutely need the failures to build the experience, resistance and determination required to fuel the successes. In the real world of the startup few get it right the first, second or even the third time around and the best lessons are those learned from rolling up your sleeves and doing it yourself.

Startup Pro Insight: Other people’s experience, knowledge and advice (including mine) are great, but nothing keeps you focused and teaches you more than screwing up and falling on your own arse from time to time.

For the parents among you, starting a business is a little like raising children, in that it’s a massive undertaking fraught with challenges, obstacles and unexpected events and best of all, it comes without a manual. As with parenting, everyone you know, and some you don’t, will have an opinion about how best to achieve success. Advice, anecdotes and theories will be forthcoming by the bucket load, even from those who have never done it personally. There also comes a time when you have no choice but to let your vulnerable baby startup go out into the big wide world and fend for itself. Just as with parenting all you can do is provide enough support and wisdom to minimise the risk of them damaging themselves too much in the process.

Whilst the main focus of this book is business startups, most of the strategies, principles and insights are completely portable and can therefore be adapted and used for just about any type of project you care to mention. My aim is to get you up and running as quickly as possible and actually launch something that customers will pay for. Look at my Startup Pro series of books as a friendly advisory hand on your shoulder as you set out on your entrepreneurial startup journey.

☜ Chapter 2 - The Startup universe || Chapter 4 - In The Beginning

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

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