I Need What??

Photo courtesy of Matthew (purplemattfish) - (CC)

Photo courtesy of Matthew (purplemattfish) – (CC)

It takes passion, courage and belief to start your own business. There! If you are short on time today, no need to read any further. That was the answer to the test! You may want to check back later though to see what minimum requirements it takes to make a business thrive.

For those who can pass a few more moments together, these are not the requirements that pay the bills, but to be successful in the long-term they are absolute necessities. Here’s why.

Passion   Having the next greatest invention is not required to succeed when starting your own business. What is required is your passion for what you’re good at and the ability to make your customers’ lives easier. You can personally make their lives better by doing what you’re good at to resolve their need.

When I think of accounting and the associated paperwork, I feel no passion. Instead I am filled with an overly dramatic sense of the sands of time slipping through my fingers while I waste away parched at an oasis. I did warn you that it was overly dramatic!

Photo courtesy of Gary Allman (CC)

Photo courtesy of Gary Allman (CC)

In order to justify paying someone else to do my accounting I have a counter image of my accountant wading in cool refreshing water while perusing my ledgers. He’s happy, I’m happy! He can focus on his passion for numbers and I can focus on mine for helping businesses develop smart marketing disciplines. Passionately deliver exactly what your customers want and insulate them from the problems and your business will be highly sought after. That’s why passion is a minimum requirement.

Courage   Starting your own business requires bravery. It could be said that this bravery borders on insanity because you have to have the guts to keep going when all the arrows are pointing in the opposite direction, or sometimes even coming directly for you. Picture Harold II at the Battle of Hastings with an arrow in his eye.

We all encounter moments and hours where we are not sure what to do or how to do it. So we have to have the courage to dig deep and produce anyway.

This is where “The Hunger Games” pops uninvited into my head. We are being hunted in a game of last business standing and the worst thing we can do is stay in the same place and hide. If we aren’t killed by the competition, we’ll be deserted and left for dead.

Courage is a minimum requirement because we have to use what we know, we have to take action, and we have to be willing to learn from our mistakes. We have to always be useful to customers and be the relevant solution to their problem.

Photo courtesy of Tsutomo Takasu (CC)

Photo courtesy of Tsutomo Takasu (CC)

Belief   This is the most nebulous requirement of the three so you have to wrestle with it and tame it into something more specific.

You have to believe that what you do is exactly what your customer needs. You should be able to believe this if you have researched your buyers’ needs and developed your solution around those needs.

You have to believe that setbacks don’t mean you should abandon this crazy idea of starting a business.

You have to shelf your ego at the same time as believing doggedly in yourself. Counterintuitive? Maybe, but belief is a minimum requirement because it will sustain you when your passion wavers for a moment or your courage is tested.

These aren’t the practical elements of starting your own business. I deliberately avoided those.  For now, my opinion is that the minimum requirements for starting your own small business are Passion, Courage, and Belief.

In your opinion, what are the minimum requirements to starting your own business?  Please comment below – I’d love to hear your thoughts!

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