Watch the video above or read the written version below
This one is for the wannabe entrepreneurs: anyone who’s thinking about starting a business or has been playing with that idea, especially a service-based business (as opposed to a product-based business where you’re just selling an item/s).
I did a 90min BROJO webinar where we covered this in much more detail, but I wanted to give you a smaller free version so that if you are thinking about starting a business you can get into it.
#1 – Don’t start with money
When it comes to choosing a business idea, put aside trying to make money – it’s a terrible starting point for choosing a business idea. You’ll figure that out later. Don’t let money restrict your creativity. Fact is, anything can make money if done the right way.
Instead, what you’re first looking to do is solve a problem. And in particular, with a service-based business, you want to solve a problem by doing an activity you enjoy within a topic you’re really passionate about
A great example for this is becoming a dance teacher. Dance teachers already love dancing as an activity. They enjoy doing it, they love the topic of dancing, they love everything about dancing. They’ve studied it their whole lives. They have passion for it – every other YouTube video they watch is about dancing.
Now, as to the problem they solve – this is where it gets interesting. Dance teaching isn’t really about solving the problem of wanting to learn how to dance. Well, that’s one of the problems it solves but it also solves the common problems of:
- finding physical exercise that isn’t boring
- meeting new people in an interesting way instead of using Tinder
- self-development – getting out of your comfort zone and growing
Free your mind – your favourite activity can solve so many problems. Massage solves muscular pain, but it also relieves stress. Teaching solves a skill/confusion issue, but it also increases self-confidence. Mentoring solves practical issues but it also builds courage. Tennis coaching solves tennis ability but it also reduces boredom and loneliness. On and on…
So when you figure out what that problem is that you solve (or multiple problems that you solve) with your favourite activity, you got yourself a business!
And it’s a business that can be sustained because you love the activity. Basically, you’d do it for free anyway
#2 – Find one person to help
You don’t need websites, you don’t need advertising, you don’t need a business card, you don’t need social media platforms… you don’t need any of that stuff to get started. That shit is all just a confusing distraction or a comfort zone to get away from what you do need to get started, which is:
Find one person whose problem you can solve with your activity, and approach them with an offer to help.
That’s it! That is, in fact, the entire service-business model: find a person whose problem is solved by your activity and then go and offer that activity to them. That’s how you get started.
In fact, just start for free if you find the prospect of asking for money intimidating or overwhelming.
I coached two people for free for six months, just because I loved having conversations with people to help build their confidence. I loved the conversations – that’s my activity. I loved the topic of psychology which I’m really passionate about. I love to solve people’s confidence problems, dating problems, social problems, and lifestyle problems with these conversations. So I just go find someone who’s got one of those problems and I offer them a conversation. I’ve been coaching full time since 2013 using this simple approach.
What you need to do is be able to let someone experience your helpful activity. If you’re a dance teacher, let them have a dance with you; if you’re a coach, give them a coaching session; if you’re a plumber, fix something in their house.
That’s what you do. Whatever your activity is, offer it to someone who has the problem you’re trying to solve.
#3 – Charge someone $1
Once you’ve been doing it for free for a little while (long enough to ensure this is in fact what you want to do), your next issue is “How do I turn this into a financial business?”
Crossing the $1 mark is the hardest one. Once you actually can charge a single dollar for what you do, all you need to do is increase that number over time. Asking for money is the same process regardless of the amount.
With a service-based business, you don’t need to “sell” – you don’t need sales techniques and strategies and advertising and fancy websites – that stuff’s mostly a scam from people who are selling that stuff! You just let them have a taste for free. Let them see that what you do has value – let them decide whether or not it has value for them – and then, if they want more of it, you charge them money.
It’s that simple.
You don’t need to sell anything. The activity will do the selling for you. Get really good at the activity and really good at using it to solve a problem, and people will pay for that. All you’ll need to do is ask for money.
Now, that was just a small taste of what’s in the 90min webinar, where we also cover in much more detail:
- how to translate your passions into profitable activities
- how to use an activity to solve a problem
- where your first few clients will come from
- how to overcome your fears around getting started and asking for money – how to get over their fear of rejection how to get a business started without worrying that it’s gonna go badly or that people are going to judge you or that everyone’s gonna say no
- how to get this process started from zero to one – how to go to someone who doesn’t know you even have a business idea through to them being served by your activity
- how to avoid all major risks
- how to get started without having to blow heaps of money and without having to commit to something that you can’t follow through on
- avoiding getting into trouble with your current work
If you like the idea of that webinar, all you’ve got to do is become a BROJO Contributing Member and that’s only $19 US per month (and you can quit anytime):