How to become an entrepreneur is not as complicated as others want you to believe. Take Ramit, for example. He was curious about the stock market and “how money worked,” so he learned everything about it. Then he started a blog teaching others from his Stanford dorm room. Now he runs a multimillion-dollar company and is a two-time New York Times best-selling author.
Notice he didn’t write a 50-page business plan or invest thousands of dollars to become an entrepreneur? You don’t have to either. All you need is the right process, and we’ve got it all down for you in 6 simple steps.
Step 1: Know what it means to be an entrepreneur
Becoming an entrepreneur is not just something you do. It’s something you are. There are identity shifts and accompanying attitude changes that need to happen when you transition from an employee mindset to that of an entrepreneur.
When you work for a boss, it’s easy to blame others for circumstances you’re unhappy about. But entrepreneurs take ownership of all their results. And instead of feeling like things are beyond their control, they focus on solutions, actions, and alternative paths that get them to their goals.
That means that growing a business also means growing you. Facing fears of rejection, challenging limiting beliefs, practicing self-confidence, all come along for the ride. Entrepreneurs get comfortable with discomfort for the sake of their business dreams.
Step 2: Choose a business idea that’s right for you
Pick a business idea that resonates with you. Most aspiring entrepreneurs end their journey here because they think, “I don’t have any business ideas.” But you can break down this mental barrier by asking yourself:
What am I good at? How can I turn that into something people will pay for?
Do you know computer programming or graphic design? Did you make your kid’s wooden bunk beds from scratch?
What kinds of things do I pay for? How do I make that my own business?
Do you have a landscaper or house cleaner? A tutor for your kids? A standing appointment at the nail salon?
What activities do I find so energizing that they get me out of bed early or keep me up late? How can I earn a profit from it?
Do you love to bake? Does it thrill you to learn a new language?
People pay for things that add value to their lives. This could be products or services that save time (Instapot) or money (reusable makeup remover cloth), add convenience (Netflix), get a desired result (personal trainer), or answer a problem (ergonomic mouse for wrist pain).
Find the value people will pay for, and you’ve found your business idea.
Step 3: Connect with relevant professionals
As you think about building your business, the first step is connecting with the right people. Make friends with lawyers, advisors, mentors, investors, mastermind business groups, local chamber of commerce, other founders, businesses whose customers may need your services, etc.
Also, have in the back of your mind to keep building your network as your business grows and its needs become more apparent.
Step 4: Get your business up
You don’t need to spend months creating a novel of a business plan, setting up an LLC, printing business cards, or other time-wasting activities that don’t generate any business momentum or income.
Quickly get yourself going with just the basics for your business: a location, tax ID number, business email, business bank account, accounting books setup, and payment processing.
The vast majority of people don’t need to worry about financing or investors at this stage unless their business idea requires funding or loans. But most people can begin a business without debt financing, like Ramit, who simply started his business by opening a blog that posts valuable content.
Step 5: Test your idea
Yep, that means doing what new entrepreneurs most put off: getting out there and selling the product or service. You’ll get clear on whether people want to buy what you have to offer, who your product best serves, and what changes it needs to serve them better. You’ll also refine your messaging in the process so that it’s irresistible to the people it’s a perfect fit for.
Step 6: Scale the business
Once you’ve got a winning formula — the right product to the right people at the right price — it’s time to scale. You can choose to continue to grow your business organically or consider investors at this stage. The overall idea is that you’re funneling money back into your business to fuel its growth and strengthen it.
Now could be the time to capture new market segments, heavily invest in advertising, or bring people on board. Remember, you’re the innovator, leader, and thinker. Give yourself room to do the work that only you can do by buying back your time and delegating the rest.
Today is the Day to Take Action
You have the framework on how to become an entrepreneur. It’s time to do what the wannabes won’t: Take action. Start today by getting your mindset in the right place and finding your business idea. Don’t let your brain convince you that you don’t have any. Weed out what value you can offer that people want to pay for. Then, hold your breath and jump into the entrepreneurial pool as you swim closer to your rich life.
Enroll in Ramit’s Earnable program to learn all you need to know about starting a business.