5 business lessons you won’t learn in any degree
Gen Y millionaire & university drop-out Jack Delosa shares 5 business lessons you won’t learn in any degree
1. Find a hungry crowd.
Let’s assume you’re starting a restaurant, what’s the number one thing you want that restaurant to have to ensure its success?
Good food, a great menu, good location, good ambience, vibrant people? I would argue that the number one thing you want to find is a hungry crowd. People who are hungry for whatever you are selling.
If you want to start a business, the rate at which you get traction will be the rate to which you can find a genuine demand in the market and address it with the right ‘product to market fit’ and the right ‘message to market fit’. This cannot (read: CANNOT) be done in a text book, with spreadsheets or an elaborately worded business plan. The only way to achieve this is to go to market quickly and keep adopting what you’re offering and who you’re offering it to until you start to get traction and momentum.
2. A small business is not a smaller version of a big business.
One cannot take big business principles and try to apply them to start-ups. It is a completely different game. You have very little money, if any. No brand. Very few people. No million dollar advertising budget. Therefore, throw out everything you ever learnt about working in a large business, and approach this game with a fresh set of eyes, ready to learn from the one person that matters; your customer.
3. Don’t plan.
Big businesses will plan a new product for years. They will plan a marketing campaign for months. They will plan a Facebook post for weeks. As a start-up, to plan is to guess. The fastest and most effective way to build your knowledge of what will work and what will not work, is to go to market, figure out what works and what doesn’t and change according to that. After doing this for a couple of years, hopefully you’ll find a viable business model that can now scale.
4. Rate of learning trumps talent.
Talent is overrated. Particularly in business. The most successful entrepreneurs in the world, often started with very little talent and very little opportunity. Through hard-work and an unquenchable thirst for knowledge, it is not their talent that differentiates them but rather their rate of learning. In early stage business our lessons will come from making mistakes, speaking with mentors, engaging in real-world education programs and getting to know our customer.
5. The game is played in your head.
Owning your own business is not a nine-to-five gig. It’s full-on, stressful, demanding and very fast-paced, and that’s if you’re doing it well. As a business owner your ability to shoulder the pressure and carry the emotional discomfort, while remaining level headed and happy, is what will differentiate you from the rest of the crowd.
Jack Delosa is an entrepreneur and investor who was recently described by Sunrise as “The Young Aussie Millionaire That Didn’t Finish Uni.” At the age of 27, Jack has created two multi-million dollar businesses, MBE Education and The Entourage. Jack is the author of recently released, UnProfessional – How a 26 year-old university dropout became a self-made millionaire and how you can do the same.