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Question re: entrepreneurship (NOT a seeking advice thread)

Discussion in 'Business, Careers & Education' started by MetroStyles, Sep 3, 2010.

  1. Thomas

    Thomas Senior member

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    Can you talk more about the thick skin part?

    In short: Doesn't look for a fight, but won't get walked on, either.

    Here's an example: We've been dealing with a computer project for a long, long time now. People were - for a time - really getting upset with the lack of slack time and the unavailability of vacay time. I mean, grumble grumble, and more than a few resignations along the way.

    Didn't matter. The project is what it is and no one is big enough to derail it. He is committed to making this work, and it will work. Period. He's said to me on more than a few occasions that he knows that his name gets cussed sometimes, but it is what it is. It will pass.

    Another: threats / litigation. Hates being threatened and will let business walk out the door if he feels that they're trying to pull a fast one. Has told more than a few customers - and one big one - that they're not profitable enough and need to find a new vendor. Will extend a parting gesture to close matters amicably, though, because lawyers are expensive.

    Has no problem firing people, too - and cannot fire a bad-attitude person fast enough.
     
  2. ken

    ken Senior member

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    My pops owned a car repair shop with his brother for 30 years. Neither had any special education, just a very good understanding of how to treat people. He still does side work for old customers.
     
  3. suited

    suited Senior member

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    Essentially, this means shrugging off the devil's advocates of the world -- and there will be many -- with a simple "Eh; haters gonna hate" attitude. The attitude that listens to reasonable critique, considers it, and incorporates the best of it, but is not totally crushed by setbacks or by skepticism from others.
    This advice will apply at any point in time one makes the statement "I want to <insert ambitious life plan>". Most people are average, and the idea of another person even pursuing a dream/ambitious desire subconsciously bothers them, I'm quite sure. If the majority of people had this attitude, nobody would ever do anything great. Rest assure that most entrepreneurs had the unfortunate experience of knowing plenty of these people early on in their endeavors, and the pleasure of knowing them after succeeding. Not to say that a certain amount of criticism isn't warranted, but you get the picture.
     
  4. Don Carlos

    Don Carlos Senior member

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    This advice will apply at any point in time one makes the statement "I want to <insert ambitious life plan>". Most people are average, and the idea of another person even pursuing a dream/ambitious desire subconsciously bothers them, I'm quite sure. If the majority of people had this attitude, nobody would ever do anything great. Rest assure that most entrepreneurs had the unfortunate experience of knowing plenty of these people early on in their endeavors, and the pleasure of knowing them after succeeding. Not to say that a certain amount of criticism isn't warranted, but you get the picture.
    Absolutely. I think people mean well when they shit on ideas. In a weird way, they're trying to watch out for you. (At least the close friends and family are). They have heard all the stats about how most businesses fail, and so forth, and they want you to just toe the line and get back on the standard track before you end up a total failure in life. What they don't understand is that, for some people, a standard-track life is tantamount to total failure in the first place.
     
  5. Rambo

    Rambo Senior member

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    I'M IN MIAMI, BITCH
  6. CMD.EXE

    CMD.EXE Senior member

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    I typed up so much, but then double checked the thread and saw you said you want 3M and you'd retire bascially. I deleted everything I wrote.

    All I will say is that for those who are truely successful, its not about money, its about the game. Its sounds incredibly cliche, but real businessmen would sell a business if it was the right thing to do, but they can never quit the game. They love the lifestyle. I'm not talking about the cars, houses, planes, etc., they really don't care about that, they just buy them because its more of a &quot;why not&quot; kind of thing, but the lifestyle of growth and innovation. Its hard to explain, you either do or you don't understand. &quot;F.U. Money&quot; is the amount they need to start an even better company, not retire.
     
  7. HgaleK

    HgaleK Senior member

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    So - for those of you that are entrepreneurs, or have had family members/friends become entrepreneurs, I pose a question:

    What is the success rate of entrepreneurs that are highly intelligent, financially literate, thrifty, personable, and that take the time to plan things out, strategically and financially, before jumping in?

    And if you have seen these types of people fail - why do you think they have failed? Wrong product, wrong time? Overestimation of public demand? Poor marketing? Another competitor with a better proposition swooped in?

    Has it been the idea, or the execution that has led to successful businesses you have witnessed?

    Any interesting viewpoints/stories are appreciated.


    I'd give it a 70% fail rate at best. Business it a lot of luck or money at the start (as in you'd better hope that you're lucky if you don't have a lot of money). Overestimation is another issue. Smart people tend to overestimate their abilities, or they get caught on the high values of the math they've run, and not the full range of possibilities. Marketing can be a bitch too. If you're trying to get a favor from a guy and catch him on a bad day, you're fucked a potentially make/break opportunity. Getting in to business is difficult often because of the firmly rooted brands.

    Execution is paramount for the majority of businesses. Some people luck out or are skilled enough to get a revolutionary product/service that would take a moron to lose on. Everyone else to needs avoid the major fuckups that come with unexpected costs, fluctuations in demand, employees, government regulations that they're unfamiliar with, etc.
     
  8. HgaleK

    HgaleK Senior member

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    All I will say is that for those who are truely successful, its not about money, its about the game. Its sounds incredibly cliche, but real businessmen would sell a business if it was the right thing to do, but they can never quit the game. They love the lifestyle. I'm not talking about the cars, houses, planes, etc., they really don't care about that, they just buy them because its more of a "why not" kind of thing, but the lifestyle of growth and innovation. Its hard to explain, you either do or you don't understand. "F.U. Money" is the amount they need to start an even better company, not retire.

    Dude- it's ALL about the money. The lifestyle tends to suck, employees are a pain in the ass, the government shits all over your parade on a regular basis, and you're working your ass off non stop. People generally gtfo of business when they've hit even moderately big and there's a market for it.
     
  9. computerpro3

    computerpro3 Senior member

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    Dude- it's ALL about the money. The lifestyle tends to suck, employees are a pain in the ass, the government shits all over your parade on a regular basis, and you're working your ass off non stop. People generally gtfo of business when they've hit even moderately big and there's a market for it.
    Wrong. They tend to GTFO of their current businesses, but have 4 million other ideas that they want to try. It's not about the money. The money is a HUGE portion of it, but the bottom line is that certain people just believe they can do many things better than everyone else, and feel compelled to try it. It sounds arrogant and doesn't always work out that way, but it's that insatiable desire to try that drives truly successful entrepreneurs. As for business ideas, I've noticed that many industries were invented to solve irritations, annoyances, or flaws in current methods of doing things. Look at the things that are pissing you off in life, and figure out how to solve them. Then narrow it down to things that you would be willing to pay to rid yourself of. Odds are that a lot of other people would pay to have those annoyances go away as well. I literally keep a file on my phone and make a note in it every time I get pissed off due to a design flaw or stupid decision on the part of a product engineer. A perfect example I read about recently - one guy got pissed he could never find his car in large parking lots. He spends a couple of weeks coding an app for Android that guides you back to your car with a radar like display, and throws it up on the market. He's making over $145,000 a year with no additional work besides an occasional update. Why? Because millions of people were just like him and get pissed off when they can't find where they parked their car. I realize this is just one example, but it can be extrapolated to larger concepts.
     
  10. HgaleK

    HgaleK Senior member

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    ...We're also casually kicking around some real estate development ideas...

    Have fun with that one. Real estate is a perfect lesson for people on the importance of liquidity. You get to be both poor and worth a shit ton of money. [​IMG]
     
  11. holymadness

    holymadness Senior member

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    As for business ideas, I've noticed that many industries were invented to solve irritations, annoyances, or flaws in current methods of doing things. Look at the things that are pissing you off in life, and figure out how to solve them. Then narrow it down to things that you would be willing to pay to rid yourself of. Odds are that a lot of other people would pay to have those annoyances go away as well. I literally keep a file on my phone and make a note in it every time I get pissed off due to a design flaw or stupid decision on the part of a product engineer.

    A perfect example I read about recently - one guy got pissed he could never find his car in large parking lots. He spends a couple of weeks coding an app for Android that guides you back to your car with a radar like display, and throws it up on the market. He's making over $145,000 a year with no additional work besides an occasional update. Why? Because millions of people were just like him and get pissed off when they can't find where they parked their car. I realize this is just one example, but it can be extrapolated to larger concepts. For example, my fathers industry - how come when you get an X-Ray taken, you always have to pick it up and physically drive it to a specialist? Boom, industry born - cloud computing combines with PACS digital archiving and 10 years later you've got 3.4 billion medical images in your company's archive.

    All because you were pissed you have to drive an X-Ray around.

    Agree with this x100.

    Fulfilling an existing need is much easier than creating a new need and then filling it. For example, I know a fair number of expats here who want to move back to North America and open European-style bakeries, cafÃ[​IMG]s, sandwich shops, etc. They think that since the food here is much better than back home (which is true), the product will just sell itself. I'm not 100% convinced this is the case. To be honest, I doubt most North Americans believe that they eat badly relative to the rest of the word, so the demand isn't necessarily there. Next, eating habits differ greatly between cultures, and I suspect many people would recoil at the idea of buying fresh bread every day or paying several dollars for a few macarons when they can go to Dunkin' Donuts and grab a dozen pastries for the same price. Some foods are also an acquired taste, and it could be a hard sell convincing people who eat ham & cheese sandwiches to buy chèvre and chorizo tartines instead.
     
  12. dpw

    dpw Senior member

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    if you want more than personal opinions:

    kauffmanfoundation

    if you want to do a biz plan:

    nxlevel.org
     
  13. GusW

    GusW Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    One thing to keep in mind is that not all businesses fail within 5 years, but they get added to these totals. Many people choose to do something else. Or, they have a concept with a time-span of less than 5 years in which they make good money and profits.
     

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