Chapter One

When I Grow Up I Want To

We all dream to be in control of our future, we want to have more freedom, but usually end up making statements like:

  • I can’t believe my boss is asking me to do this.
  • If I was in control I’d do things differently.

When we step back and dream about what our life could be like when we are in control, what does it look like to you? Think back to when you were younger and what mattered to you. You may have wanted to be an astronaut, dinosaur or maybe a fireman. That may be true today, well hopefully except for being a dinosaur.

As we grow and have more life lessons we start to learn about what we like and what we don’t. You find out what captivates your attention on a daily basis and you know what you are good at. It’s important to identify what you’re good at and enjoy doing, you envision of how you’d do it if you were in charge. However you might not have the full picture yet.

There is a concept of manager and maker. As a maker you may be great at doing the work, but you don’t know the other side, the manager. The manager needs to balance all of the items that the maker usually doesn’t touch. Such as billing, invoicing, sales, marketing, client relations, and the list goes on.

There are a number of great articles online that talk about maker vs manager. If you’re interested in the topic, checkout the following articles:

Also we’ll dive into this a bit more in chapter two on how it all breaks down.

This doesn’t mean that the maker can’t learn the skills, they are just usually hidden from what the maker sees from the day to day.

As you start to think about these items that you may not be doing on a day to day basis. Begin to ask yourself: Am I people person? Utilize those skills by looking for roles that allow you to interact with others. If you’re more comfortable working alone, seek out responsibilities that can be done solo. You want to make sure that the weaknesses that you have are strengthened by someone. Wether that be someone on your future team, or outsourcing a specific skill set. If you are passionate about web design but not accounting, make sure to quickly outsource the bookkeeping and accounting needs of your business.

Look yourself in the mirror and ask yourself, what do I want to do everyday for the rest of my life…. Do that.
Gary vaynerchuk
Gary Vaynerchuk
CEO of @vaynermedia
Host of #AskGaryVee show garyvee

Next, compare your product to what exists on the market already. How is it different? Does it serve a broader market or satisfy specific needs of a niche market? Research similar products and gaps in consumer satisfaction. If your friends are your ideal consumers, ask them for their opinions.

Similarly, social media is a fantastic way to expand research. Send a survey to your friends, and ask them to post about it on their accounts. You may be surprised how quickly information spreads on social media. It may even lead to more responses than anticipated.

Finally make sure the idea is marketable. What product or service would make life better? If the idea would enhance your life, it would probably help others. If your passion has a viable audience and need for a solution, you're one step further in creating a company.

You have an idea and are passionate about making it a reality. Sometimes getting from conception to completion can be a daunting process. Don’t get overwhelmed by overthinking challenges. Take one issue at a time, and review each challenge separately. Often when creating a company, you must address some new skill sets or learn about unknown areas.

Consider what Hanna Lim of Lollaland did to create her own business. Lollaland creates innovative infant & toddler goods that are functional & fun. She knew what her final product was but didn’t know how to get there. She made the internet her friend by googling her initial questions. This is a fantastic way to find the information you need or the right people or businesses to partner with. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Lim called factories to learn about different processes to create her product and determine the best materials to use for durability, safety, and cost. Listen to her story on the Business Rockstars Podcast on iHeartRADIO.

Stretch your comfort zone, and learn something new. Lim had no experience writing a business plan but knew it was essential to start her company. She followed a strategy template and expanded her knowledge base.

As you begin on your journey there will be a thousand shiny things that will distract you. So before you jump in to just doing, take a step back and try to figure out what you really are trying to create. It may feel that you are not making any progress by doing this, however it will pay off in the long run.

To get the most out of this guide we’ll recommend a little homework, we’re calling them action items, to do before moving on to the next chapter. Each chapter will build upon the previous chapters action items.

Action Items:
  1. List 5 services lines and interests that you have strong skills and interest in and want to explore further. They don’t need to be drastically different from each other but make them as detailed as possible. Its a lot easier to become the go to consultant for Outdoor Survival Product Marketing than SEO Marketing. It helps you stand out from your competition and also helps you start to identify how you would target your ideal customer and market to them.
  2. Take each of the ideas and craft a business name. Don’t just stop with Outdoor Survival Product Marketing but brand the business with a name and a slogan.