How To Start a Business

Business-curious but scared to take the first step towards entrepreneurship? In this video, I’m going to teach you how to start a business and eradicate all fears around entering the arena.

DAN MARTELL: Hey there Dan Martell here a serial entrepreneur, investor, and creator of SaaS Academy. In this video I’m going to teach you how to start a business?

Now, I know this is pretty broad topic normally I talk about software companies and scaling et cetera, but here’s the deal if you’ve ever been business curious and you want to start a company but you were scared to make the first step or you’ve tried in the past and it’s hurt a little bit but you really feel like, in your soul, you should be an entrepreneur, than this videos is for you.

I’m going to teach you how to get rid of all the mystery the fears around starting company and break it down into the minimal thing and be sure to stay to the end because maybe you have questions around what books you should read?

I’ve actually distilled, out of the 1,000 plus business books I’ve read, a PDF that’s free that you can download that’sgoing to go through all the top books you need to read to become a better, or start being an entrepreneur. Let’s get started.

So the reason I created this video is because I recently was on a podcast called the Icons. I’m going to link it up below but on that podcast, I offered to do a call with anybody still listening and I gave out my email.

Now I’m just going to let you know I’m not doing that anymore.What I had to do, because I got hundreds of emails, is organize a zoom session live, everybody connected and I got asked this question. Hey, how do I start a business?

You know and I was like, I gave my answer and they’re like, wow that’s really insightful and that’s what I’m going to teach you today. But it also came up a couple days ago I was meeting with a young entrepreneur or a young aspiring entrepreneur and the same question came up and I gave the same answer.

So I wanted to shoot the video so you had the strategies that I would’ve used when I was first starting off at 17 to start the business. What to think about? How to think about it? How to design it and how to get going? In this video you will start a business by the end of the video I guarantee it.

Number one strategy, create it for you. So regardless of what kind of business you want to start, what you want to sell, you have got to start it for yourself. So the where I would look is your passions, so maybe you’re an athlete, maybe you’re part of different groups, or you like to watch car videos on YouTube whatever it is you need to start with something you know what’s called domain expertise.

So start around something you are passionate about or solve a problem you have right? So sometimes I recommend to people to start developing that muscle creating a frustrations list. Go through the world or my buddy, James Altucher, recommends that you create a list of the top 10 ideas that comes you.

And every day just try to write down 10 business ideas but the frustration list is just going through your day and looking at things that frustrate you that you feel could be an opportunity.

But that’s not what is you have got to solve a problem that you have for yourself.

Number two, learn to tell. At the end of the day, if nobody knows about your business, nobody knows about your product then you’re not going to sell anything. It’s that simple. A lot of you guys are fearful because you’re like, well I’m scared. What if I tell somebody my idea and they reject? Or I reach out to a business to support me and they don’t want to support me? Or I try to sell something to somebody and they say no?

And it sucks but here’s the deal. Is just learning how to get your idea out in the world. So some ideas that I want to share with you. Number one, social media there is so many different outlets from creating events, to publishing on your own news feed, to letting people know through social media, Instagram, Twitter, Snap Chat, Tik Tok whatever you want to use. You want to promote it through social media.

Number two your friends. I’m assuming you have a handful of friends. People you know maybe you go to school. Maybe you go to work and you have people around you. I want you to get comfortable approaching people and saying and you just ask them. Hey have you ever considered this. Hey do you have this problem? Those are the two questions.

If you can get good at starting conversation by just saying, hey have you ever had this problem? And they say no, say great. I don’t need to talk to you. But if they say yes, say perfect. I actually built this thing or have you ever had this interest? Yes, perfect. I’m doing this thing. Whatever it is for you just need to be okay approaching other people to tell them about your idea.

Number three, ask for money. So business never like no business has ever been started until there is a dollar exchange, okay. And here’s why it’s so important. The moment I asked somebody my kids go door to door selling painted rocks and they sell them for like five bucks. Sometimes I think they say $10.

And my neighbors are literally just kind enough to buy these painted rocks. They make no sense. They are not worth 10 bucks but it doesn’t matter, you ask for money. Why is that important? Because the moment that you ask somebody for $1, the whole conversation changes about what is it? How does it work?

So many people I don’t know if you’ve ever experienced this, but you tell about your business idea like that’s amazing you know they support you. Maybe don’t have the experience you have bad friends. But if you do, they’re always like yeah that’s amazing.

But that’s not true validation around your idea.What you want to do to validate ideas, ask for money get paid. Take the dollar. Sell something, because if you don’t do that, then you don’t have a business.

I think a lot of people run around thinking they have businesses that they have don’t have because they give away stuff. You know they discount stuff.  I’m saying I understand your value and ask for it, okay. So you need to ask for money.

Number four, call it a project. Too often, I’m sitting down with this young entrepreneur and he’s like, I want to start a business. And I can tell in his mind that he’s like trying to come up with the perfect business idea the perfect business model the perfect pricing.

Here’s what I’ve discovered. Having built a ton of companies myself and have coached and helped so manyentrepreneurs. And listen to so many podcasts interviews from the origin stories of some of the world’s coolest companies out there, is what they started is not what they ended up doing?

And many times it’s not even that like, the way they’re doing the business is different. They pivoted 100 percent. Sometimes re started they started here and they learned some lessons. And they moved into another business.

So the way to solve that is just call it a project. Don’t call it a business. Just start a project. Start a new side hustle. Starts something where you can communicate value to somebody, ask for the money, and just don’t make it a big thing.

If you make it a big thing, there’s going to be all this pressure on yourself to want to try to make it succeed and the truth is, that it probably won’t work, just so you know. I’m not saying you will fail at life.

I’m saying that your first idea may not go on to huge commercial success. What does that mean? Well my first company made about 30 grand and then I had to shut it down so does that mean there’s a failure?

Not really, because I took all those lessons learned and put it into the second company. I learned how to make a dollar, I learned how to tell the market, and I learned how to try to build something. And I took all those lessons moved it into the next thing because it didn’t stop me. There is no failure. So just call it a project and start there.

Number five organize event. This is the MVP, the Minimum Viable Product of entrepreneurship. So if you’re watching this video, I told you at the beginning you’re going to start a company. Here’s the instructions are you ready for this? This is how it works.

You want to find somebody or some topic that people would want to learn from or be interested in that topic. Then you pick a date in the future, ideally in the next 90 days. So 90 days from now you pick a day. Do it on a week night you know maybe 6 to 8 PM. And I want you to find somebody that you would want to learn from.

See, this is where it gets back to your passion. Find something that you want to learn from and have them speak at an event. They could do a talk. They could do a workshop and call it whatever you want. But I want you to organize an hour or two hour event, after hours, that you coordinate with the speaker, or the person, or that whatever it is.

There’s an event. And then you go and you learn to tell the market about your event using Facebook, using your friends, using your co-workers, using other businesses thatcommunicate. Like, this is the crazy part. When I have friends that run local events, all the local businesses support each other and they’ll let you put up flyers. They will post it on their Facebook page. They’ll tell other people.

You can go to schools and promote if it’s more of a kids event. But I want you to promote the event but the key is you can’t do it for free. If you do an event and it’s free you did not, no business, no entrepreneurship. Just letting know if you don’t get money, if you don’t learn how to market, communicate the value in exchange that for money so that the person even if it’s a $1, okay even if you charge a $1 or $5 dollars.

I had friends of mine do this challenge and they charge like $5 for the ticket but then got so many sponsors that wanted to be involved that you had like $20 worth of value in the sponsor bag of discounts and credits towards different services in the local businesses.

Like you could do that so you can make it so it’s like ROI positive for somebody buying a $5 ticket. Or you put your prices up. But regardless this is my challenge to you. I want you to pick a date 90 days into the future. Call it a project. So you don’t have to commit. It’s not like this long term – you’re not starting an events business.

But you can do it even on the internet. This is even what’s crazier. It’s called a virtual summit. You can find a speaker, organize an online event, charge people to attend it, have the speaker do it. And if you want, you can give the money to the speaker. It doesn’t matter. And market the event. Get people to pay to show up.

Have the speaker do all the heavy lifting. You’re the creator. It’s your project and ta da, voila you are now an entrepreneur, okay. As I told you, in beginning of the call, no resources needed, no capital needed, no infrastructure needed. Anybody can do this.

So if you have it in your soul. If you’re excited to be an entrepreneur if you want to start a business this is the lowest possible risk exposure. The least amount of energy and work, I think. Trust me, if you like build a physical product you are trying to market, it’s a lot harder than doing an event with somebody else that has credibility that already sold.

This is what you do. Start an event, call it a project and go back to those first three strategies to get paid. Tell the market and solve a problem for yourself so quick recap how to start a business, number one, create it for you. Number two learn to tell. Number three ask for money. Number four call it a project and number five organize an event.

Those are the steps. That’s my challenge to you. I would love to hear from you below in the comments. If you’ve done this in the past, encourage other people. If you’re committed to doing it, leave a comment. As I mentioned beginning of this episode, I want to share with you my top books for entrepreneurial success.

You can click the link below to get your copy. But I have read or listened to 1,000 business books, biographies, marketing books, et cetera. It’s what I do 10 pages every morning. And I’ve distilled it into about 45 of the top books on different categories that you might need for personal development, sales, marketing, growth, operations, et cetera.

You can click the link download that for yourself. It is 100 percent free. And if you like this video, be sure to subscribe to my channel, smash the notification button so that you get notified as I upload new videos every week.

And as per usual, I want to challenge you to live a bigger life, and a bigger business, and I’ll see you next Monday. It doesn’t take anything. You find somebody that people want to learn from. You book them, you get a free venue.



How To Start a Business

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