Whether you think you can, or think you can’t — you’re right.” –Henry Ford
Whether you are thinking that is the right time to create your own startup or you just have it in the back on your mind as something that eventually you’ll need to do, I strongly believe that this is the place to start; you need to do that before anything else.
And you should start doing it NOW.
First allow me to tell you what not to do.
What not to do
If you Google the concept of knowledge advantage you will find something like that; become very knowledgeable in your field of interest and overtime you will gain a competitive advantage, is the best you can do is a long-term strategy.
It will give you the so-called “knowledge edge”, fancy expression isn’t it?
You might argue what do you recommend? to not become knowledgeable in our field of interest?
Of course not, knowledge is power, it gives you leverage and overtime will be proved vital.
So you’ll wonder what do I speak about?
Our today post will elaborate how to use the concept of knowledge advantage from a completely different angle and for entirely different purpose. I will outline not just why adopting this new methodology will proved to be a crucial short-term strategy but what any aspiring entrepreneur should do before anything else, and is not figure of speech.
What would happen if you don’t do it
Many aspiring entrepreneurs when they believe that they have a concrete business idea (one that could solve a real problem that the market has), they immediately dive on it and start gradually building their startup for addressing that problem.
And you might wonder so what’s wrong with it?
My answer is; I don’t find nothing wrong with it- one crucial dimension that define the success of any startup is their ability to have a quick tempo on creating that solution (the opportunity will not wait too long, if you delay and if it’s indeed a valid business opportunity someone else will try to seize it).
Thus you’ll say what’s your point?
This is where our today post come into place. Many aspiring entrepreneurs have the delusion that this opportunity will come from nowhere and the only thing that they need to do is to wait.
If you wait for a business opportunity you’ll be waiting forever
And you will ask again….what you suggest to do, to create the business opportunity by ourselves?
What is recommended to do is that you need to create the right framework so as to accelerate that process.
By following our suggested methodology and employ the concept of knowledge-advantage you’ll manage to shorten the time-period for finding that opportunity that will transform us to our ultimate-objective; to become boss of ourselves.
Related Article: Fundraising 101: Exit Strategy Questions Asked During VC Interviews
Going back to the delusion that many aspiring entrepreneurs having, I could add that the vast majority of successful entrepreneurs argue that is quite unlikely even impossible to get what you want without knowing what it is.
But you’ll counter-argue but they know what they want to be, they want to become entrepreneurs. Unfortunately this is likely not enough, been an entrepreneur is very general:
What kind of an entrepreneur?
In what kind of business?
In which business field?
Don’t take me wrong these questions happen to everyone that seek to become an entrepreneur.
Nevertheless what distinguish the individuals that attain to accomplish that goal, with those that not, is their ability to specify over time what they actually want to become, get too specific and pursue that path vehemently and intensively.
But is that feasible?
And if yes how this can occur?
Knowledge advantage; an unconventional way utilizing it
There is nobody in this planet that is born knowing what he/she wants to become in the future (or at least as far as I know). This rule is applied to everyone, ever for us… the special ones 🙂
Nevertheless let’s take something for granted, we know the ultimate-end to become entrepreneurs and live life on our own terms.
From wannapreneurs to entrepreneurs
So what we are doing for trigger that transition?
My answer is many things, but our today post would be one crucial step that need to take place before anything else.
The objective of finding a broad area of passion which by exploring it will allow us to identify business opportunities (problems or needs that need to be solved or filled).
Step 1: Reflect for a moment, which areas you are more interested?
What do I mean by that?
Each one of us we have several fields that we think or we thought in the past that we were interested more.
What our startup experts argue is that without focus you’ll get lost in numerous ideas that doesn’t allow you to convert that concentration into clarity.
Without clarity we lose the advantage of the Priming Concept. As Josh Kaufman described in his best-selling book “Priming is a method of consciously programming your brain to alert you when particular information is present in your Environment”.
If you have many areas of interest is very difficult for your brain notice things that could potentially be converted into a business opportunity (for example to recognize a problem or a market pain point that need to be solved).
Action: In this step you simply need to define 8-10 areas you are more interested (think about subjects that have to do with your personal hobbies, interests, fears, problems or simple things you are enjoying doing).
Step 2: Knowledge advantage a short-term strategy; only for us
As we stressed above this concept will be used entirely different than the mainstream idea, in particular it will be used as a narrowing down technique.
What do I mean?
It would allow us to find the area which we feel more passionate about and use them as a trigger and accelerator technique of setting up our startup around it.
So what we are doing?
We’ll explore our field of interests so as to find the 1 “the chosen”, field that we care more about and want to see ourselves building a startup/business around it.
Action: In this step what we have to do the following:
For the following 8 weeks this is your task:
- Take the list with your 8-10 fields that you feel more interested.
- Each week among your other goals you’ll have a clear objective: Read one best-selling book about one of your list top-10 fields of interests.
- When you finish that book ask yourself do I found it interesting, fascinating, boring or as some of my Japanese friends used to say “so-so”.
- If it’s not fascinating move to the next top-10 field in your list. Proceed with this pattern until to find one book that you’ll say oh my gosh It was super exciting.
So what’s that?
Did I mean that I found my passion-area that I’d build my passion around it.
The answer is…….of course no!!
Your objective is to read on that topic (that you said that book was fascinating) at least 4 other best-selling books and ask again yourself the same questions as previously; if you noticed that with the most of them had the same reaction we might hit a gold vein.
Step 3: Validate our initial feeling
In order to make sure that we found our passion-field (or if you wish the chosen), we have to make some minor-tests.
- Find 2 high-quality and high-authority blogs that are in the same field as your “alleged” or “under-investigation” passion field (trust me you can find a blog virtually about anything) and subscribe so as to enrich furthermore your understanding about that field.
- If you still feel very strong about that field your path is still not over you have to make sure that valid business opportunities can be found (people with problems or needs can be found in that area willing to pay for solving it). This can be validated by our methodology in our free foundation Guide (if you didn’t read it have a look).
- Be careful just follow any passion is a fool game, the vast majority of passions can’t be monetized. The process in our free guide will enable us to figure out if we can pursue that passion or not.
This knowledge advantage concept is been suggested in this way so as to gain a deep understanding of that area (reading best-selling books it proved to be one of the most efficient ways to find accurate and in the same place many information for one field).
Been knowledgeable will make as more observant and to process more “intelligently” the information that we encounter regarding that topic, without it we’ll lack in field knowledge and our interpretation of the business opportunities will be inaccurate.
“Other guys play fantasy sports. I fire the synapses to get an edge”
Bottom line; this methodology will bring us clarity (narrow down our focus) and in-depth understanding about our area of interest.
Mark Cuban is a strong advocate of gaining a knowledge advantage, although he refer mostly for the post-startup era while in my case I refer in the pre-startup era.
Here what Mark Cuban believes:
I could take the time to read a fiction book, but I don’t. I would rather read websites, newspapers, magazines, looking for ideas and concepts that I can use. Other guys play fantasy sports. I fire the synapses to get an edge. That what success is all about, getting the edge.
Mark Cuban share in his best-selling book (How to win at the Sport of Business) that he didn’t have a clue that he was passionate about technology and he only found out about it when he start reading everything that was available about tech “stuff”.
This is the recommended path, take some time and get prepared for finding your business opportunity. If you didn’t find yet your passion area please give it a try, I am so grateful for finding the field which I am really passionate about and I can build a startup business around it, I really hope for you the same.
Until the next time.
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