10 Steps to Starting a Business While Keeping Your Full-Time Job

A practical guide to minimizing risk and maximizing success while living the entrepreneurial dream.

Here are my 10 steps to starting your own business while you keep your full-time job.

  1. Ask yourself how badly you want it
  2. Inventory your skills, abilities, and weaknesses
  3. Validate your business idea
  4. Write down your competitive advantage
  5. Set detailed, measurable, and realistic goals
  6. Map your gameplan to launch date and beyond
  7. Outsource everything you can
  8. Actively seek feedback
  9. Don’t blur the lines between personal projects and work
  10. Reach critical mass before quitting your day job

10 Steps to Starting a Business While Keeping Your Full-Time Job

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Fashion Thinking – 5 Ways To Innovate Your Business Strategy

This Fashion Thinking framework will unleash all kinds of ways to anticipate the new and remix the old.

If your goal is to be an organization that can fluidly and flexibly adapt to complex environments, then consider incorporating elements of Fashion Thinking. This is increasingly important as customers expect companies to incorporate digital technology that makes the shift from providing physically fixed products to just-in-time products and services. Here are 5 elements of Fashion Thinking.

  1. Span Time–Fashion has a temporal dimension. If it is too far in the past, it’s costume; too far into the future and people don’t get it. It works very hard to capture that ever-changing, in flux present moment. The ability to be aware of that temporal range helps fashion firms to anticipate needs and do productive risk taking. How might your firm look to the past while incorporating social trends to innovate?
  2. Build Bridges–Fashion also has a spatial dimension. It straddles cultural boundaries and taps into both “the street and the elite” for inspiration. Be curious about other cultures, geographies and inclinations. By opening themselves up to those that are afar and different from them, fashion designers help bridge gaps between a range of people and traditions and ultimately point out our interconnectedness. Remember that whatever your sector, your product/service is solving not only a functional job, but also a social and an emotional one. This is a reality to which fashion designers are well attuned.
  3. Re-Mix and Embrace Collage–Fashion designers are creatively resourceful “bricoleurs”: they relish in the ability to make something new out of nothing. Have you accepted yet that nothing is truly new, and that the new model for work is the collage and the re-mix? Invest in trend research and explore with whom you can unexpectedly partner to put a new spin on, say, your non-profit venture.
  4. Harness Technology and Human Sensibility- Urgent & timely responses to people’s desires is essential in fashion. Fashion firms do this in two ways: the old fashioned way by having people on the ground, in the streets and nightclubs, tapping into sub-culture; and the new ways by using technology, fancy algorithms and iBeacons to track shopping behaviors. Fashion retail is one of the most fascinating hubs of experience design today. Suspend judgment and take a field trip into an Abercrombie & Fitch store, and just observe the layers of sensorial design, technology and human interaction at work.
  5. Open Source & Co-Create–Fashion is excellent at being the disruptor in disruptive innovation and is the original open source innovator. Given the layered psychodemographic market demands and the complex apparel supply chain, this open- and crowd-source orientation is a necessity. Johanna Blakley discussed in her TED talk how fashion’s knock off culture has actually been a source of innovation and sales growth- especially when compared to laggard industries such as publishing and music where disruptive innovation has hit like a tsunami. Social media is your friend to be attuned to what your customers actually care about and it gives you a platform to co-create.

By adopting Fashion Thinking you will become an expert in pattern recognition and your business will be a tastemaker. Integrate aesthetics and function, agile supply chains and anticipate customer needs through technology. These realities are the balancing act that makes Fashion Thinking an essential lens.

Fashion Thinking – 5 Ways To Innovate Your Business Strategy

Build an Innovation Engine in 90 Days

Practically every company innovates. But few do so in an orderly, reliable way. In far too many organizations, the big breakthroughs happen despite the company. Successful innovations typically follow invisible development paths and require acts of individual heroism or a heavy dose of serendipity. Successive efforts to jump-start innovation through, say, hack-a-thons, cash prizes for inventive concepts, and on-again, off-again task forces frequently prove fruitless. Great ideas remain captive in the heads of employees, innovation initiatives take way too long, and the ideas that are developed are not necessarily the best efforts or the best fit with strategic priorities.

Build an Innovation Engine in 90 Days.

Strategies: Growth is a choice, can be managed

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Even if you like the size of your company today, you still have to think about growth so you won’t decline in the long run.

Growth can mean taking on more risks and more debt.

So why grow? Choose to grow because a business that’s not growing is actually shrinking.

Here’s why:

  • Natural loss of customers
  • Changing demographics or preferences
  • Increasing costs
  • New competition
  • Economic forces outside your control

Strategies: Growth is a choice, can be managed.

20 Ways to Make Today Amazing

1. Engage in consistent action.

2. Constantly picture yourself beyond your current circumstances. Dream enormously big and hold that dream deep within your mind, body and spirit.

3. Spend time in solitude to just think and visualize.

4. Write your most important goal on a note card and look at it five times a day. Say it out loud and believe with a deep conviction that it will become a reality.

5. Drink tons of water. It’s impossible to operate to the best of your ability and tap into your full potential if you are dehydrated. Our minds and bodies need water in order to perform at an extremely high-level.

6. Eat to win. If you don’t want junk results stay away from junk food. The bottom line is that we are what we eat.

7. Get your sweat on. One of the best productivity tools that you can utilize is to get a workout in at some point throughout your day. Whether you go to the gym or at home, make the time.

8. Pick up a book for 15-20 minutes and get lost in it. Just as our bodies need physical exercise, our minds need to stay mentally fit.

9. Spend your time around those who lift you up and encourage your vision, not belittle it. We are the average of the five people we hang out with the most. Pick your company wisely.

10. Make time to grow. Carve out 30 min to an hour and find ways to personally and professionally grow.

11. Turn off the music in your car and listen to an audiobook. Most of us spend hours in a car daily, utilize that time to better yourself and learn.

12. Keep a journal. Record your thoughts, ideas and strategies. We have roughly 20,000 to 60,000 thoughts per day. Don’t let an idea or strategy go to waste. Never rely solely on your memory.

13. Think of five things you are grateful for right this second. It can be something as simple as how beautiful is mother nature or how wonderful your family is. Be grateful for what you have and you will eventually end up having more.

14. Snack on almonds. Great source of protein and other minerals and vitamins that will increase your energy levels and keep performance in peak state.

15. Say “I love you” more often. Don’t let a day go by where you don’t tell those you love how much they truly mean to you. Life is short and by simply saying the words “I love you” will bring you an immense sense of satisfaction.

16. Treat others how you want to be treated. In business and in the game of life, people matter. If you want to truly win in both, make every person you come in contact with feel important.

17. Have a green smoothie. Instead of turning to caffeine turn to the power of mother nature and blend yourself up a delicious, energizing and healthy green smoothie. One of my favorites is two handfuls of organic spinach, one apple, juice of one lemon, three stalks of celery, and ginger root. There are plenty of recipes available to you online.

18. Take a post-it-note or note-card and write down some quotes that move, inspire and empower you. There will be times throughout the day that might upset you or discourage you. Constantly feeding your mind with words that inspire and empower you will instantly get you back on your feet ready to hit the ground running.

19. Cut off all distractions. When it’s time to work, work. When it’s time to relax, relax. Discipline yourself to stay off Facebook and other social media sites when you are working on a computer. If you are in an office, hang up a “Do Not Disturb” sign if possible. Focus completely on the task at hand.

20. Take full and complete responsibility for your life. Own up to your mistakes and never fall into the trap of playing the ever-so-popular blame game.

20 Ways to Make Today Amazing

The Accelerators

The Accelerators

Startup mentors discuss strategies and challenges of creating a new business

The Accelerators.

7 Key Steps to Starting a Small Business

Want to know the secret to successfully starting a small business? The secret is—there is no magic formula. Starting a business is about thinking big, keeping it simple and thinking on the fly. Your startup will undoubtedly change your life: sleep becomes a luxury, and you can bid adieu to a five-day work week. But there are some things you can do to ease your path to business ownership.

  1. Have a plan
  2. Do your market research
  3. Estimate your costs of starting a small business
  4. Make it legal
  5. Choose a location
  6. Hire help
  7. Create a support team

 

Fundera Ledger – 7 Key Steps to Starting a Small Business.

The Importance of Defining Your Core Values

At the helm of a rapidly growing startup? Fantastic. Before you really mash down the pedal and start recruiting, defining your core values is a must.

The Importance of Defining Your Core Values | OpenView Labs.