How To Fail at
Your First Business
Step 1: Go with the first idea that comes to mind.
The one that makes sense to you. Better yet pursue your passion of knitting
cat socks and build a business behind that. (or is that a good idea?)
Step 2: Spend all your money on critical startup items:
Graphic Designer to Create Logo
Standing Desk (motorized)
Galaxy Tab (Costco Special + 2% Cash Back on your Costco Citi)
Domain Name: CatSockMafia.com
Setup all your social profiles and Blog
Hire V.A. (employee #2) to Set Up all your social profiles and Blog
Have VA Schedule Time To Hangout With Your Friends “Because” (one
of which lives in the same house)
Step 3: Kick back your feet and relax…
…you’ve done the hard stuff, now you need to build the brand on social.
Step 4: “Do Market Research”
Call Grandma get feedback on your business idea (also quiz her as
she may be in your “cat sock” niche demographic)
Call Mom get her insight on the business side of things. how good
of an idea it is and how she can help by knitting the socks.
Employee #3 at CatSockMafia.com.
later that night: “Yeah we’re growing ,scaling ,problem is we’ve
had to double our workforce.”
Other Person “Wow, that’s incredible, how many employees?”
You: “Let’s put it this way, we’ve had to grow hiring by more than
90%, yeah it’s not cheap, NDA’s and such, can’t get into
Other Person “Wow”.
You “Oh yeah” (inner you: ‘Why Do I Do This?)
While at the bar, engage in one upmanship with your bros. Explain
how profitable the cat sock niche is, and how you’re going to
dominate the market. Be sure to remind them that they’ll be lucky
if you invite them to join your startup.
Read some tech stuff on twitter. Get the idea and sign up for an
adwords account. You’ll login when you need to do some keyword
research, you’re good for now. You use social all the time. Seo is
the same thing right? Social Engagement Online.
Step 5: Time To Deliver the Goods…
Have no idea how to login to WordPress and your VA isn’t answering
in a timely fashion (time for some coaching ?) so you’ll create a
Facebook page for now, better yet Blogger would be better.
You take some pictures of the cat socks and post on facebook. You
add products to your page. You do the same with twitter and
instagram. (linking to your facebook store page)
DM: Mom, Grandma, Your Cousin (none of your friends) to share your
posts (virality). Take a moment to cry (because your true intuition
is telling you you’re screwed)
Sit back and wait for the cash to roll in.
Steps 6: Lessons in Business Management…
Meet with your VA (have her schedule the Google Hangout Meeting)
Quote Jack Welch’s book Winning and tell her how CatSockMafia.com
is aspiring to Six Sigma esque status. This might be a bad fit for
them. They need to aspire to greatness and show you something, that
they want to be here, be a part of CatSockMafia.com.
To your surprise she quits.
Time to get Lean and Motivate Staff
Call Mom and chastise her for lack of likes on her facebook share
of your most recent post. Tell her she is now responsible for
social and you’ll walk her and Grandma through it at a team meeting
To your surprise Mom quits.
You realize that you need to go back and start over. Iterate the
business model. Save money or get startup capital. Get proof of
concept. Actually do a bunch of work to even see if the idea is
valid. All which you would do if you could solve your staffing
Business failure risk can be due to many things. One thing we all have control over is our egos. Keep your ego in check, or, as Ray Kroc would say, “stay green”