Welcome To Your Virtual Academy For Entrepreneurship:

A place to start, fix or scale your business with —

The $100 Startup Entrepreneur

As seen on Forbes.

Here I sit in the forest again. Monday afternoon, 3pm. Bailed from my home office with my wife and headed to our favorite spot down by the river. Put up a tent for nap taking; 2 camp chairs to sit in; and bagged some food to eat at Melvin’s Fir Street Market along the way.

Yes — call me one of those new world “lifestyle” entrepreneurs.

And you? Are you sitting there in your office staring out at the world in frustration wishing you either had your own business to run, or the business you already run wasn’t running you?

The good news is you can have both. Cake and frosting; together on the fork headed to your open mouth.

It sure tastes good.

But how do you get there? Where do you start on the road to entrepreneurial and financial freedom?

One good place is smack dab in the middle of a book called The $100 Startup by Chris Guillebeau.

Now I don’t know Chris personally — but snagged his book from Amazon a couple of weeks ago along with my purchase of “Click Millionaires” by Scott Fox. And after reading his book — this is one guy I want to know and learn from.

Chris does an incredible job explaining how we can take our professional lives; no matter what state of dysfunction or 80 hour per week overachievement; and turn it into a dream business you and I can only… well, dream of.

In fact, the subtitle of his book, “reinvent the way you make a living, do what you love, and create a new future” is exactly what you might need to get out of your slump.

Are you in a slump? Again, aimlessly staring out your office window knowing there is more to work and more to life than your current predicament? Listen — the time is now. No more fear. You can do it. You can overcome any fears you have about starting your own business and Chris gives many key guidelines on doing it, including these 3 gems here:

#1.) Give Them The Fish

“Catch a man a fish, and you can sell it to him. Teach a man to fish — and you ruin a wonderful business opportunity” – Karl Marx

I love this quote. Never heard it before — but I love it. Now please don’t mix this up with philanthropy and giving back. Not the same thing. We’re not talking about charity here. We’re talking about business. Yes — for-profit business.

And so if a man wants to buy a fish — sell him one.

Listen — at the end of the long day you had better figure out the pain of your customer so you can deliver a unique cure in a profitable way.

Chris explains it like this: “The hard way to start a business is to fumble along, uncertain whether your big idea will resonate with customers. The easy way is to figure out what people want and then find a way to give it to them.”

Yes — why do we make it so complicated? Thanks Chris.

#2) The New Demographics of Your Customers

Time to stop thinking of our customers as numbers. Where did that come from anyway? Probably from the era of broadcast mentality where we just sat there as consumers in a zombie like state while commercial messages went into our brain and magically caused us to spend money.

Those days are gone my friend. And in it’s place? The concept of yes — treating our customers in our marketing efforts like real people. Call it “persona” or “customer profiling” or whatever. But it’s about putting a real name and face to your ideal customer. Danny Iny talks about it as finding your ONE customer. Steven Blank has written about it in his book on customer development.

And Chris lays it out like this:

Traditional Demographics = Age, Location, Sex/Gender, Race/Ethnicity, Income

New Demographics = Interests, Passions, Skills, Beliefs, Values

Do you see the difference? It’s about truly discovering “who” your customer is — at a deeper level. And trust me — the deeper you engage and know your ideal customer; the easier it is for them to buy from you.

#3) Tweaking Your Way to the Bank

So what next? What do you do after nailing a customer pain with an incredible solution; establishing who your ideal or ONE customer is; but then still falling a little short of your revenue goals?

Tweak.

Chris talks about learning this valuable lesson from Brian Clark, contributing writer on Forbes and Founder of Copyblogger. And I agree. The power of tweaking things, measuring them; and then picking the best horse to ride as you keep tweaking some more is incredible. Especially as your customer numbers go up.

Eric Ries talks about this in his book “The Lean Startup”, and Chris puts it this way in his own book; “The not-so-secret to improving income in an existing business is through tweaks; small changes that create a big impact. If you grow your traffic a little and also increase your conversion rate a little while also increasing the average sales price a little… your business grows a lot.”

So what are you waiting for aspiring entrepreneur? No time like the present to get started — and no excuse if you can do it on a $100 budget. Go get ‘em tiger.

NOTE: If you don’t know me, I’m Eric. Husband, father & life-long entrepreneur

If you’re an entrepreneur, let’s hook up.  Seriously.  Here’s a killer formula:

Your Wisdom + My Wisdom = More Success

My email is: eric at mightywisemedia dot com.  Let’s you and I connect right here, okay? Together we can really nail this thing.

(You can also find me hanging out on Twitter @MightyWiseMedia.)

Print Friendly
About the Author: Eric T. Wagner is a husband, father and life-long entrepreneur. After starting multiple businesses, Eric is now focused on helping other entrepreneurs find the path to success in business and life. You can also catch his gig on Forbes or connect with him on Google+.

Speak Your Mind

*