Monday, May 4, 2009

Escaping the Cubicle Nation

An interview with Pamela Slim

Question: How do you decide which business to start?

Answer: Business ideas are a dime a dozen. From my perspective, which is firmly rooted in the idea that the purpose of a business is to allow you to live the kind of life that makes you happy, healthy, wise, and wealthy—or at least well-fed, a good business idea has four components. First, it is rooted in something you are passionate about and which energizes you. Entrepreneurship is too darn hard to manufacture enthusiasm. Second, you have the skill and competence to make it happen—or at least a really great contact list of smart and enthusiastic friends to help you figure it out. Third, you need to do enough business planning to know whom you are trying to serve, and how you are going to make money. Finally, you want a business model that you have the resources to support and that delivers the life you want to live.

Question: What is the most common mistake the “escapees” make?

Answer: The most common mistake is thinking that they have to get all their plans absolutely perfect before launching. I have listened to people explain why they spent two months crafting an introductory email to a potential client. Perfectionism will cripple your business and thwart your plans faster than anything. Get used to pushing things out that feel not quite ready and then be completely responsive to fix them as you go. There will never be a perfect product, service, market or economy, so the most passionate, enthusiastic and responsive entrepreneur will win.

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