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Tag entrepreneurs

Shark Tank

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Have you seen Shark Tank? It’s got me hooked. And my GM (aka daughter Julie) tells me the US version is even better. Budding entrepreneurs who pitch their dreams to a panel of seasoned players who’ve made it big in the business world. It’s fascinating to watch as these guys learn what works… and what clearly doesn’t.

And while it’s important to know your numbers when you’re standing in front of a panel of potential investors, it’s equally important to know your market. What strikes me in watching this show is just how many people have failed to do their market research. Sure they might have a great product, but is anyone asking for it? In other words, do they even have a market. Take the coffee guy for instance. Obviously he loves his coffee. But how many kids are going to want espresso written across the front of their teddy bear?

In developing a new business idea one of the most important things to consider is what the market is asking for. What do your potential buyers actually want? What is it that will meet their need, fix their problem, take away their pain. And it may be that the brilliant idea you thought you had is actually not a goer at all. Because nobody really wants it.

Having your own business is the best way I know to break free of selling your time for money. But as Stephen Covey says ‘First things first’. Before you go throwing thousands of dollars at your great idea, check out what people are asking for. And if they’re not asking for your product, chuck it away now – and go get another one they really do want. Only then can you begin to develop it.

 

So what’s your big idea?

Have you done your market research?

Who wants to think like a millionaire?

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They’ve got an aggregate wealth of $6.4 trillion. Forbes 500 richest people on the planet and at $76 billion Bill Gates is back on top.

What’s a few bucks between friends?

But when you read their bio’s, you might notice something.

Almost all of them made their fortune through business.

Did I mention there’s a bit of money to be made in beer?

And while some on them did, yes, inherit their millions, most of them are self-made men and women who simply had an idea. And did something about it.

Take Keiichiro Takahara. He made $3.5B out of nappies. Nappies full of **** you throw away! Couldn’t have done that in the days of cloth. Or the Mars duo. They have a combined wealth of $40B out of the humble lolly (and because we’re talking US dollars, AUD$ it’s even higher). Then there’s Mark Zuckerberg. He was probably wearing Takahara’s nappies when he made his $28.5B fortune with an idea about bringing people together. In case you haven’t heard, it’s called facebook.

But when you’re talking that much money, it really doesn’t matter, does it. What’s more important is an understanding that it can be done. And people, young and old, do it ALL the time.

I wonder how many of those businesses started as a great idea around the kitchen table? Or a thought kicked around over a game of pool? Or just something that popped into their head while catching a train? J.K. Rowling knows what I’m talking about. Or as Einstein said, he got his best ideas while shaving.

But what we don’t see on the list is the blood, sweat and tears, the guts and stamina, the determination and drive, the investment that it takes to pull something like this off. Not an overnight success, but sometimes years in the making. Persistence. Passion. Vision. Strategy. Single-mindedness. Wisdom.

And an entrepreneurial mindset.

But they didn’t do it alone. They knew when to ask for help.

Learn what you can.

Buy what you need.

Apply it all diligently.

It’s a winning formula.

What will YOU do with your next great idea?

“Money never starts an idea; it is the idea that starts the money.” – William J. Cameron