If you have no skills, no idea what to do, and don’t want to create a 100-hour-a-week routine, do this instead.
There are two types of first-time entrepreneurs: the type who jumps in blindly, going full speed ahead with an idea that they may have neglected to validate or do a lot of research on, and the type who spends months or years wandering in the lost zone.
To clarify, entrepreneurs (not entrepreneurs) are those who have already validated their idea, have researched the industry or audience, and have had sufficient resources to take progressive action. However, if we are honest, most of us started out as entrepreneurs with no resources, and that is the group that I see hanging around in the dreaded “lost zone”.
The Lost Zone is not relegated to lazy, low aptitude, or incompetent people. I know of former Ivy League graduates with layers of master’s degrees and certifications who have spent three years or more in this lost zone! Some of these people were valedictorians, magna cum laude, or corporate climbers climbing to the top of their career ladder. The Lost Zone does not discriminate based on education, IQ, or even past experience.
Let me explain the “lost zone”: this is the special place where entrepreneurs fantasize about owning a business, without experiencing any of the challenges, risks, or learning lessons that come with running. Entrepreneurs in the Lost Zone can fool themselves into believing they are making progress with hours spent reading motivational gibberish, chanting affirmations, bingeing on TechCrunch, and devouring every sensational startup “documentary” on Hulu or Netflix. In reality, inspiration is not perspiration and it is certainly not execution.
If you, or someone you know, is currently drifting aimlessly in that lost zone of lack of entrepreneurship, feeling demoralized by the fact that you haven’t earned your first entrepreneurial dollar yet, there is a solution. While this solution may not instantly produce your multi-million dollar idea or launch the company that will become your life’s work, it will do a few things for you:
- 10x your business confidence with an actual achievement
- Separate your time from money, so you don’t fall down the hourly freelancer rabbit hole or rebuild a thankless job.
- Whether you make a significant amount of cash ($1,000 — $10,000 or more) on your first sale or build a machine that becomes a long-term cash flow asset from which you earn hundreds, thousands, or much more each month.
No, I’m not talking about OnlyFans or selling racy feet photos to virtual admirers. Instead, what I’m suggesting can be applied to any industry, to any audience, and can result in a wide range of business in weeks or months, rather than years or decades.
Some people will tell you to learn a skill so you can start getting paid by the hour. While that’s not bad advice, you risk accidentally catching him in the hourly grind. Also, it leaves the “what skill” options open, sending you back to the lost zone where you started.
However, there are some abilities that also produce salable or monetizable assets down the road. If I was a lost entrepreneur and had at least three hours and $300 to commit to a new business, I would NOT buy a course, join a mastermind, or attend any entrepreneur networking events.
The truth is, although no one wants to admit it, these days, you don’t really need any of those things to start or succeed in business. especially not at first. You need a thing (an asset) with a clear current or future value (that can make money) and a place or audience to sell or monetize it. All of that can be accessed for almost free. That is how:
There are countless tutorials on YouTube that teach newbies with little to no technical acumen how to build an entire business with no code, using a combination of WordPress (free), cheap hosting, and a solid but affordable theme (usually $30-$250). . or complement(s).
Some people who sell basic website flipping courses or who work as WordPress “designers” will tell you to create a simple, “modern” site or write some industry-relevant blogs, then put it up for sale and see how it goes. bidding war. Actually, this is the low-effort, low-reward way to earn a few hundred dollars. (if you’re lucky)or just waste your time building something low quality that no one really wants.
Instead, you want to find in-depth tutorials that teach you how to go from nothing to building an entire eCommerce platform for a specific industry or a new industry-branded social network that sits behind a paywall or includes multiple on-site monetization options (or a comparably robust and tradable directory, marketplace, or similar). These tutorials are not short; they often last 2-4 hours minimum, but they really take you by the hand every step of the way.
- Where to get your domain and hosting
- How to install WordPress (or any other builder)
- Where to get the theme or plugin that allows you to build the aforementioned robust site
- Discount codes to get all of the above a little cheaper
- A step-by-step overview of how to set up your theme or plugin and fully customize your site
- An overview of marketing and monetization opportunities
I not only know the above second hand; In fact, I did, and built entire platforms that an earlier, less practical (less resourceful) version of my previous founder would have paid a pretty penny for. In fact, years ago, I spent $30k to $100k to hire reputable teams to build websites and apps similar to what I can build today in a matter of days or weeks, for just a few hundred dollars.
Why are we building these?
The reason I suggest lost founders go through the hands-on process of building one of these more robust, yet industry-specific sites or apps is because doing so will empower them with a new set of skills and make them think like a founder. . and a client.
- If this is my site, how will I monetize it?
- Do I need to add membership payment plugin?
- Should I add in-app purchases or integrate AdSense?
- Who are the users in this industry and where can I contact them?
- Where can I promote this site to get backlinks and free promotion?
As you ask the questions above, you are evaluating how you would manage and grow the site into a successful and profitable startup. She is asking those questions because she knows she will have to lead with those answers in order for the site to sell for the highest price to the highest bidder in her chosen industry. Yet at the same time, he is challenging himself to decide if, after all is said and done, he wants to get rid of the site. In the end, he will be able to make that decision, which is where the cash flow begins.
Sell or grow, that is the question. Literally, that’s the question you’ll be asking yourself once you’ve created this new well-planned and instantly monetizable industry-specific asset from a website or app. You can decide if you’re excited enough with the excitement and drive to go ahead and plan on launching and monetizing it yourself, perhaps making this your next accidental business.
Alternatively, you can decide if you’d rather sell it to someone in this chosen industry who could benefit from it more easily or quickly (or leverage your network to grow it better or faster than you). If so, you can list it on a site like Flippa or BizBuySell or just start hitting industry-relevant Facebook groups or communities to find a buyer (or several, to start a bidding war).
Let’s say you choose to sell: Awesome; he probably put in between 20 and 100 hours of blood, sweat, and tears to build it and pocketed between $1k and $10k (or more, depending on exactly what he built and how far he took it). Sure, it was a 2-3 hour tutorial, but for a newbie to follow through and turn it into a living, breathing, custom, payment-enabled website, they’d probably watch it 5-10 times, with many pausing to the way, slowly implementing each step.
Let’s say you choose to grow: You are now a real entrepreneur as you are in the trenches finding clients, executing SEO strategies and immersing yourself in your chosen industry. Depending on the type of site you created, the industry you chose, and the monetization options you implemented, you could earn hundreds or thousands of dollars on a recurring basis in a matter of weeks or months. However, it doesn’t have to be forever. If you decide (after proof of concept) that you are disillusioned with the industry or have stumbled upon a more attractive opportunity, you can now sell it for even more value as you have gained traction and cash flow.
At this point, you have a bit of business success under your belt! You made a thing and got people to use it (or pay money to use it) or you sold it. That’s what business is: you do something or provide a service and find or attract the people or parties willing to pay you for it.
Now you can decide to rinse and repeat, building and selling similar (or different) things for other industries, racking up those 4+ figure profits each time, or you can choose an area to squat down and grow to 6, 7, or 8+ figures. Either way, you’ve created something out of nothing, amassed a monetizable skill set, and moved from the lost zone of no entrepreneurship to the true land of entrepreneurship.