There were a half a dozen of us sitting in the conference room of Mojo Coworking space in the bohemian town of Asheville, North Carolina when Harry Shaffer walked in and said the most absurd thing I think I’ve heard since 1989…
[dropcap]As[/dropcap] we embark on our journey together to build sustainable businesses – I have a confession to make. This isn’t going to be one of those courses where you hear perfection at every corner or have a shortcut to success. But, it is a series that is rooted in lessons learned in building wildly successful absurd cottage businesses – growth strategies for local companies & profound results for mega-million dollar operations as we turned them around.
Laying the Foundation
There’s a comment section in everyone of these posts – that means you get a chance to get your questions answered & you get a chance to sound off as to why these strategies don’t work for you. I’m human and make mistakes too – but I’m here to show you what’s worked for me before and what can work for you too. It takes work – lots of it. But, this series gives you the power to take control of your business’ future – right now.
…So Back to the ‘absurd thing’ I heard…
I used to run one of the most active Lean Startup Circles in America. This was like a “Shark Tank” without the money. A bunch of us business hacks would sit around the table, listen to business ideas and give our advice on how to get a business launched quickly – with as little capital as possible & while minimizing entrepreneurial wanderings. The concept is simple.
- Develop a minimally viable product (an MVP for short)
- Test the MVP with a key demographic
- Make adjustments to fit the feedback
- Lather – rinse & repeat.
So – you can probably picture my face when Harry Shaffer said he wanted to build carbon fiber sitars – sell them to the professional sitar players around the world & sell them at 3x the cost of the closest competitor (an all natural alternative). You see, Harry had found an audience that had a specific problem and the only way to solve it was to build a premium product – all on a shoestring and without a real plan.
Well, we about laughed him out of the place – but you can see for yourself – Harry’s been wildly successful with a simple website and a manufacturing process in his home. He’s got a waiting list a year long. Boy – were we wrong!
What I learned from the Sitar…
It doesn’t matter how outlandish your idea is for your business. It matters how much passion you have and if that passion intersects with your skill set and a need in the market. That’s it! Passion will drive you through the tough times and get you through to the other side. But… smart moves along the way are going to shorten your trip to success and that’s what we’re laying out here.
In the next post – we’ll take a look at how we can align our passion – skill & the market to be sure you’re hunting in a target rich environment.