Practical Beginner Entrepreneurship Ideas From Derek Sivers

Breathe in. Breath out.

Derek Sivers, if you don't know him, accidentally founded CD baby, an online platform where independent musicians could sell their work. And when I say accidentally, I really mean it. What's more, he sold the company for $20 million dollars which he then promptly donated it to a charity. I would have bought an island for myself to be honest. I am a Nepalese and I don't have nude beaches or beaches for that matter to run around in Nepal. Let me just have my island in peace.

What I like about him is that he's a really good teacher. A good teacher by definition breaks down information in chunks and lets you feed on him. He does that pretty well. You can check out his website [HERE] and some very interesting life related "directives" [HERE].

Cutting to the chase, here's what he has to say about starting and running a successful business.

1) Solve your own problem:

Create a business that solves your problem. That way you have 1) motivation 2) mindset to learn the necessary skills you need for that problem. For Derek -musician by trade- it was learning how to code. That way he was able to create a website where he could sell his CDs. You might have a question in regard to why solve your problem rather than study the need for the market (needfinding process) and build a business plan out of it. Well, if you have a problem and you find a solution for that and you have the word out that you do, someone somewhere might have the same problem that needs to be solved. That way, you create a service for that particular someone. Possibly they will be interested in paying you for your time as well. That's business.

2) Create a list of how a customer wants to see your business in a utopian perspective:

What I mean by that is imagining your business as being the type of business that your customer wishes your business to be and then finding ways to become that. For an example, if I was going to follow someone on instagram (while strictly not a business example), I would look at 1) pictures have to be of great quality 2) the frequency of the posts should be 2/3 times a week 3) provide knowledge or value of the beer he/she has been drinking 4) have a tea spoon of humor. I have started to experiment with the same idea by 1) always using my mirrorless camera and then editing them to create good quality pictures 2) post 2/3 times a week to engage followers 3) provide some sort of information on the beer and where to find it. Since I have a multi-lingual follower base, I have now started to include different languages 4) well, I try. 

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Basically create the ideal business that a customer wants to experience from your business.

3) Focus on the customers you have and provide them with the best customer service:

By keeping and maintaining your few die-hard fans, you will be able to spread the word quicker. The magic number, as entrepreneur and blogger, Ramit Sethi states, "1000 true fans." Thats it. With social media these days, organic growth of business is likely to take off much faster than mouth-to-mouth viral days. An example I see happening right before my eyes is at Carnivore Gastropub, a new pub opened up only a month ago. The owners keep a whiskey bottle and everytime there's an  opportunity, the whiskey gets passed around. No charge. Everyone's happy. The beauty is that these customers keep showing up to repay the kindness. I am sure they have been talking to their friends as well.



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