mindmapSeriously, starting a company is not at all what it used to be just a few years ago.

I think one of the main reasons why people are afraid to starting their own business is because our heads are filled up with old assumptions about it. The reality is that opening a company is easier than ever.

My point of view is not only based on what I see out there in the small business world, it has been my reality for the last decade. Let me show you…

Change the Concept
Start by clearing all those assumptions in your head to start with a blank canvas. We make such a big deal out of this that starting your company seems pretty impossible. Lighten up a little and take a more informal perspective. For example, I had a company for about 2 years that made some money and then I put it in a drawer, it served its purpose and I moved on, but then I found an opportunity to do something related later on and I pulled the company out of the drawer, dust it and used it for another year. I’m not married to it. There are no attachments.

Planning vs. Testing
Of course I’m going with option 2, I always have. Do you know how much time and money takes to put a business plan together? I rather test the idea with the least possible investment, if you do good then move on to more serious stuff. With today’s technologies and resources available you can do this for next to nothing, plus it’s a lot more fun than writing a plan.

The reality is that the old way of doing business is dead, if you think you’ll write a plan to go talk to Jonathan sitting at Wells Fargo and he’ll drop 100k on your hands… you’re in for a surprise.

Fail, fail, fail
Everybody and their grandmas will tell you that you need to be willing to fail, I say be ready to fail. Know what you’re going to do if you fail, after all, it’s a possibility. Chances of getting it right the first time are low, but that’s ok, when you have a passion for this that’s just part of the game. Get up for round two, bleeding nose and a black eye but a smile on your face… Take a look at my record: 2 failures, 1 small failure, 1 that never launched, 2 positive outcomes, 1 huge success, currently working on 2 ideas…

I rather fail at trying a new idea for a business and not fail at a corporate cubicle, even tough at the cubicle there are no consequences and your loosing somebody else’s money.

Think Guerrilla Style
Of course we don’t have any money to start a business and if you do, save it. A little creativity will give you the technology, the collaboration and the marketing you need for free (I promise I’ll post a list about this resources next week). Again, there has never been a better cheaper time to start your business. With some of these resources in place, you’ll be set to work your heart out to make it successful.

Social Media
Social media if off the hook! Forget about placing an ad in the local paper, that’s so 15 minutes ago… Don’t think social media is just for socializing with your fiends and family on the other side of the planet, today companies are basing their whole marketing campaign on tweeting and facebooking. Get educated.

The reality today is that unless you want to open a McDonald’s franchise, you can start a business with a notebook, an Internet connection and some balls (not a lot), in fact I’ve been doing that for the last 10 years. We have started companies with no money or experience and have never needed a loan from a bank. We have started companies in a matter of days.

I failed more than once but I have been very successful too, and most importantly, I am FREE. We’ll start a new company next week with $0 investment and it’ll take a couple of days to setup with an image and everything. We’ll keep you posted.

What the hell… I’m so excited that if you need the Elephants help on starting your new life, I’ll throw in a couple of free sessions to start dancing with you (I don’t mean real dancing). Just email me at francisco@thenakedelephant.net.