Where should I start as an entrepreneur?

[The following is a reproduction of my (Sumukh's) answer on Quora.]

One-line answer: Start anywhere, but don’t fail to start.


The questions “Where should I start?” and “How should I start?” are very common. These are usually posed by those who are thinking about starting their own business, and are terrified at the prospect of doing so.

I’m the founder of Polydojo: an online platform for creating forms and managing business processes. I routinely interact with business founders, employees and investors. I’ve answered the question “Where should I start?” multiple times.

If you go to a startup convention and ask each panelist how/where they started, you’d most likely get a different response from each of them. That’s because they probably run different types of businesses and possess different skill sets.

However, among all the panelists at the convention, there is always one commonality. They all actually started their business! Where they started might be different, but there is no denying that each of them did indeed start.

In my estimate, the number of individuals who think about starting a business is at least 100 times more than the number of individuals who actually start one. I’ve spoken to a number of people who wanted to start a business; but didn’t.

If you seriously consider starting a business, but then don’t actually start it, there’s no doubt that you “serious” business will fail. If you don’t even try, you’ve failed before you could start. You have failed to start. That should be a crime.

I understand that starting your business can seem risky. (But if you ask me, not starting your business is actually riskier. Maybe I’ll blog about that.) If fear of failure is the only thing that is holding you back, you’ve already failed.

So, what should you do? You should be unafraid to fail. If I recall correctly, I first read the phrase “be unafraid to fail” in one of Robert Kiyosaki’s books. That phrase perfectly describes the attitude of those who win. Do you best to adopt it.

Remember that startup convention? Most (if not all) panelists would have failed before becoming successful. Failure may be seen as a daunting milestone on the path to success. If you are afraid of failure, you are essentially afraid of success.

I am NOT saying that you should try to fail. That would be stupid. That would serve no purpose. For in reality, it is all the things that failure teaches you, that will ultimately help you become successful.

If you aren’t yet convinced that you should start your business today, you may never get convinced. If you are serious about starting a business, just start. You may fail. You’ll learn. Start again. And yet again. You’ll be successful.

If reading this answer has inspired you to start your business, good. Don’t let this fire go to waste. Start you business now. Need to call a lawyer? Google one in your area. Need to talk to your parents? Do it now. Not tomorrow. DO IT NOW.

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Image credit: Quora image search (via Bing.)

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