Don't Start a Business if You Can't Do This One Thing. by M.C. Starbuck


"I would never start a business with you. You don't know anything about running a business."

My brother, who is six years younger than me and one of my best friends, said this to me when I first started reading about successful business owners.

I wasn't necessarily interested in owning a business, but I loved learning from their outlook on life and from their goal-setting advice.

As I began implementing that advice and hearing them repeatedly talk about how they started with very little money, I began to believe that I not only could but should give it a try myself.

But I had zero business experience.

It seems like every entrepreneur had started out in corporate America, making pretty good money.

My work experience was the exact opposite: working outdoors with children and getting paid a set price per day, aka less than minimum wage. I wasn't allowed to have my phone at work, and dress was a t-shirt and jeans.

The only thing I learned related to business was customer service, and I wasn't even outstanding at that. In college I had learned some skills in prioritizing, but that's it. I didn't even own a laptop until last year.

I didn't think I could start planning a business until I knew how to:

  • create a product people would buy
  • take good risks with my money
  • hire and manage staff
  • do my taxes
  • find customers
  • and lots of other stuff I knew I wasn't even aware of

Yet I already know enough about business to share what I've learned not just with my own audience but also here on (Doug's Blog). This transition to where I am today, which took less than a year after my brother said I know nothing about running a business, took place because I dedicated myself to one thing: learning. Having both the ability and willingness to learn is the litmus test I suggest for anyone wanting to start a business.

And you don't have to learn everything before you start making money. Just learn one thing at a time, and you will be able to learn as you go. Yes, you'll make mistakes, but that will happen even if you try to learn everything first. By the time you actually put it into practice, it will be outdated.

If this sounds great, if you have that dedication to learning, then I have a list of free resources that have helped me learn the best information quickly and easily. They are in the approximate order that I came across them:

  1. Follow Jon Acuff
  2. Michael Hyatt's Wordpress website setup tutorial
  3. Jaime Tardy's Eventual Millionaire video podcast interview with Grant Cardone
  4. Jeff Goins' The Portfolio Life podcast
  5. Lewis Howes podcast on serving others
  6. Pat Flynn on masterminds
  7. Hal Elrod on happy relationships

If you prefer books, here are the ones I've found most helpful:

  • The Millionaire Next Door
  • Rich Dad, Poor Dad
  • Do the Work
  • Boundaries
  • Essentialism
  • Launch
  • The 4-Hour Work Week

Following the advice from these resources will prepare you for a career for far less money than a college degree, and it won't take four years of studying before you start making money. However, I will warn you that it can lead to information overload. They are all full of great ideas and resources that lead you to more great ideas and resources.

If you notice yourself getting stressed from trying to take all of their advice, take a break.

Rest, spend time with family, remember why you wanted to start a business. Then get back to work on one thing at a time.

Now I'm off to make my brother wish he could start a business with me.

About our Guest Blogger

M.C. Starbuck teaches families how to get rid of clutter and make room for what matters most, a skill she wishes she had learned sooner. She wants to live in a tiny house and is using her website to inspire people to Live Tiny and Dream Big. And she hopes your day is as awesome as her last name.

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