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Needy People Equals Good Business

Entrepreneurial advice requires access to a relevant network to execute it. There’s no such thing as an entrepreneur hermit. Entrepreneurship means business, which means trade, which means multiple parties.

It’s possible to get lucky in trade (Pet Rocks) but the reliable way is to know who is ready to buy what. If you don’t know who is ready to buy, and what they’ll pay for, you’re relying on luck.

So entrepreneurial advice should always start with advice on building a network of needy people. That way you’ll be able to apply all the rest of the advice.

There’s a caveat that some services can create needy people on demand (advertising). Since this is the business equivalent of alchemy (turing lead into gold rather than digging) it is shrouded in mystery and expense. You can’t just add an alchemy department to your organization. If you rely on creating need you have to specialize, or hire a specialist.

In application, once you do find needy people, odds are other entrepreneurs found them too. If so, you’re now in competition. If not, congratulations, you don’t have any competition…for now. The better known a particular need is the better your network has to be to find someone who remains needy.

The exciting part is that you might be able to fulfill a need, that’s shared by a large network, that nobody else can fulfill. The barrier is important; that’s the reason a common need remains unfulfilled. Movie stars do this. There’s only one Jennifer Lawrence and since everyone in the world needs to see her she gets shoehorned into things (X-Men Apocalypse).

This facet of entrepreneurship is the glamorized one. A person who can fill a need that couldn’t be fulfilled (SpaceX), or create a new option that renders old options suddenly insufficient (iPhone), is like a movie star. The need was widely shared but couldn’t be fulfilled by just anyone anytime. Nobody knew that they needed to see Jennifer Lawrence until they saw her, and afterwards only she would do.

But you can’t start there. If you try to start on a path to becoming a movie star you are relying entirely on luck. It’s glamorized because it’s impossible to control. If you try to start on a path to becoming Steve Jobs or Elon Musk you are skipping over the foundation of entrepreneurship.

You don’t buy lottery tickets assuming you’re going to win so you shouldn’t go into business until you know needy people.

Published inentrepreneurship

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