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Re: Why (in my opinion) everyone should learn business skills...
I am ambivalent about this. Because a lot of people use this as an excuse to not get started: "I don't have any business experience" or "I have not gone to any school or taken any business classes" etc etc.
Business skills are something that you can learn on the fly as long as you keep a few things in mind:
- Protect your downside. Don't risk what you can't afford.
- Start with the demand - the problem. And not the product.
- Pre-sell if possible. Bring in the sales before you begin production. (Today this is easier than ever with kickstarter etc.)
More than business skills, I think what is more important is the skill of building a thicker skin. Not be put off by rejection or failure. I love how most copywriters recommend that you get some experience with door to door selling. It teaches you persuasion - sure. But it teaches you how to build a thicker skin.
If you're not afraid of failure, you will hustle your way and find success sooner or later.
Everyone should play the rejection game:
That will help you more than any education in business.
As for business knowledge, here are a few book recommendations:
- Running Lean by Ash Maurya. Geared for the startup crowd. But its the best book I've read that shows you how to systematically control your risk and build a "minimum viable product" while you begin. How you should write a Hotsheet before you write a book.
- The Essential Drucker. Excellent book on management, summarizes Druckers entire life work.
- Any marketing book by Jon Spoelstra or Joe Sugarman. Or by Jill Konrath if you're selling B2B. Brain Audit by Sean D'Souza for copywriting and communication.
- Hiring. Lou Adler's One question interview.
- And then read as many biographies of successful business people as you can.
If I had to summarize my advice to people who want to start their own business, it would be this:
Find a market and pre-sell your concept.
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