In this post entrepreneur Boyan S. Benev from Crimson Kaie examines the topic of business ventures and the relationship between planning, passion and success. You can also check out Boyan’s personal Blog where you can find information about his upcoming books and a bit more of a bio of this great young entrepreneur.
Many budding entrepreneurs struggle to start for a simple lack of inspiration. A great deal of time is spent mulling over ideas, discussing sectors and making models. This has been an issue for me in the past – I would fret over a concept for a long time before taking the plunge.
One free day I decided to look back and see which ideas, out of the many attempted, have been successful. It didn’t take very long to reach two conclusions: 1, there was a very clear, and seemingly inexplicable, relationship between planning and success & 2, the successful enterprises were all niches/markets/products which I personally enjoyed.
Now, the relationship between planning and success was inexplicable because it was inverse: from diamond brokerage to art dealing, the successful projects were ones which I dove into with very little planning.
At this point I would imagine other business writers to frown deeply but I did manage to justify this quite quickly.
I don’t know about those reading this but when an idea comes for a business it is seldom in an industry which I am intricately familiar with at the outset. I may have only scant knowledge of a business sector but still believe that the idea is a solid one with good potential. The courses of action from this point are to either do meticulous research on the sector and come up with ‘solid’ plans or to simply jump in at the deep end and learn along the way.
The reason why I believe the latter approach is over-whelming successful for me over the former is because the real world is not the most black and white of places. Written material, strategies, reviews etc. present a simplified version of the world covering only those concepts essential to the topic being presented. It is important this is done because otherwise every article in a magazine or newspaper would be the size of an encyclopaedia BUT it is not a true reflection on the real world.
An idea can sound great on paper but have very limited application in real life. I’m sure we all know the cliché about ‘the school of life’ but I find is so true for business. We are bound to make mistakes and stumble along the way but the sooner we expose ourselves to that risk of failure, the sooner we start learning and bettering our ideas.
This isn’t a suggestion to skip all the ground work but, from personal experience, I have found that when this is kept to a minimum the exercise is far more dynamic and self-correcting.
The caveat I would put here is that all projects I have attempted have been carefully budgeted so I a total loss of the resources allocated to them wouldn’t hurt. Many people go into business risking a great deal: money they cannot really afford to risk in this way. In such cases research is important to assure the individual they have considered as many factors as possible.
I think my point does largely stand for to those looking at internet business opportunities, often these start from an idea to generate a small side income which can then grow. In these cases I really believe practise makes perfect. There are so many nuances with e-business that it is almost impossible to get a feel for it unless you give it a try. The most important thing is to know from the outset how much you are prepared to invest.. or lose, in the venture.
The second point comes out of the above. The most successful ideas I have realised have been ones which I was passionate about. To give an example; I’m a big art fan. I love art in all of its forms and wouldn’t restrict my interest to one particular style. Whenever I have the opportunity I seek out and buy paintings, largely by emerging artists.
At the same time I meet many people in the daily course of my work. Through initially casual conversations I discovered that people took a great interest to the works I had and were eager to occasionally buy them from me. As I realised there was an opportunity here, I started to collect more pieces with the idea of selling them. Now I represent a few emerging artists from around the world and regularly manage to secure commissions for their work. This ‘enterprise’ grew out of something very pleasurable which has never felt like work.
To compliment it I established Crimson Kaie (www.crimsonkaie.com) as showcase to let the world know about talented artists in all sorts of media and styles. The site has taken off fantastically and it has been such a pleasure to run. As a result I know many of the featured artists have had increased interest in their work and more traffic to their sites.
Again, this project has been a pure pleasure to establish and manage. It came out of a hobby and so has not felt like work even though I have put a good deal of effort and energy into it. Now I see the potential to expand the concept further and if the interest continues to hold I have a couple of ideas up my sleeve for its development.
Everything started spontaneously with no preplanning and little knowledge of the industry. The growth was natural and guided by my interest in the subject rather than financial goals. There has been some financial benefit but it has come by the way – a bonus, in a way.
I’ve always believed that entrepreneurship should be fun – the individual should enjoy what they do. Otherwise they might as well stick with the security of a traditional job.
I now apply these two approaches: skeletal planning and the ‘fun’ factor in every new venture I consider because I have seen, first hand, the benefits of this approach.