Saturday, January 3, 2009

Invest in your mind at the expense of... everything

One of the greatest benefits of being young is that you have a lot of time to recover from any mistakes you make. It provides a great opportunity for you to attempt to learn all that you can, even at the expense of your lifestyle, money, credit, etc.

There is definitely something of value in learning from other people that have gone through similiar experiences, but too often people never make the jump to trying something that may seem "risky" because they want to make sure everything is "right". The truth is there will always be a reason not to do something, so what the heck are you waiting for?

Now I'm not saying jump into just anything, you should calculate your risks to some extent, but too often we never get out of the calculating stage! And there are definitely a lot of bad directions (see posts on multi-level marketing). But sometimes you have to go to a MLM rally in order to realize it is madness despite what everyone says.


I want to: Open a coffee shop

I've never worked in a coffee shop
I don't know how one operates
I don't have the money to start one
What if I lose my money
How will I pay my living expenses?

Get a job in a coffee shop, try to absorb as much info. about the business as possible
Read as many resources as you can about coffee shops!
Research success stories like Starbucks, Bigby
Budget how much you would need to barely survive and then set EVERYTHING else aside for the business

  • Best/Least Likely: You open a coffee shop and it does well, you continue to make it operate more efficiently and look into opening others
  • Average Result/Very Likely:You open a coffee shop and it fails, you reflect on your journey and what you did wrong/right. You don't have the money to try again, but you vow to do so. 9/10 Business start ups fail in the first 1-3 years, so you just need to try 10 times to make it happen (odds are if you are moderately intelligent that you will hit success earlier, but other factors may prevent this from happening). You learned a hell of a lot at the cost of your investment, but that knowledge will pay off eventually.
  • Worst Result/Don't Do: You open a coffee shop and it fails, you say it was never a good idea and give up. You lose your money, learn nothing. What are you investing in here? NOTHING!

Okay so this doesn't cover every possibility but you get the idea. Of course you could discover that you hate running a coffee shop and instead want to run an ice cream parlor. Well you better believe the business knowledge is going to be relevant for that too.

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