Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Don't Know the First Step...Start Learning

We have a guest post today from our friends at Teach Street.

As any entrepreneur knows, getting a great idea is easy, it’s execution of that idea that’s really, really hard. You may have a beautiful business concept in your head but how do you make it happen? How do you begin?

Many entrepreneurs can spend months trying to answer this one question. Should you write a business plan? Make contacts in the industry? Look for funding? Start building a prototype of the product? There are so many options and when you’re new to the game none of them seem to be better or more effective than the other. Many entrepreneurs get hung up on all the options and succumb to “Analysis Paralysis.” They spend forever thinking about the best way of doing something without actually doing anything at all.

One of the main causes of this paralysis is lack of knowledge. Entrepreneurs don’t know anything about business plans or what they are good for so they don’t know if they should write one now or in the future when they get more funding. They don’t know anything about pitching venture capitalists and angel investors so they waste time wondering how to approach them. They don’t know this and they don’t know that, and because they don’t know, they wonder...and they waste time.

The obvious solution to this problem is to learn more. If the next step is unclear, spend more time learning about your industry (and entrepreneurship in general) until you have a pretty good idea of the next step to make. It’s true that you might take a step in the wrong direction, but once you take that step you’ll be able to understand exactly where you went wrong and be able to come up with a better approach.

One of the best ways to learn is to ask experts to provide you advice when you hit a wall. If you really want to get ahead of the crowd take some Entrepreneurship Classes and get some valuable one-on-one time with seasoned entrepreneurs who have “been there, done that” and want to help you get there as well.


  1. I think it is a good idea to do a job for a while in your chosen area to get experience. This will also help identify potential mentors.

  2. I can testify that I held off for many years (10 or more?!?) before finally jumping in. I'm sure I learned plenty during that time, but also found that I was still needing to learn new things every day, to fill in the gaps -- if I could do it over again, I'd have jumped in earlier.

    Great blog -- love the focus on all things entrepreneurship-related. I'm also fans of Fred Wilson (www.avc.com) and Mark Suster (www.bothsidesofthetable.com) for similar, rich content.

    Dave (founder and CEO, TeachStreet)