“I want to start a business but don’t know where to start”

God I’ve heard that question so many times before.

A good deal of people I know see my lifestyle:

  • No boss
  • No set working time
  • Take any day off
  • Don’t have to commute anywhere
  • Can work from any location

….and they think it’s great.  And I got admit…it ain’t bad!

Many of them realize that working 9-5 is not just 9-5, but also the night before, the morning of….so it consumes and dictates nearly your entire day, what you can do, when you go on vacation etc.

If you like your job…this isn’t really a problem, but if you don’t….yeesh.

So back to the question I get from someone who’s never started a business and now wants to after years of working:

“I want to start a business but don’t know where to start”

To burst most bubbles quickly: It’s doubtful it will happen. I’ve seen long-term working people start successful businesses only a few times. Usually the longer someone’s worked, the more likely they will not succeed.  Most people trying this are in the wrong frame of mind almost immediately. They just want to “make some money” without doing much work.

Anyhow, for this question I will try to assume the role of how I’D PERSONALLY go about starting a business with no particular business acumen.


First and foremost I’d GET MY LEARN ON.  That’s right….prepare to READ A SHIT LOAD OF STUFF.  And TAKE NOTES.  It’s like school.

Then I would try to implement what I’ve learned and make $100 from it.

That’s it.


I think those three short sentences above can teach you an immense deal about business.

The benefit of this is:
1.) It’s easy to make $100 in just about anything.
2.) Simply DOING something will very quickly show if you like it or not.
3.) Your desire to learn will be way more intense if you’re currently DOING something real….not just thinking about a hypothetical business you might build.

It is ABSOLUTELY GRATIFYING to destroy the dreams of people who say, “I want to start a business but can’t think of anything”.

Me: “What business books have you read?”

Them: “Ummmm, none.”

Me: “Have you ever written down what you like to do, what skills you have etc. on a piece of paper?  Spent a couple of hours on it?”

Them: “Hmmmmm…..not really.”

Me: “Have you sought out business people you admire and asked them to show you how their business works”

Them: “I once saw YouTube video of Bill Gates.”

Me: “So basically you’ve done NOTHING to realize your dream of starting a business?”

Neville (destroyer of dreams)

P.S. Here’s some motivation to consume if you fall in that camp.
Earl Nightingale’s The Strangest Secret

Blog posted on: April 20, 2011

21 comments on ““I want to start a business but don’t know where to start”

    1. Adam McFarland

      Whoops hit submit earlier than I wanted to. Anyway, most people struggle just to register a domain and get a blog up. Even the simple business models that people come up with they have trouble executing. Out of all of my friends who have expressed interest in starting a business, none have gotten past starting a blog on Blogger. I’m always going to encourage them, but the reality is like what you said: it’s probably not going to happen, they’re in the wrong mindset, and they’re too used to a corporate environment.

  1. Mano

    Yes, I totally agree. I met a lot of people building their own business online but the thing is, they don’t have any idea on how to utilize their skills. They just want to earn huge money. What they normally do is outsource people and let them do the job. Then, their business will be out and running. Thanks to these online workers. but if their business didn’t work out, they’ll blame it all to the workers. That’s unfair. But yea, the reality is, you can’t reach your dreams and build your own business if you won’t take action.!

    1. faizan

      yap but i have a plan to start a physical business…i am from Pakistan if you are interested or any one of your friends plz let me know

    1. Mano

      Thanks Juvic! Yes, it is important to use their own skills and take care of their business on their own to produce great results. Then, when they aalready know the process, they can then outsource people to help them. Online workers should only help them not run their business for them. Well, That’s my opinion :) Thanks.



    1. Anonymous

      I am not trying to make a boat load of money. I just want to do things that are interesting to me while I have a full time job. I realize that my skills can be helpful – I can provide a service and I get a real kick out of it!! So, why do I need to know about buisness?

      1. Alex Berman

        Most of your time in phase one should be on selling new clients.

        Figure out who your ideal client is, list the type of blogs they write for, read a few posts on the blogs and cold email them about your product.

        Make sure to be sincere and not salesy (way easier said than done).

        I’m no expert, but that’s the way I’ve been validating my ideas recently. You learn a lot when you try to sell people stuff.

  3. Pingback: Challenge: Make $100 This Week | Following the Rules

  4. Joey


    What about the people that just want a steady second stream of income? You don’t have to read every business book and talk to every entrepreneur/salesmen to find the right buisness market and or skills necessary to start a small business. In some cases it’s really as simple as figuring out total revenue – total cost to sell = profit. Not everyone wants to deal with legalities of taking a small buisness to the next step.

  5. Sheila Elliott

    Excellent blog post. There are many dreamers out there saying they want to start but never take action to start. I wonder if there are reasons for this. From my part, I know before i started, it took ten years to prepare due to fear factor. Environment can be a stronghold that bound people into the chain of dreaming to become a boss but never taking actions. The first step I alway recommend through my blog http://www.whystartabusiness.co.uk is this, take a good look at your environment. Are the people you spend time heading for the same direction as you. That does not mean you sideline your friends and family. Oh no, it simply means you will have to find new friends that are in business or starting a business to spend more time with whilst you are on the journey. Otherwise, the journey will be a long and hard one.

  6. what games are like candy crush saga

    Sure, I get it’ you must target something and select an ability.
    This year, why not give your loved ones something special to go with flowers, candy, and sparkly jewelry.
    The flavor and shape combinations are limited only by your imagination and your desire to

  7. game of war fire Age

    i – Tunes also limits the i – Phone to connecting
    with one computer. Not only are standard features getting an upgrade, but lots of exciting, new features are launching
    as well, and there are more than few items I can’t wait
    to tap, pinch, and swipe. One of the main reasons for unlocking a phone is in order to change cell
    phone carriers.

  8. tyrex

    There is no better protection for your music player except Ipod
    screen protector. For many, applying a ‘skin’
    to your phone would be perfect against most light abuse, scratches and scuffs, while maintaining its sleek form.

    For new users, it safeguards the most significant part
    of touch-screen gadget; the screen.

  9. asphalt 8 google play

    Asphalt shingles are considered one the most popular roofing materials
    offered by roofing companies in Miami. Concrete Welder and
    Flo – Mix are available for purchase through
    the Roklin web site at or call 1-888-Flex – Set.
    is installed by highly skilled and trained contractors who can identify whether or not Perma Flex.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>