Not Even 20 And I Want A Business To Help Children With

by Jamyria Crawley
(Tampa, Florida, United States)

your ideal business start tutoringI am 19 years old and I want to start a business that helps kids reach their goals in life and that also gives less fortunate families opportunities.

I honestly have NO clue where to get started. But I do know what I want to name my business and that I want to make a difference in someones life.

What guidance could you offer me?

----- Arturo's Reply to Jamyria -----

Welcome, Jamyria! You have an exceptional attitude for someone your age. If you are courageous, willing to persevere and committed to learn from others and from your own future mistakes, you will succeed in starting your own business.

To start your own business will take more than desire. It will take more than good wishes toward others. It will take work – lots of work – and what more exciting and valuable thing could you dedicate yourself to doing on this earth than to work to better the life of others in need?

So I congratulate you on your objective. But now, given your need for information, let me share some precious insight that can get you started on the right road. I'll sum it up in 3 points for you.

Point #1: A Business Is A Tool, Not An End In Itself

Is it possible to deliver to these children the help you have in mind to give only through a business of your own making? The reason I ask you this is because helping children reach their goals in life is too broad a vision.

There are countless organizations already attempting this in very specific areas of specialization with a wide assortment of children. It's time to specialize. What can you do uniquely that others are not doing and that you can do or do better than others?

Without a precise answer to this question you cannot start a business that will succeed. You may be better off working for someone else who already has a precise vision and is laboring to achieve it.

Point #2: Know Your Customers Better Than They Know Themselves

To take a well grounded stance in orchestrating all your resources toward fulfilling the desires of people who would pay you for your services, you must intimately know who these people are and why they'd be willing to part with their money to secure from you something of greater value than the money they have in hand.

So, who are these people that you wish to help and do they have both money and urgent need to spend it, so long as they get more benefit from giving it to you than using it for something else? This is another question you must answer for yourself before deciding whether or not to start a business.

Notice that nowhere here is there a need to create a business plan or plan for a company name or envision how to be significantly helpful to someone. We're one stage earlier than all that. We're at the "Forget The Business Plan And Discover Your Ideal Customer" ground level in starting a business.

So, make a list of the characteristics of your ideal, target customer and then go find people just like them and start a friendly conversation with them. Speak with them and validate whether what you believe that matters to them is indeed what really matters to them, and ask them whether they'd pay someone like you to help them with their needs. Then refine your assumptions based on this feedback.

If you do nothing else, do at least this much. Then follow these 6 Steps To Starting A Business to get you going quickly.

Point #3: Early Progress Will Require Doing, Redoing And Undoing Work

The following will be a test of your mettle as an entrepreneur. Here's the heat in the sun that melts dreams after shining a light upon your vision. Keep the following quote in mind from C.S. Lewis:
We all want progress, but if you're on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; in that case, the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive.
You're going to have to get used to making changes – lots of changes – at the beginning of your journey as a businesswoman in order to become intimately aligned with your ideal client. This is a very important discipline to develop early in your career as an entrepreneur. So do not despair and do seek for support as you progress, even if slowly, toward your final objective. Join a local group of entrepreneurs. Start networking.

Starting a business is a marathon run. Enjoy the journey. Measure success by how well you've matured along the way, and by how steady a paced you've kept in the right direction. Read lots on marketing. Put marketing to work for you. Otherwise you'll go nowhere fast.

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