Adjusting the Course

In the podcast series, Seth Godin’s Startup School, Seth Godin gave a guided tour to a group of highly-motivated early-stage entrepreneurs on some of the questions they will have to dig deep and ask themselves while they build up their business. Here are my takeaways from various topics discussed in the podcast episodes.

  • It is important to make the distinction between freelancer and entrepreneur early on. It is also important to understand the difference in role and to commit to one path. Each role builds projects differently and focuses on different approaches.
  • Consultants are always freelancers. The easy, hard part is whether you are smart enough to give good advice. The hard, hard part is whether people trust you enough to pay you to give them good advice.
  • The “lizard brain” is that voice in your head that pushes you away from opportunities. That voice is always with us, and we need to be clear with ourselves why we are avoiding the “right” answer.
  • The first question for any business to ask is “Who is it for?” Nothing is for everyone. If you are trying to bring something for absolutely everyone, you will have to start over.
  • The second question to ask is “What do they believe?” For those in the group of question number one, what is their worldview?
  • The third question to ask is “Have they bought this type service/product before?” There are three types of revenue: revenue of cash, revenue of attention/trust, and revenue of referral.
  • The last question to ask is “Does this group of people know about you?” There is a huge gulf between selling to people who know about you and to people who have never heard of you. Also, another question to ask is “Do this group of people who know you and also trust you?”
  • One thing to always think about is how do you put yourself out there so strangers can learn more about what you and, over time, build trust and confidence over your product/service.
  • A key consideration is a value created by business. Business models shape the value created by businesses. In the connection economy, businesses can create value by connecting a group of customers to a product/service or connecting a group of customers to another group of customers.