sell your first cup of coffee

In building a business, learning, salesby Jay Clouse

I love new ideas.

New ideas provide that beautiful breath of fresh air from whatever wall you’ve been banging your head into. A glimpse into a new world!

I was sitting on a panel last week with Ryan McManus, the founder of SHARE. He told a story about one of his first business ventures — a coffee shop.

He fell in love with the idea, and it quickly became a complex, flushed out concept complete with business plan, potential locations, and a full team.

He went to get a loan and the banker asked, “Have you sold any coffee?”

I see a certain pattern of behavior time and time again.

“I have a great idea!”

…registers domain…

…creates logo on Fiverr.com…

…buys business cards, stickers, and t-shirts…

…gets afraid of the reality of selling or building the business…

…decides it’s a stupid idea anyway…

quits.

…business cards sit on desk for 5 years.

It’s a backwards approach and can hurt the beginning of a project or business more than help. When you focus so much on things that aren’t validating an idea or selling a product, you build up what the idea could be in your mind.

You build such high expectations that you’ll never reach them off the bat.

And so, you give up before you truly get started (but with a few hundred bucks worth of junk you’ll never use).

Start with the basics. Prove the idea. Prove that people will pay you.

Sell your first cup of coffee.

And once you’ve started to build, don’t forget to sell shirts and shoes.


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