If you've been itching to start a business, but you are overwhelmed with how to actually get started, here are two success stories that explain why smart entrepreneurs begin before they're ready.
The Woman Post | Carolina Rodríguez Monclou
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Starting before you're ready does not mean spending weeks or months brainstorming or strategizing. It means training yourself to get out there and do the actual work with real humans. The reality is that you do not need fancy marketing to get yourself some clients.
As humans, we often learn best by example. Let's take a look at two entrepreneurs who started before they were ready: Lisa Price of Carol's Daughter and Brandon Stanton of Humans of New York.
Carol's Daughter Founder Lisa Price
Lisa Price is the natural hair care brand Carol's Daughter founder. The successful entrepreneur started in the 80s while she was playing with fragrances and essential oils in her kitchen in Brooklyn. At first, she gave what she made away to her friends and family, but her mom smartly encouraged her to sell her goods at her church's flea market. Lisa never planned to start a business, but thought, "Hey, why not?" Worst case scenario, she'd have a fun day out. Luckily, Lisa did succeed.
The entrepreneur sold out of every single thing, and then she spent the rest of the summer going to craft festivals. So she slowly started to build a following, and her customers began to ask if she had anything for their hair.
Initially, she didn't, so she went home and figured out how to make hair products because, yes, everything is figureoutable. Lisa then gave those hair products to hairdressers, got their feedback, and started to make improvements. Little by little, Lisa kept growing her business until, eventually, her company was not so little anymore. Fast forward to 2014, and L'Oréal acquired Lisa's company.
Lisa started before she was ready. She didn't start with any fancy marketing. Carol's Daughter founder didn't have any marketing whatsoever, but the entrepreneur took action. She gave away her product, got feedback, and kept iterating and adjusting from there.
Humans of New York Founder Brandon Stanton
Brandon Stanton is the photographer behind the fantastic blog Humans of New York. Brandon lost his job in the financial industry, so he had always been interested in photography, but he didn't have any experience, and he didn't even own a camera. But there was one thing Brandon did know: He did not want to go back to that job and industry, which made him so unhappy.
The blogger just wanted to earn enough money to keep a roof over his head to do what he really wanted to do, which was taking photos.
Brandon moved to New York City and committed to this: Taking 10,000 photos of people on the street and plotting them on the map. While he was doing this, he ate Turkey sandwiches and slept on a mattress on the floor. The photographer spent many hours editing all those pictures learning what worked and what didn't. He also started to get comfortable interviewing strangers on the street while photographing them, which eventually transformed into Humans of New York. From there, he gained millions of followers and became a best-selling author.
Just like Lisa, he didn't start with any fancy marketing. Brandon just started before he was ready. The most valuable lesson for a person who aspires to be an entrepreneur is to take action. Allow yourself to learn and grow along the way.