I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about starting businesses, helping people start businesses, and trying to start my own.
When I was 7 years old I started my first business – “Loans Incorporated” – it went like this….
I never got an allowance, but for some reason I got an obscene amount of lunch money, $3 dollars a day. My Persian Jewish father Nuri Nazar seemed to be overly concerned that I should buy the best lunch food the cafeteria could offer, and woefully under concerned that I should have a fixed allowance to budget.
So being the toddler capitalist I was, I would loan out $2.00 a day to my classmates and have them sign a sample contract I drafted up. (I wish i still had one of those original handwritten ones). In return my classmates had to give me back $0.25 the next day plus my two dollars. I really had no idea at the time that I was teaching myself about finance and getting a better return compounded yearly than the Google IPO.
The first few weeks were so successful that I remember when my friends Sammy, Jack, and Hootan were at my house, I put thumbnail tacks on different parts of my World Map, telling them all the locations we were going to open up Loans Incorporated Branches. (Hootan started crying because he said he was supposed to go into the family jewelry business).
However, as fate would have it, my plans were dashed when the principal had to get in the middle of a dispute between a “customer” not paying me back (I think her name was Jenny). Who knew loan sharking was illegal.
When all was said and done though, I did start my first business in the 2nd grade. And “starting” is 90% of the battle in my mind.
Most business don’t fail because they fail… they fail because they were never started. If I had a nickel for every time someone told me “I had that idea first”, I could re-capitalize Loans Incorporated and would have completely self financed docstoc.
My strong advice – stop talking and get in the game. I tried to put my thoughts in a bitting and humorous presentation. So here is my advice on Mistakes People Make Before Starting a New Business.