This week will be Entrepreneurship Week on this blog.
To start us off, this post is a benevolent kick in the ass. I’ll preface the kick with something I wrote in The 4-Hour Workweek:
For all of the most important things, the timing always sucks. Waiting for a good time to quit your job? The stars will never align and the traffic lights of life will never all be green at the same time. The universe doesn’t conspire against you, but it doesn’t go out of its way to line up the pins either. Conditions are never perfect. “Someday” is a disease that will take your dreams to the grave with you. Pro and con lists are just as bad. If it’s important to you and you want to do it “eventually,” just do it and correct course along the way.
But talk is cheap, isn’t it? That’s the whole point, so let’s get to the action.
In 2009, Tobias Lutke, CEO of Shopify, and I developed the Build-A-Business Competition to transform would-be entrepreneurs into real entrepreneurs. Now in its 4th year, the competition has created more than 15,000 businesses that have sold more than $60 million in product (!).
Several readers of this blog — first-time business owners — have ended up generating millions of dollars each… some as side gigs to their full-time jobs! A few examples generated $250,000+ per month.
You don’t need need experience, and you don’t need a bunch of money. You just need to take the leap: join the competition, decide on your product category, listen to advice from mentors and fellow competitors, and sell the hell out of your product. That’s it.
“Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.”
- Johan Wolfgang von Goethe
Intangible products can also be sold in the competition, including digital downloads, services, and subscriptions. Make sure you check out the Shopify App Store (apps.shopify.com) for tons of great plugins.
This year’s competition is in partnership with Huffington Post, so there will be even more PR and exposure. Past participants have been featured in everything from Fast Company to The New York Times.
Who are your mentors? These killers, thrillers, and 100-dollar billers:
** Arianna Huffington (The Huffington Post)
** Mark Cuban (Dallas Mavericks, Shark Tank)
** Daymond John (FUBU, Shark Tank)
** Chase Jarvis (Photographer, Director)
** Tina Eisenberg (Swissmiss, CreativeMornings)
** Gary Vaynerchuk (Wine Library, Vaynermedia)
** Selita Ebanks (Victoria’s Secret Angel, Cause Marketer)
** Lil’ Jon (DJ & Producer)
** Amber Mac (TV Host, Author)
** Tim Ferriss (Angel Investor, Bearclaw Eater, Author: The 4-Hour Workweek)
The Build-A-Business competition runs from October 1, 2013 to May 31, 2014, with each of the mentors providing exclusive advice and guidance along the way. In addition to $50,000 cash prizes, the nine competition winners will receive an expenses-paid VIP trip for two to New York City to meet their mentors. It’s one hell of a party. The competition is open to people in the US, Canada, UK, Australia, and New Zealand.
Click here for full details.
Time to explore entrepreneurship, don’t you think? If not now, when? What’s stopping you? Let us know in the comments, and maybe we (including other readers) can help.
Odds and Ends Elsewhere: