At our monthly networking event in Playa Vista, CA we get to meet tons of interesting entrepreneurs from all types of backgrounds.
I do my best to get to know everyone and learn more about their businesses. I can tell within the first two minutes of being pitched, if someones business isn't going to succeed or at least be somewhat successful. I don't say this to sound cocky or like I'm Mr. know it all, but it's true.
There are so many people in the world who fall into one of three categories that are huge red flags for me. (I'm not saying these people will never succeed, I'm just saying in their current situation, it will be extremely difficult to succeed if they don't change something.)
1. They have an impractical idea
2. They clearly don't want to do the work that matters
3. They think other people can solve their problems and they always have someone or something to blame
Out of the many events we've hosted I've met tons of people with impractical ideas. Let me give you an example. One man created a way to exchange connections on LinkedIn (and contact info) with a handshake. So, if you meet someone new, at an event you can shake their hand and your phone will automatically get their contact info and LinkedIn profile and they will get your information too. There's a catch, both people have to be wearing a bracelet made by the founder, in order for the contact info exchange to work.
Immediately this founder has on of the hardest problems to solve. He has to get his bracelet on hundreds of millions of people before the product can even work. The first 10 product owners would never get use out of the product, even the first million people would barely get use out of it.
Imagine if you bought a bracelet and went to an event an no one else was wearing one. You'd never wear it again.
A more practical idea would be to leverage a tech that everyone already has with them all of the time, like a smart phone. You could tap phones with another person and exchange contact info. But I believe that idea already exists.
Don't Want To Do The Work That Matters
People who fall in this category usually have a story about past successes and how growing this new company is a ton of work. They usually emphasize how busy they are and how many hours they are working a week. They also talk about how it's a struggle but they are "getting there"
After a bit of conversation I usually discover that these people are doing a ton of work but the work isn't really what is going to help them succeed. It's like they are distracting themselves with busy work, just to feel like they are working hard.
All of these things are indicators that the person doesn't really want to work hard on the things that matter, they really just want free time to distract themselves with work related projects that are fun.
It's fun to discover new things, uncover new strategies, read about successes, get motivated and try new things, but you also have to execute. If you're not executing you're just investing into an interest or hobby.
They Think Other People Can Solve Their Problems And They Always Have Something To Blame
I meet a lot of these people. They usually don't have money to pay anyone anything but they are looking for someone like a Software Developer to help them build their business.
If you really want to start a business, and you have no money, you won't spend month's looking for a unicorn, you'll pick up a book or take a class and learn how to create your product yourself.
Thinking that someone else will magically solve your problems is not a good bet. You'll end up mentally struggling way more than you need to. Even if someone comes to help you out, it never goes as easy as planned so you might as well suck it up and get it done yourself. At least start!
Many of these people will also have a laundry list of things they can blame for not starting, not finding the right person, not having money etc. As soon as the excuses come out, I know they are in trouble.
These are my thoughts for the day. I hope everyone has a great start to their week.
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