In the early 90’s a couple of friends and I conceived of and attempted to launch a cable television channel. Unbeknownst to us, at the time there were big changes and technological advances that were happening in the cable industry that opened up the door for the launch of many new channels. If you are old enough to remember, that era saw the launch of channels such as The Golf Channel, SyFy Channel, The Learning Channel and The History Channel to name a few. Although the channel never became reality, we were able to get caught up in the momentum, gain some significant supporters and surprisingly get pretty far down the path, despite the fact that we were kids and knew absolutely nothing about the cable television business. Since this was pre-internet as we know it today, we had to spend months practically living in the library doing research, trying to learn the business and determine the best course of action. It was extremely time consuming just trying to figure out how to figure out the business.
Fast forward a year or so and I once again I embarked on a business venture that was foreign to me and required a great deal of research and learning just to get started. This time it was publishing a magazine. I remember dreading the thought of camping out in the library for days on end once again, but I had to do what I had to do. In the end it paid off for me and the magazine was a success, gaining about 80,000 subscribers and generating a great deal of money for me. I was a horrible business man back then however. I was young and pompous and I ultimately ran the business into the ground. For example, many years later, I found several uncashed checks from advertisers that were ignored or overlooked back then. Lesson learned: When people send you checks in the mail, don’t be stupid, cash them. I still have some of those checks to this day and every now and then I look at them as a reminder of how much of an idiot I can be if I’m not careful.
The point of all of this is to say that today, entrepreneurs have it MUCH easier than I did back in the day, and yet I still hear people complain about what they don’t know, or that they don’t know how to get started and/or how difficult it is to get started. I try to be patient and reply calmly but in full disclosure, it frustrates me. With the sheer scope of the internet and the proliferation of smartphones and other mobile connected devices, virtually everyone has access to the entirety of the world’s information in their pants pocket or purse. There has never been a better time for would be entrepreneurs to learn, be inspired and get started.
If you are so inclined I encourage you to pull out your phone and just get started.