Are You one of those people that attempts to get as much information as possible on a potential opportunity? I do not advocate going into anything blindly. However, there is such thing as information overkill.
Let me pose a scenario for you. Say that one of your goals was to improve your fitness and you wanted to find the best diet plan and gym to use before starting to get fit. How much information do you actually need ? You could spend months researching before you ever begin. That is months you are taking away from your health. The worst case scenario in making a quick somewhat educated chose in this matter is that you don’t like the gym or diet. Then just keep making those quick somewhat educated decisions till you find what works. The worst thing you can do is not take action. You will learn more from taking action than from a mountain of research. Best of all it will be first hand personal knowledge.
The successful businessman and author T Harv Ecker once got a job as a busboy at an all night dessert cafe to learn about that business. He knew that he could learn a lot more on the “inside” than he could have ever learn from regular research. In the end he decided that the dessert cafe business was not for him. If he hadn’t taken action, he may have spent months researching and then possibly starting a business that he really did not like. Had he liked the business and decided to open one of his own, he would already know the “real life” inner workings of the business.
Let me tell you a story from my own personal experience. I had been in the food and beverage industry for the greatest part of my life in many different capacities busboy, waiter, and manager and then one day oppurtunity knocked. My best friend had worked for a brief time at a local web design firm and after being gone from there for a while, he asked me if I wanted to start a Web Design business. My knee jerk reaction was “How are we going to do that?”. It did not seem to make sense because
1) I knew very little about web design.
2) My college education in computer science was ages ago and with the speed of technological advances in that area, It was pretty much null and void.
3) He had only had limited albeit “first hand” exposure to the field.
4) Forget that I did not know web design, more importantly we did not know much about starting or operating a business.
I then thought about it for about 3-4 minutes and said let’s do it.
Why with all the obstacles set in front of us did I agree to move forward?
1) I am a avid reader and have a passion for learning. I knew that I could learn all the skills necessary for a Web Designer.
2) I was a manager for a large casual dining chain for many years. With that knowledge base of running the daily operations of a high volume restaurant in addition to my leadership skills, I would have the foundation of skills needed to run a business of my own.
3) I also spent a short period of time as a insurance salesmen. With that experience, I also had a good sense of the sales process. I am also very good with people in general, so that is a great asset to have out of the gate and something that is hard to teach.
4) I worked very hard and in two years time I accumulated the equivelant of a college education and more in the areas of web design and graphic design, without all the general education classes getting in the way.
5) Probably the most important thing of all is I have a passion for art! Web design even though it is very technical is also a creative process and that is what I love about it most. We added graphic design services to our business soon after startup, so I have yet another outlet for my passion for art.
What is the result of starting this business a little over two years ago?
1) We have been profitable pretty much out of the gate and the business is constantly growing.
2) We expanded from a two person operation to a five person operation and growing.
3) I have not only learned Web Design but also Graphic Design, Internet Marketing, Search Engine Optimization, and several different programming languages. I consider myself a master at some of these skills and and adept at others. I am constantly refining my skills on a daily basis. I also realize even though I want to be a master of all of them and more, it is not necessary because I have a team around me that are masters at their particular area of expertise.
4) I have a challenging and rewarding business that I get to experience or learn something new on an almost daily basis.
5) I Love What I do!!
If I had decided to over research the oppurtunity, it probably would have never came to fruition. I would have let all the obstacles squash my passion. It was not easy and I am sure we will continue to face challenges and oppurtunities as we grow but at least we got started and I am loving it.