This is a chapter from 90 Days to Create & Launch book. Find it on Amazon, my webstore (if you’re in South Africa), Takelot.com, or in South African bookstores (Bargain Books, Exclusive Books, Protea Books, etc.).
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The following serves as a great example to illustrate what prevents people from starting or adopting an “execute at all costs” mindset.
I had the opportunity to speak at an event called Business Insights Circle in 2022. After my talk, I had a conversation with a young man who expressed his desire to start a t-shirt brand.
He believed that he needed R5000 to begin with three designs and produce fifty-plus units for each design.
Upon further discussion, I discovered that this amount was merely an assumption he had made and not based on actual quotations he had obtained. Many individuals tend to speculate costs, and this holds them back.
To truly understand the costs involved, one must reach out to suppliers, service providers, and manufacturers to obtain quotations. Quotations provide a realistic starting point.
Once you have a clear understanding of the actual costs, you can explore alternative options and get creative in finding ways to reduce costs and tailor them to fit your budget.
I asked him why he believed three designs were necessary, and he explained that it would encourage customers to purchase a variety of designs in a single order, thereby boosting sales.
I then proposed an alternative approach.
Since he did not have R5000 but could gather R1500 within two months, why not focus on one design with 10 units of each?
Given my knowledge of clothing costs, R1500 would be sufficient. However, he struggled to accept this.
I posed a question to him: What is more important, starting in two months with one design or indefinitely waiting to raise the imagined R5000? If your answer aligns with the latter, it is one of the reasons holding you back.
Starting with minimal resources is often the wisest approach. Our idealistic visions don’t always align with reality. Testing the waters with small batches allows for minimal losses in case things go wrong. On the other hand, if things go well, we can gradually scale up from a secure starting point. Nevertheless, we must be willing to embrace the risk of failure.
Takeaway: Start where you are.
If you aim to lose weight and find yourself 120 KG overweight, your weight loss journey begins from where you currently are – 120 KG.
Similarly, in business, if you have R100 to your name and aspire to launch a venture, you start with that R100.
Lamenting over what others possess will not help you start. As I advised in earlier chapters, the best course of action is to find a job, sell something, or organize a venture that will enable you to generate income.