Here is an expert advice for entrepreneurs from Nav.it specialist. We’ll tell you how to be wealthy and successful using our experience.I have started two companies thus far in my career. The first was a self-contained consulting firm for international development programs that grew to include other consultants and multiple contracts. It was a successful service business, which capitalized on the expertise and professional network I had developed over a decade of experience at home and abroad. When I started it I basically knew what I was doing because it was an extension of what I had been doing for ten+ years.
Company Number Two
Nav.it is a brand new adventure for me and it’s so much more than just a business. Nav.it is a product, an educational tool, a philosophy, an ethos, and a community all rolled into one. I started Nav.it with a strong vision, a determination to succeed, and a clear understanding that I had a lot to share, but also a lot to learn.
Consultants in the Start-up World
When starting a new business, you just can’t know it all and that is where consultants or industry ‘experts’ come into play. When I began to conceptualize exactly what kind of company Nav.it would be, I read, researched and reached out to people who had expertise in areas where I did not. For example, I’m not a trained lawyer, so I’ve had to seek legal advice at certain times in this process.
What I soon realized was this: There is a whole industry of business ‘experts’ –from management, marketing, HR consultants, to social media strategists and business coaches—that have very well-developed opinions about what you should and should not do. Many of them have fancy degrees from even fancier B-schools (industry speak for Business Schools) and can cite all kinds of theoretical frameworks and sure-fire business models that are absolutely imperative to your success.
A Real-Life Parallel
I have to be real: Starting a business is (a lot) like having a baby. If/when you (or your partner) are pregnant for the first time, everyone—and I mean everyone—will either have an opinion about your pregnancy (what you should eat, how to give birth, the best pillow to sleep on), OR how to raise your kid (bottle or breast feed, best car seat, non-toxic baby soap). Everyone becomes an expert – everyone except you, that is!
Some advice is helpful—I was grateful for the how-to baby book recommendations and to hear other people’s struggles (especially in those early months of no sleep!). However, in reality, every little human born is completely different from the next –different DNA, different personality (even siblings!), different environment, different parents, different home.
So, back to entrepreneurship—at the end of the day, it’s your business (baby). You will need to know which experts to listen to and which ones to tune out. A lot of the overarching framework from business school is useful–for example business plans are good but can’t be written in stone or you risk being dead in the water if idea A doesn’t work. Accounting practices for start-ups are very essential (!), and well known marketing strategies are repeatedly successful for a reason. However, all those frameworks then need to be adapted to your business.
In the end, you are the one that figures out—through trial and error—what’s right for your company (baby). It’s your unique experience; your 4am crying session; your product, your risk, your investor/money, your staff, and, ideally, your market timing.
As the boss, you get to see the big picture AND make sure the details are covered. That takes a whole bunch of deep-seeded confidence– so time to bring out your Warrior self and root your actions in the belief that you are the one leading this business, the only one with your unique skill set, and the one that is going to work until you drop to get it right.
The Nav.it Take Away
Be confident in your own expertise and judgement. Create a team of experts, listen to your consultants ideas and opinions and then adapt those external theories to fit your own needs and business goals.
If you can learn to distinguish between when to ‘listen to the experts’ from when ‘you are the expert’ you will be well on your way to becoming a successful entrepreneur and making your big dream happen! Good luck!