I realized recently that I have been a consultant to new businesses and start-ups for years and didn't realize it. Doling out helpful and inspiring information, sharing contacts, networking... without identifying this as a commodity.
The things I'll share now are things I've shared freely with many people.
1. If you want to start a business, find someone that is doing that business and learn from them. If it's a restaurant you want to own, go work at a restaurant learning all of the minutia from someone that is in business.
2. Surround yourself with supportive people, but be hesitant to trust or give away portions of your company until you know the person well, know the people in their life, and knowledge of their history. It's way to easy to be in a feel-good friendship and decide to do something together, and realize too late that the other person wasn't who you thought they were.
3. Seek solid counsel. You want to do things well, and correctly. Use tools like
4. Stay true to your dream. Don't let the naysayers get you down and deter you. You need to be realistic, but you also need to dream big and be willing to go for it. The light bulb wasn't invented on the first try. Would you rather be the guy or girl that never tried, or the guy or girl that tried as many times as it took to recognize success? Rhetorical question, clearly.
5. This is my favorite: you don't have to be perfect, you just have to be first! Someone is already trying to put your idea in place, you need to be first... get it going now.