Last week I touched on what 5% of the population does. It’s the act of ‘doing.’ You think about something, you feel something about what you’re going to do and you do it. 95% of the world never gets to the ‘do’ stage, and prefers to binge watch Netflix on evenings and weekends instead of acting on their thoughts. I get it, I used to be that guy. And I still enjoy watching TV every now and then. In fact, my wife, and I usually sit down and watch an hour or so a night. However, it’s in those other few hours where we really get to work.
A quick note to my American friends – this is based on what to do in Canada. It’s a bit different in the U.S., and elsewhere, but the framework is the same. You have to DO it. That’s the one thing that will always stay the same.
The Journey of the Do – Stage 1
You have an idea, your gut tells you it’s something you really want to do, but you don’t do it. Your mind puts up these road blocks. The negativity starts to creep in, and you paralyse yourself, so you take the easy course. You grab some leftover pizza and turn on the TV. EASY!
I’m here to remove some of those road blocks. Today it’s about taking that idea, and starting to take action. THE DO as I call it. Not Mountain Dew…the other DO.
You have these ideas swirling around in your head. I know you do. I get them everyday, so I know you do too. Whether it’s starting up your own consulting network, a restaurant, a sports blog, a breakfast blog, and e-commerce store…whatever. However, you haven’t acted on those thoughts yet because it seems daunting. The mountain is so huge, but you’re not willing to take the first step. Well, it’s time to do it.
From A to B (while thinking about Z)
Two weeks ago my wife said she wanted to start a dress shop for young woman. The idea came to her because she was getting discouraged while shopping online and instore. She loves to wear dresses, but for someone in her late 20’s the majority of dresses out there cater toward bar-hopping teens or grandma’s. There wasn’t an easily accessible outlet for young professional woman who had a bit of personality to purchase dresses. Dresses they could wear to the office without coming off as a skank. Hmmm a potential hole in the market.
She came to me with this idea, and I said, “Let’s do it.” That’s Step 1. You have an idea, you feel something about it, and then you act on it. If you don’t think you have an idea check out Ramit Sethi. The guys a beast on showing you how to pull an idea from nowhere. Everyone has a saleable asset. EVERYONE!
So, now where do we go. We have this idea – should we go out and pull in a bunch of product, spend a bunch of money on an untested market? Lease a store front? Is our business even viable? We could become millionaires. Where are going to keep all this stuff? These were / still are things running around in our heads. We’re thinking about “Z” but we have to put the blinders on and think about the next step aka “B”.
The next step
We have this idea, now let’s narrow it down. We checked out some brick & mortar stores, and they have huge overhead. We’re not ready to go into massive amounts of debt. So we checked out some online fashion stores, and did some research. My wife happens to shop online A LOT, so we have that base. She knows what she likes, and doesn’t like when it comes to the online shopping experience. Okay, so we settled on doing an online store instead of having a physical store front. Less overhead, and less things to worry about.
Next we discovered we’ll need a license for this, so we got the biz license, signed up with Revenue Canada for a GST/HST number, and an import / export number (through our research we found we’ll need to import clothing from outside Canada). If you have an idea, you don’t necessarily need to incorporate or any of that. Check out this article to see whether or not you need to incorporate or stick it out as a sole proprietor http://wesbos.com/sole-proprietorship-ontario/. You can also check this out http://www.shopify.ca/blog/7116328-the-ultimate-guide-on-business-incorporation-in-canada
At first everything seemed to be coming at us non-stop, but we did things one piece at a time. It’s much easier to manage things when you’re doing them opposed to thinking about them. There are soooo many things to think about, and the only way to go about it is to do it one step at a time.
Do a bit of research up front on whether or not someone else is doing what you’re doing. It’s a quick Google search away. From there – figure out whether you need to incorporate or if you can stay a sole proprietor. Again, it’s a quick Google search away. Here’s one thing to keep in mind. If someone else is doing what you’re doing, that’s a good thing. That means there’s a market for it. If someone isn’t, well that’s okay too, just do a bit more research up front. All you need is ONE customer at first. From there – you can scale.
Coming up next week – we’ll get into research, and testing the hypothesis of whether or not the idea my wife, and I have is actually viable.
Jordan ‘The Guy with the Bow Tie’ Rycroft
P.S Up to this point, my wife, and I have spent close to $400 to incorporate as a separate entity. I did the leg work on this one by searching through the Revenue Canada site, and Googling “How to incorporate in Alberta.” You can also get the aid of a lawyer to do this (depending on how complex you think your biz will be). I also HIGHLY HIGHLY HIGHLY recommend speaking with an accountant. My wife, and I spent 10 minutes on the phone with an accountant, and he taught us SOOO much in those 10 minutes. We simply told him our idea, and he told us the best direction to go in. He also passed along a sheet of things to keep track of (expenses, taxes, etc…).
P.P.S My wife, and I are doing this with 9-5 jobs, on top of doing freelance on evenings, and weekends. And we still have time to watch Netflix.