Six years ago, I told my friends and family that I was starting a business.
The kicker was, I didn’t have an idea yet.
I had found someone crazy enough to start the “business” with me, and I figured that was enough of a reason to keep going.
The first idea we came up with was to start an import / export business of fair trade textiles and artifacts, so we booked one-way tickets to Guatemala.
My then co-founder and I arranged to live with a host family so that we could learn Spanish in a month and start building partnerships with artisan cooperatives around the country.
Were we naive?
Did our original idea pan out?
Not even a little bit.
Did we learn something more valuable in the process?
A year after we returned from Central America, we did in fact launch a business but it looked nothing like our original vision.
In retrospect, I could look back on the costs of flights, room and board, Spanish lessons, transportation and other travel expenses as money down the drain.
I could have thought:
“If only we had just known from the beginning that we’d end up designing a piece of clothing, manufacturing in the U.S. and launching with a Kickstarter campaign… Think of all of the money we could have saved!”
But for all of that money lost, you couldn’t put a price on what I learned.
It’s the one piece of advice that I’ve taken with me over the years.
It’s the one piece of advice that I tell all of the entrepreneurs I work with.
And it’s the one piece of advice that I hope you’ll take to heart today:
Start before you’re ready.
Because starting before you’re ready isn’t about being underprepared or unsure of yourself.
Starting before you’re ready is actually a marketing strategy.
It’s a strategy that you can use to build a business and generate customers before you’ve even launched.
And I’m going to show you how.
Next week, on Tuesday, November 15th, I’m opening enrollment to The Crowdfunding Factory. (Update: Enrollment is now closed for 2016. Get on the list to be notified when enrollment opens in late 2017.)
This online training program is for fashion entrepreneurs who want to launch or grow their brands with the help of a Kickstarter campaign.
I’m going to show you how to raise money for your brand in a way that ensures you have an audience to launch to —
And guarantees that you have customers before you go into production.
If you know you need to raise money for your fashion startup, then make sure you’re signed up to be notified about early enrollment here.