A few months ago, I transitioned away from running my first company, O’Donnell Learn. That first Monday morning, I went into the office, sat down and thought, “now what?”
Starting a business is like charting a path through the desert. There is nobody but you to figure out how to spend your time. And, you have to be very disciplined about your time. You have to plug along and put all those pieces in place so that you have a business (with customers) when you cross that desert.
Here are the primary ways that I spend my time these days:
- Networking—meeting with people who can help me get this off the ground, and helping others get their initiatives off the ground.
- Researching the market to understand the problems and pain points, the need, and how my company can uniquely fill that need. This involves hours of reading, and also speaking to customers, experts and potential partners.
- Planning the offering or product. This is a staged activity, called market development. Work with customers every step of the way to shape your offering. Right now, we are creating a two-minute video that demonstrates our offering, which we will take to customers for feedback in prep for creating our detailed product requirements.
- Putting together my advisory board and founding team—finding the perfect people for it and then recruiting them to join me.
- Articulating the vision and message—then trying it out on others and then rearticulating it. This takes a long time for every business and new offering. Getting it right is essential!
- Developing the business plan and pitch for investors.
Wow. That is a lot to get done! And, I need to be very disciplined so that I am not scattered all over the place. Here is a video I found that gives three great tips for time management.