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Can I Start a Business Without Creating a Product?

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Can I Start a Business Without Creating a Product?

Can I Start a Business Without Creating a Product?

Good news—you don’t have to invent a brand new product to start a business.

Did your plumber invent the plunger? Probably not. Instead of a brand-new product, he or she offers skills that can make your overflowing toilet problem a thing of the past.

Jeff Bezos didn’t come up with the idea of printed books, but he offered a revolutionary service that connected customers to vendors online.

Rockefeller didn’t reinvent oil drilling. Instead, he innovated a new, horizontal business model that effectively buried his competition.

Remember—the foundation of successful entrepreneurship is finding solutions. Sure, you might invent a brand new gizmo that solves some of the world’s problems. But you don’t have to.

Defining—and Redefining—Entrepreneurship

Defining—and Redefining—Entrepreneurship

Search “what entrepreneurship means,” and you’ll find definitions like these…

“Entrepreneurship is the process of developing, organizing, and running a new business to generate profit while taking on financial risk.” —Shopify

“Entrepreneurship is highly risky but also can be highly rewarding” —Investopedia

“Entrepreneurship is the act of creating a business or businesses while bearing all the risks with the hope of making a profit.” —Oberlo

In short, risk is baked into entrepreneurship.

But risk can feel like an insurmountable obstacle to those who have no room in their budget. Starting up a new business may not be possible if they are counting on all of their income to feed their families, pay the bills, and cover necessities, much less have anything left over for emergencies.

Entrepreneurship then becomes the realm of those with a financial cushion—or with nothing to lose.

And that’s exactly what e2E seeks to redefine.

The core philosophy of e2E is that success as an entrepreneur is based on the ability to follow systems and leadership—not on your ability to create a business from scratch.

That looks like providing employees seeking to become entrepreneurs with…

• Lower startup and operating costs • Marketing and technology • Proven systems and products • Training and mentorship

Is there still risk involved in making the leap from employee to entrepreneur? Of course!

But with the benefits above, you have a leg up on the barriers that prevent so many from starting the business they desperately desire.

If you’re curious about what redefining entrepreneurship could look like for you, let’s chat! We’ll explore your goals, your motivations, and what making the move could look like for you.

Student Entrepreneurs

Student Entrepreneurs

Student entrepreneurs have defined the last two decades.

Google, Facebook, Reddit, and Snapchat were all founded by students, ranging from undergraduates to Ph.D. candidates.

It’s an intimidating list! But here’s the good news—you don’t have to attend Stanford or develop an app to become a student entrepreneur.

All you need is a skill that you can leverage as a solution for your peers and the time to make it happen.

It could be tutoring your favorite subject. It could be leveraging your writing skills to make money. It could even be creating an app for your fellow students.

And if your business takes off, you may find your eyes glazing over in class as you dream up new ways to move your business forward.

Yes, Entrepreneurship Can Be Taught

Yes, Entrepreneurship Can Be Taught

Entrepreneurship, in large part, is a skill. More accurately, it’s a composite of a few skills.

To run a successful business, you’ll need to learn a thing or two about sales, management, products, finances, taxes, law, contracts, marketing, and personal development.

And for many, those skills are learned crash course style. Entrepreneurs take the plunge, and either swim or sink.

To some, that path to entrepreneurship is an exciting challenge. An adventure! Let’s go all in and do this!

But others who want to forge their own path in business might have some reservations about winging it and figuring things out as you go. Is there a path to entrepreneurship besides flying by the seat of your pants?

The answer seems to be an emphatic yes.

For example, Max Lytvin, co-founder of Grammarly, swears by university. His MBA in Marketing and Finance compensated for a lack of mentorship and equipped him with specific, technical skills.¹

But it’s not the only route. In fact, only 17% of entrepreneurs have a bachelor’s degree, 18% have a master’s degree, and 4% have a PhD.²

Bill Gates skipped class and went straight into business. His legacy speaks for itself.

That being said, Bill Gates was still taught about entrepreneurship—though he dropped out of college, he learned the ropes from a mentor. In his case, his mentor was billionaire Warren Buffett.

The takeaway? Entrepreneurship, like any other skill, can be learned and taught.

For some, that takes place in a classroom. Others learn from an experienced mentor.

If you have the luxury of time and money for a degree, go for it.

If not, let’s talk. My mission is to free employees to become entrepreneurs. And that starts with mentorship. It’s a simple way to learn how entrepreneurship works, and get your journey towards owning your own business started.

¹ Yes, Entrepreneurship Can Be Taught, Max Lytvyn, Wired, https://www.wired.com/insights/2014/12/yes-entrepreneurship-can-be-taught/

² “20 Entrepreneur Statistics You Need To Know (2022),” Apollo Technical, Jun 20, 2022 https://www.apollotechnical.com/entrepreneur-statistics/

Two Ways to Think About Failure

Two Ways to Think About Failure

There are two ways to think about failure. One leads to unrealized potential. The other leads to overcoming obstacles.

But they don’t start where you might think. They’re actually both rooted in how you think about your ability.

The first mindset thinks ability is inherent. When you accomplish something, you’re proving that you have innate talent, and maybe even superiority over your peers.

The second mindset thinks ability can be developed. They see accomplishment as the result of problem-solving, practice, and effort.

See where this is going?

Adopt the first mindset, and you’ll see failure as an indicator that you are not enough. You failed because, on a fundamental level, you don’t have what it takes.

And those thoughts are the enemy of success. Why put in the effort if you believe you’ll fail just because of who you are?

Adopt the second mindset, and you’ll see failure as an indicator that you’re not quite there yet. Tweak this and hone that, and you’ll overcome your obstacles in now time.

That’s the mindset of success. Once you see your effort transform failure into triumph, you may find yourself almost addicted to developing your skills.

Which mindset have you adopted?

Entrepreneurs Are Born. Successful Entrepreneurs Are Made.

Entrepreneurs Are Born. Successful Entrepreneurs Are Made.

The research seems to show that yes, entrepreneurs are born.

This excellent article from Entrepreneur breaks down the data. And both a survey of twins and exploration of data suggest that entrepreneurial tendencies are inheritable.

In other words, some people are just born entrepreneurs.

But there’s an important caveat that the article wisely includes.

Having entrepreneurial tendencies doesn’t guarantee you’ll be successful.

That’s because success is determined by experience. Research shows that age and industry knowledge play a crucial role in determining entrepreneur success.¹

Think of it like this…

That urge you have to create and accomplish and seize opportunities? You’re born with that.

Converting that drive into a successful business? That’s made.

Entrepreneurs are born. Successful entrepreneurs are made.

So if you’re driven to own your own business, what steps have you taken to become a successful entrepreneur?

Have you started a side hustle? Have you found a support network of aspiring entrepreneurs? What about a mentor who’s started a successful business?

Find those, and you might be on the path towards turning your entrepreneurial potential into successful business reality.

Different Paths, Same Destination

Different Paths, Same Destination

There is no single path to entrepreneurship.

Entrepreneurs come from every country, background, skillset, and career you can think of.

They’re an assortment of dropouts, dreamers, stay-at-home moms, restless executives, blue collar workers, the young, the old, and everyone in between.

What they all have in common is boldness—they see an opportunity, and they seize it.

Will they become successful entrepreneurs? That depends. If they find the right opportunity, the right business plan, and the right support, it becomes far more likely.

That’s the entire purpose of e2E—it’s a movement of entrepreneurs dedicated to mentoring anyone seeking to make the move from employee to entrepreneur.

So if you have the ambition to start a business, but feel overwhelmed by the prospect of entrepreneurship, let’s talk. We can discover what it would look like for you to transform your path into a path towards entrepreneurship.

The Most Rewarding Success Will Be The Most Painful to Earn

The Most Rewarding Success Will Be The Most Painful to Earn

It’s simple—the things you actually want are painful to earn. The things you settle for don’t.

That doesn’t mean settling is easy. There’s a price for apathy. It just comes further down the road. And often, it’s unbearable.

The alternative? Striving for the things that are worthwhile.

If you’re reading this article, that likely means taking the plunge and starting a business.

Why? Because it’s the only way you’ll create the freedom you actually want. No other path gives absolute responsibility over your destiny.

And yeah, it’ll be hard.

Your business often comes before family.

Your comfort zone becomes a thing of the past.

Fun gets indefinitely paused.

It will be worth it—if you endure it.

And the only way you’ll endure it is if you embrace reality from the start. Recognize that the most rewarding success will be the most painful to earn right now. Own it. Then, start building your future.

Now's the Time to Become an Entrepreneur

Now's the Time to Become an Entrepreneur

You’re never too old to become an entrepreneur.

The 21st-century image of the 25-year-old tech wizard creating a disruptive startup and becoming a billionaire is largely a fiction.

The data is clear—entrepreneurs find their greatest success at age 45.¹

Some entrepreneurs start even later. Ray Kroc was a 52-year-old salesman for milkshake makers when he discovered a local restaurant. The owners? Richard and Maurice McDonald. He was almost 60 years old by the time he bought the restaurant chain outright.

If Kroc wasn’t too old to become an entrepreneur, neither are you.

So no matter your age, your previous career, or your current circumstances, it’s never too late to make the move.

Only one question remains—what’s holding you back?

¹ “Research: The Average Age of a Successful Startup Founder Is 45,” Pierre Azoulay, Benjamin F. Jones, J. Daniel Kim, and Javier Miranda, Harvard Business Review, Jul 11, 2018, https://hbr.org/2018/07/research-the-average-age-of-a-successful-startup-founder-is-45

² “How a Late-Blooming Entrepreneur Made McDonald’s the World’s Largest Burger Chain,” Jennifer Latson, TIME, Apr 15, 2015, https://time.com/3774670/mcdonalds-ray-kroc-history/

What Are Your Two Whys?

What Are Your Two Whys?

Considering entrepreneurship? Answer these two questions…

Who are the people you pour your money and time into the most?


What is the accomplishment, pursuit, lifestyle, or dream that drives you?

Your answers to these questions are what inspires you.

They’re your two whys.

And when things get tough, they’ll be what keeps you going.

So, what are your two whys?

Failure is Part of the Process

Failure is Part of the Process

For entrepreneurs, failure isn’t an option—it’s a requirement.

Some will be small. You’ll try a marketing campaign that flops. You’ll launch a product that fizzles.

Others will be bigger. You’ll lose a key team member. You’ll make a strategic misstep. You’ll feel like you’re about to drown and not know which way is up.

Those failures suck. They hurt. But they’re absolutely critical.

Why? Because there’s no better teacher than failure.

That awful feeling you get when something goes wrong? That’s your brain telling you that you need to change what you’re doing.

In order to succeed, you have to be willing to fail. You have to be okay with making mistakes and learning from them.

So the next time you experience a failure (and you will), don’t beat yourself up. Embrace it. Learn from it. And keep moving forward.

Owning Adversity

Owning Adversity

The best way to face adversity is to willingly choose it.

Consider two scenarios…

Imagine you’re walking around your house when, suddenly, a 135-pound weight appears across your shoulders.

It came from out of nowhere. You stagger. Every muscle in your body fires in a desperate struggle to keep you upright. Your mind goes blank. Your heart races.

It’s an intense, potentially dangerous situation that you had no control over. It’s terrifying.

But now imagine you’re in a gym. You’ve been working out consistently for months, and it’s time to test your limits.

You place 135 pounds on your shoulders. You squat down, then start pushing. Every muscle fires. Your mind goes blank. Your heart races.

It’s an intense, potentially dangerous situation. But it’s thrilling. You celebrate when you’re done.

Both scenarios are almost identical, with one critical difference.

In the first scenario, you didn’t choose the challenge. In the second scenario, you did.

That’s the difference between terror and triumph.

So if you want to be an entrepreneur, make a habit of facing challenges head-on, rather than waiting for problems to drop in your lap. See if you start having more triumphant days than terrifying ones.

You Need More Than An Idea To Start a Business

You Need More Than An Idea To Start a Business

Every successful business starts with an idea. But let’s be clear—a good idea alone isn’t enough.

Successful businesses begin with answers to questions like…

What are the startup costs and can you afford them?

Have you found a proven system to follow that creates predictable results?

Will you create your own market assets or outsource to others?

What technology will you need? Is it already in place or will you have to assemble it?

Are you prepared for having too few—or too many—customers?

These are the questions you need to answer before you can transform your idea into a business. If your answers are less than satisfactory, then it’s time to go back to the drawing board.

Why? Because you may find yourself with a business, but no customers. That’s because you have an idea, but not a solution. And people will pay you for solutions, not ideas.

You may discover that your idea is good, but needs refinement.

Or you may discover that you need a new idea!

Either way, it’s better to vet your ideas fully at the start than realize you’ve built an entire business on an unstable foundation.

So take your idea, and put it through the ringer. If it’s good, it will survive. If not, you’ll have saved yourself a serious headache, a lot of time, and possibly a significant amount of money.

Emotions Are The Secret To Entrepreneurial Success

Emotions Are The Secret To Entrepreneurial Success

Emotions are what drive the entrepreneur to make their dreams into reality.

Yes, logic steers the business—entrepreneurship requires a full embrace of data, metrics, and brutal honesty.

But raw reasoning doesn’t sustain you through seasons of hardship and doubt. Far from it—the numbers may actually lead you to quit prematurely.

Instead what sustains them is emotion.

Think about what’s sustained you through your most difficult challenges. Was it a spreadsheet full of formulas predicting your odds of success? Or was it clinging to the things that matter?

That’s what creates uncommon success—emotion based tenacity to hold on, comeback, and win, regardless of the odds.

And note this well—starting a business that doesn’t inspire you, one without a mission or vision, simply won’t generate that emotion.

Far better to commit yourself to an outfield idea you believe in than a safe idea that bores you.

What inspires you? What do you want to change? What’s a skill that gets you in the zone? Those are all signposts pointing you towards a business that you can sustain through whatever life throws your way.

Why Recessions Can Be Advantageous For Entrepreneurs

Why Recessions Can Be Advantageous For Entrepreneurs

Few are better positioned to survive—and even thrive—during an economic downturn than entrepreneurs.

Why? Because of the very nature of entrepreneurship.

Here’s how it works…

Entrepreneurs solve problems for consumers or businesses. The greater the problem, the greater the potential reward.

Recessions present massive problems to everyone—unemployment, restricted cash flow, businesses shutting down, and an atmosphere of tension and dread, to name just a few.

Step up to the plate and solve those problems, and you stand to reap significant benefits.

But having more problems to solve isn’t your only advantage.

Afraid of a saturated market? Recessions can thin out competitors and free up market niches.

Intimidated by startup costs? Recessions can lower the price tag on the goods and services you need to get your business into gear.

Unsure about going it alone? Recessions can increase the availability of talent looking for new, fresh opportunities.

So if a faltering economy has you skittish about starting a business, it may be wise to reconsider. Research the market you seek to enter, speak with a seasoned entrepreneur, and start taking steps towards starting a part-time business. You might find that the downturn is the start of your next opportunity.

How to Sidestep a Massive Hurdle to Entrepreneurship

How to Sidestep a Massive Hurdle to Entrepreneurship

Losing benefits like health insurance and retirement accounts can be a massive hurdle with entrepreneurship.

For many, employer benefits are non-negotiable. They help mitigate the costs of healthcare—which can be extreme—and can offer extra firepower for building wealth with 401(k) contribution matching.

You lose those direct benefits when you quit your day job to make the move to full-time entrepreneurship. So sacrificing them rashly could set your finances—and future—up for disaster.

Fortunately, a catastrophe is easy to sidestep. But how?

Simple—start part-time.

If you don’t have the resources to fully replace your benefits, don’t make the commitment to full-time entrepreneurship.

Instead, keep your full-time job and work your business part-time.

You keep your benefits, and you learn the ropes of entrepreneurship. Once it’s clear that your business has the potential to replace your 9-to-5 income, you can transition to full-time entrepreneurship with more confidence. It’s a win-win strategy.

The downside? You may find yourself strapped for time and energy during the transition.

But it may be a small price to pay for what you get—the opportunity to start a business without sacrificing your stability.

Their Time, Their Money, Their Dream

Their Time, Their Money, Their Dream

When you punch the clock for someone else, they’re the one getting closer to freedom—not you.

That’s because you’re making a trade with your boss.

You give your time and effort. They give you a paycheck.

They help you pay your bills. You help them build their business.

Make no mistake—paying your bills is a good thing.

But building a business is better.

Why? Because freedom, true freedom to build something, requires both the time to do what you want, and the money to make it happen.

A paycheck gives you little of either.

A business gives you limitless potential for both.

When you’re an employee, you work for someone else’s time, earning their money, building their dream.

When you’re an entrepreneur, you work on your own time, scaling your own income, and creating your own freedom.

If being an entrepreneur sounds better, that’s because it can be… IF you can find the right system AND leadership.

Together, they can help you mitigate risk and spare you the wasted time and mounting stress of trying to build a business from scratch.

So if you’re ready to make the move from employee to entrepreneur, let’s talk. We can explore what it would look like for you to start a business that can help create the time and money you need to achieve the freedom you desire.

Don’t Go It Alone

Don’t Go It Alone

Independent business owners succeed when they depend on each other.

They fail when they try to go it alone.

And it’s no wonder why. Unless you’re a hermit, you need other people.

You need encouragement.

You need mentorship.

You need camaraderie.

And that’s normal—it’s what it means to be human.

But entrepreneurs? Too often, they go it alone.

It’s no wonder why. Make the leap from employee to entrepreneur, and you may find yourself alone on the other side.

Everyone else is working their 9-to-5s, while you’re spending 16 hours each day making your dream a reality. Unless you find a community of collaborators, it’s a lonely existence.

Loneliness makes it far more difficult to jump-start a successful business. It literally kills.¹

And that’s why e2E is so critical.

I believe that entrepreneurs succeed when they work together. The e2E model leverages teamwork and experienced mentorship so anyone can start a business with greater support and less risk.

It’s the least I can do—my journey to entrepreneurship was marked by constant support and encouragement by fellow entrepreneurs.

So if you’re considering entrepreneurship but are afraid to make the move, let’s chat. We can explore the support systems available to you if you fire up your own business.

¹ “Loneliness and Social Isolation Linked to Serious Health Conditions,” CDC, Apr 29, 2021, https://www.cdc.gov/aging/publications/features/lonely-older-adults.html

Own It

Own It

You crave ownership. You wouldn’t be reading this blog if you didn’t.

In fact, most people want ownership of something. They want to look at a home, a family, a business, a life, and say “I did that. I built that.”

And that means they want stakes. They want the potential to fail, and to win anyway.

But what do most people get? Cog-in-the-machine jobs they don’t care about. Counting the hours until the day ends. Feeling like they’re not making much of a difference—for themselves or others.

In other words, no stakes. Who would want ownership of that?

Yes, starting a business is hard. Even with support, pre-built processes, and mentorship, entrepreneurship will stretch you. There will be many times where your decisions actually matter.

Choose wrong, pay the price. Choose right, reap the rewards.

And that’s the whole point. Because ownership unlocks a whole new dimension of life. You discover what you’re made of. You’re confronted by your weaknesses. You’re amazed by your strengths.

You find out that you’re far stronger than you ever realized.

So if you’re thinking about entrepreneurship, make the move. Own your own business. Own your own decisions. Own your own failures and successes. Own your own life.

Why Entrepreneurs Have Unbreakable Willpower

Why Entrepreneurs Have Unbreakable Willpower

You can be an entrepreneur without being a meditation master.

There’s a stereotype that all successful entrepreneurs have borderline mythic powers of focus.

They wear the same t-shirt days on end to free up their bandwidth for big decisions.

They hone their mental acuity by reading dozens of big books per year.

They can move boulders with their minds and shoot lightning from their fingers…

You get the picture.

But you don’t have to be a Jedi Knight—or Sith Lord—to become a successful entrepreneur.

You just have to really love what you do.

Studies have shown that people with strong willpower actually enjoy the hard things they do.¹ The maniac who’s out running at 5:00 AM? He’s not necessarily a self-loathing monk—he might be having a blast.

The same is true of entrepreneurs. The fuel for their focus, their refusal to quit, and their seemingly limitless resourcefulness is that they’re having fun.

The takeaway? If you’re going to start a business, choose an industry and mission you love. It’s the best way to fortify your will against the challenges you face… and maybe have some fun while you’re at it.

¹ “Why willpower is overrated,” Brian Resnick, Vox, Jan 2, 2020, https://www.vox.com/science-and-health/2018/1/15/16863374/willpower-overrated-self-control-psychology