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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/

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.

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?

And…

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?

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.

Inflation and Entrepreneurship

Inflation and Entrepreneurship

Is entrepreneurship a surefire guard against the impact of inflation? No. But there’s a reason Warren Buffett thinks “a brand is a wonderful thing to own during inflation.”

It’s because the right kind of business can provide income that scales with inflation. Here’s how it works…

Inflation is the steady rise of prices over time. The only way for a salaried employee to keep up with those price increases is for their paychecks to grow at the same rate, which may not always happen.

Entrepreneurs have an option—they can increase prices. As the cost of living increases, so does the revenue from their business.

Here’s the catch—it only works if you’re selling a solution that’s in demand. Otherwise, customers may decide that they really don’t need your services after all and stop buying.

So if you’re looking to inflation-proof your income, a business may be just what you need. But make no mistake—the industry and mentorship you choose to start that business will mean the difference between inflation-proof, and inflation-vulnerable.


“Warren Buffett says these businesses do the best during periods of high inflation,” Nicolas Vega, CNBC, Aug 19 2021, https://www.cnbc.com/2021/08/19/warren-buffett-inflation-best-businesses.html

The Low Stress Entrance to Entrepreneurship

The Low Stress Entrance to Entrepreneurship

Start a business in your spare time. Why? Because it lowers the risk barrier to entrepreneurship.

Here’s a thought that will make your heart race: Quitting your job to start a business. It’s the ultimate step away from security and routine to uncertainty and chaos. But it’s a step many think is necessary to become an entrepreneur.

But it’s not. For many, it might even be a mistake.

That’s because it may be too intense for first-time entrepreneurs. Without support and, above all, experience, diving into full time entrepreneurship can be the short road to burnout.

That’s why it’s often best to explore entrepreneurship in your spare time. It gives you the freedom to start slow and steady, making strategic steps to build momentum. If your spare time experiment falls through, no sweat! You don’t necessarily need it to make ends meet.

That freedom also can give you the boldness you need to create innovative—and possibly risky—solutions.

Put to rest the myth that you need to dive into entrepreneurship full time. Start small. Start strategic. Start building. It will serve you far better than making a rash decision before you’re prepared for making a full time commitment.

How Successful Entrepreneurs Multitask

How Successful Entrepreneurs Multitask

It’s simple—successful entrepreneurs don’t multitask. At least, not in the traditional sense.

But we all know entrepreneurs wear many, many hats. At times, they’ll juggle acting as CEO, the marketing department, sales, support, HR, and accounting. Even thinking about that level of multitasking makes many peoples’ brains shut off!

But the science is clear—multitasking doesn’t work. Hopping back and forth from task to task takes a massive toll on your brain’s efficiency. One study showed it lowers IQ 15 points, putting most people in the intelligence range of the average 8 year old.¹

Trying to successfully multitask is one of the greatest barriers to becoming an entrepreneur.

So entrepreneurs, being the problem solvers they are, have developed a simple solution—don’t multitask. Period.

Instead, they’ve learned two workarounds…

Leveraging flow. That means turning off the phone, going on do-not-disturb mode, and giving their entire attention to the task at hand. They work on one priority at a time for a sustained period to maximize their focus and efficiency. Then, they move on to the next task.

Delegating the small stuff. Remember, the super power of entrepreneurs is their team. Once they can hire employees, this frees up their time to focus on the important tasks that require their full attention.

So if you’re afraid of starting a business because you don’t think you can handle all the multitasking, don’t be. Just remember to focus on one task at a time, and delegate the rest.


¹ “To Multitask or Not to Multitask,” USC Dornsife

Don't Worry. Be Happy. Start a Business.

Don't Worry. Be Happy. Start a Business.

The facts are in—entrepreneurs are happier and healthier than employees.

Seems counterintuitive, right? Business owners can work long hours, face complex problems, and carry a heavy load of stress—with no guarantee of success.

At least, that’s what you get told. And it couldn’t be more wrong.

Two new studies reveal the truth.

The first, from Baylor University, found that entrepreneurs are subjectively happier.¹ In other words, they feel better. Why? Because they…

• Have a greater sense of autonomy

• Feel a closer connection to their purpose

• Apply their skills and passions to their work

The second study, from the University of Pennsylvania in 2012, showed that entrepreneurs are far happier than employees.² Even the high number of unsuccessful entrepreneurs didn’t change the results. Entrepreneurs, regardless of income, were happier than even highly paid corporate officers.

And it wasn’t just the entrepreneurs. The study from Baylor proved that the presence of small businesses improved the health of surrounding communities.³ The more entrepreneurs, the greater the health of the neighborhood.

The takeaway?

Start a business. It doesn’t have to be a stressful, high-stakes tech startup. Just an outlet for your skills that also pays you.


¹ “The Good Business of Thriving Entrepreneurs,” Justin Walker, Baylor University Hankamer School of Business, Mar 30, 2020, https://www.baylor.edu/business/news/news.php?action=story&story=218228

² “Rich or Not, Entrepreneurs Are Happiest in Study,” Elizabeth Blackwell, TheStreet, Sep 28, 2012, https://www.thestreet.com/investing/rich-or-not-entrepreneurs-are-happiest-in-study-11721398

³ “Entrepreneurs Are Happier And Healthier Than Employees According To University Research Studies,” Bernhard Schroeder, Forbes, Apr 1, 2022, https://www.forbes.com/sites/bernhardschroeder/2022/04/01/entrepreneurs-are-happier-and-healthier-than-employees-according-to-university-research-studies/?sh=340a1cc73ee6