Not sure that question (or any variant thereof) ever crossed my mind. My question back is "why would it?" Would I suppose there was someone else who should? That thought never crossed my mind either in starting any of the three.
-Dave Doty (Enterprise / Executive Coach at Eden's Bridge, Inc.)
Business to me is about solving problems. So I ask myself can I solve peoples problems more affectively with this type of business? As an entrepreneur I always thing I should be the one. Mostly because I am the one that sees the gap. See's the problem. I understand the issues related to it. I have empathy for the customer or person that has the problem. EMPATHY? Yes Empathy is what drives most people to start some kind of business. You are frustrated with this thing not being available or not having a product to do this. You see people frustrated that they should be able to _________ (fill in the blank). So to me it's more about can I serve the people.........and sometimes I say it's not me. It's not me because it already exists better than how I can do it. It's not me because I don't agree with the model of business being done that way. Lastly you have to look at barriers to entry: knowledge, skill, passion, cost of startup, customers knowledge of the product or service (will it be hard to explain). Barriers to entry are a good way to look at am I the right person to start this business.
-Ryan Russell (Senior Consultant at Myanmar Business Answers)
I'm kind of riding with Dave and Ryan on your question, Elijah. There have been a few times I saw opportunity, got excited, and realized that I either didn't have or couldn't afford the skill sets it would take to capture it.
There have certainly been a few times in the years I spent with SCORE, contrary to Commerce Department dictates, I strongly suggested to people that they take their time and talents and resources back to the proverbial drawing board.
Granted there are people in business right now that really shouldn't be there...and their boat is heading for the water falls. But they still refuse to change direction in rowing to the shore. And there are still others in business who hardly do anything right, leave a ton of money on the table, but still get by because they are graciously in a market that allows them to make a ton of mistakes and still allows them to feed their families.
I know that's why I was asked to leave SCORE after four years--because I happened to call things as I saw them. No 'everyone' can or should be in business. But I'm still encouraging all that I can, if they've got the proverbial 'fire in the belly' to give it a go.
Take the time in the 1990s that discovered business coaching. Here I had spent about 20 years helping marketers of professional services (accountants, attorneys, engineers, physicians but mainly management consultants) set up and strategically market their services.
But I was SO thrilled when I discovered business coaching that an attorney friend out of Chicago and I founded the National Association of Business Coaches--on a shoestring. I was SO convinced that I wanted businesses to experience 'real' business coaching that I never thought twice about 'Am I the guy to launch this?'
In fact in the latter 1990s, the worldwide media told us that we were the first organization ('organisation' in other lands!) to popularize the terms business coach and business coaching.
Now NABC was formed about 12 months AFTER the formation of the Independent Coach Federation where they accepted coaches that 'coached' just about every fairy dust type of coaching. I made SURE our members knew the difference not only from good and bad BUSINESS coaching but also the difference between business coaching and consulting.
As I love to work shoulder-to-shoulder with the owner/CEO, I just fell in love with business coaching. But although as far as professional services go, and I try to 'infect' everyone I get to know with at least 'thinking about being' a business coach. I do believe however, that some people and skill sets are much better served as a consultant and not as a business coach.
I sold NABC in the early 2000s primarily due to the reason that I thought the new group could take our members to the proverbial 'next level' in business coaching--and that my own skill sets did not measure up to theirs. (Some of my former members whom I'm still in touch with say I made a mistake in selling NABC! Strokes the ego for sure.)
They only changed one word in the name--National to Worldwide. If you'd like to see a little historical perspective, you can find it at http://www.wabccoaches.com/about/history.htm
-Steve Lanning (Director of Member Services, Coaches Coach; Publisher at Quad State Business Journal)
I agree with Dave. I've seen many different personalities start and run businesses. Those bigger issues around focus and getting traction with the right product/service that the target market actually needs and wants is key. I love the references to two books that have changed the way we see things in my business - Good to Great by Jim Collins and Traction by Gino Wickman. Those two, if followed can set most companies up for success.
-Tom Borgerding ( CEO | President of Campus Media Group)
Elijah, at the risk of sounding cliche, "If not you, then who?" You are the one who has seen the need. You are the one who is seeking to fill the gap. Is there anyone else out there who has seen it as uniquely as you? You have felt the passion to find an answer. You are confident in your analysis. You can see the future.
If you are asking the question then you may not be the right person. The only thing that is causing you to ask the question is most likely fear - fear of failure. Do you have the right skills? A great question which needs to be answered, but if you are missing the skills, can you hire the skills? Do you have the funds? Find the funds. Am I in the right location? Find the right location.
This is your idea, your plan, your product, your service, your dream and your overwhelming desire. Once the landing parties are ashore...burn the ships!
-Robin Russell (Vice President at Signal Energy)