The first time that many consider starting an entrepreneurial venture, panic sets in: “How can I do this just starting from scratch? As we’re always told that experience leads to success, the utter lack of experience many first time founders have can dissuade them from just starting. It’s comforting to know that every entrepreneur, even the most experienced, had to get started somewhere.
Take Imran Md Ali for instance. Despite building multiple businesses that even his own friends and family said was impossible to achieve, he too had to start somewhere. This foundational principle – “just start!” – guided his desire to get his head out of the books and get out there and start: Do more and learn less. Or, in other words, learn then do then learn then do. Adopt this dance, and over time, you’ll certainly master entrepreneurship.
“It may be counterintuitive to implement entrepreneurial strategies without mastering them in an educational sense, he admitted. “But if you get started with a business model that is higher profit and lower risk, the chance of heavy financial loss is marginal or limited at best. And if there’s lower risk, than you should invest in learning by doing.” It’s the experience of starting that yields the best knowledge.
It Began in a Library
Ali simply used one of the best places to master entrepreneurship: the national library in Singapore. Everyday, he noticed people driving or walking past the library. Everyone was complaining about their lives.. But no one was doing anything about what bothered them. “People are walking zombies,” he commented. “Here they were complaining while walking past a library, which held the key to everything we want to learn.” This national library is where Ali learned everything he knows about business (outside of his experience) – with his head in business books, the core entrepreneurship strategies helped him immensely.
So, it’s no surprise that his very first idea was born at the library. He started by opening a book on copywriting, learned everything he could … then started a copywriting business based on what he learned. Once that was up and running, he returned to the same business book section and found a book on website design. He copied and pasted the same process.
Continuing the Learn-Do-Learn-Do Process
Once his copywriting and web design businesses were up and running, Ali knew he needed to generate traffic. Lo and behold, he returned to the same library section and picked up a book on how to generate traffic: Google Adwords by Perry Marshall. (He credits this book with helping him blow up his business, FYI). He implemented every word Marshall told him, and it worked.
Next, he got inquiries, but he didn’t have a functionality on how to set up an appointment. So, he got a book on appointment setting. Then, appointments weren’t converting to sales – so he picked up a book on sales closing. The cyclical nature of this story proves that the learn-do-learn-do process is really what works.
Ali says it’s important that everyone knows these skills are learnable – as long as someone knows to break entrepreneurship down into smaller components, then they can find the knowledge they need. “Aggressively pursue this knowledge from the library, from youtube videos, from courses of people who have done it before …then apply what you learn voraciously,” he instructed.
Sure, you may have no idea if what you just learned is going to work when you apply it – but you’ll also NEVER know if you don’t start! Imran Md Ali’s technique for mastering entrepreneurship is applicable to anyone at any stage – people with experience, too.
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