Dom Jackman knows a little something about being an entrepreneur. He’s the co-founder of Escape the City, a startup that helps people find their dream jobs. We caught up with him at Escape the City HQ to hear more about leaving the corporate rat race and his #tipstomakeit.
1. Does your business idea have purpose?
How hard are you willing to work on it? Do you love it? Does it give you purpose? Starting a business is a rollercoaster full of very high highs and very low lows. You need to be able to be productive and not give up when you are low. It makes it a lot easier to do that if your idea has real purpose.
2. Prioritise all your work by answering two simple questions
The only things that matter when you’re starting a business is being able to answer two very obvious questions:
1) Do people want what you’re providing?
2) Can you make money out of it?
At Escape we grew a mailing list to 1,000 within a month – a good signal for early traction and proof that we had a service that people wanted. The second was learnt by selling our first job listing on the mailing list.
Prioritise all your work on getting solid answers to those questions as soon as possible. Everything else is simply a distraction.
3. Focus on doing one thing really well
Not two or three or 10. One. What is your ONE thing that you’re going to focus on being the world’s greatest at. You can’t be everything to everyone. And no business can either. Google provides search, it doesn’t also try to make pizza. What is your business going to be known for?
4. Don’t hire a developer
Even if your business idea is technical, before you’re generating revenue don’t hire a developer. It’s 2015 and there are tools for you to make amazing prototypes – of a company website for example – without knowing a line of code. If we were starting Escape the City today we wouldn’t need to hire a technical team. Rather we’d use one of the amazing applications available such as Squarespace. If in doubt go back to number two and find a more creative way to test your assumptions.
5. Find a co-founder
1 co-founder +1 co-founder = 100x more progress.
When starting a business it’s not impossible to go at it solo, but it’s about 100 times harder. When you’re feeling low, they’re often high. Also, having someone to bounce ideas off is crucial. A brainstorm with the right person can break barriers and progress your thinking in the blink of an eye. But don’t just pick any cofounder, make sure they fit your business and vision.
Dom shares more of his #tipstomakeit with a little help from Xero. Check out the video here: