Entrepreneurship: Build a business that fits YOU

Filed Under: July 2018 Issue

By Ja-Naé Duane
On a recent trip to South Africa, my business partner and husband Steve and I had the chance to work with some brilliant and hardworking entrepreneurs. Some already had a business, others were trying to get new ones up and running. But what we saw mirrored something Steve and I have discussed and experienced firsthand.
Every entrepreneur is different. Every business is different. But hardly anybody talks about it!
This oversight matters for a couple of reasons:

  • Business plans are rarely one size fits all.
  • Two people can follow the exact same plan, but end up with two very different results.

Who we are, how we work, and what we want to accomplish all play a role in how we build a business. And not all of these answers will come down to hard facts or numbers. Sometimes the answers are downright emotional, and we feel strongly about these emotions.
That’s OK.
Emotions matter in business, and a big part of why we built the Startup Equation comes back to these feelings. We knew we needed a way to help entrepreneurs capture their emotions in a workable formula and find the best path forward.
I know the idea of a business formula doesn’t seem like a good fit for organizing emotions. But stick with me for a minute. The Startup Equation creates the framework, and like a Christmas tree, you get to pick the type of ornaments that will go on that tree. The ornaments you choose will help answer these questions:

  • What type of entrepreneur are you?
  • What kind of idea do you have?
  • How do you plan to sell?
  • How will you scale the business?
  • How will you innovate?
  • What X-factors will affect your business?

Hidden within these questions are many potential answers. The best part? You get to pick the answer that fits you and your business. We’ve done the math, and there are thousands of possible combinations. You can build an equation that fits you and your business. And with your personal equation as your guide, you can begin the process of building a business.
A version of this article originally appeared at StartupEquation.com.
Ja-Naé Duane is Founder of The Revolution Factory and co-author of The Startup Equation. She can be reached at janaeduane@gmail.com.