What Does it Mean to Start a Business?

52businesses is starting a new business each week for a year.  Our original and clearly audacious plan was to start 52 of our own ideas. For us, it was about the actualization of revenue streams. However, we have been fortunate enough to garner a tremendous amount of community support already, only a few weeks into our journey. This has afforded us the ability reimagine our mission and think outwardly.

52 BusinessesNow that we have the opportunity to help like-minded entrepreneurs bring their ideas to life, we at 52 have been working to define exactly how we can assist our community partners. To do so, we must begin with the overarching question: What does it mean to “start a business”?

The answer to this question will vary from person to person, but the central tenet is that starting a businesses is about the articulation of an idea and the subsequent actions that transform it into something real.

Ideas are one of the most abundant things on this planet. Risk takers, people willing to fight for their ideas, are far less abundant. In Week 3, Thomas Morstead was fueled by a passion to give back, which lead to the ideas behind What You Give Will Grow. We were there simply to show him how accessible his dreams were. Then, in Week 7 we worked with a local artist named Peter Stanley who has been creating beautiful artwork out of old bicycles and metal for few years. Peter is a supremely skilled craftsman and a creative genius, but he has no previous experience with building a business. So, we helped formalize his business, Carré Quest, by establishing his LLC, conducting market research, and building Carré’s basic online infrastructure. Thomas and Peter both started in different places and they represent the spectrum of people 52businesses will have opportunity to engage with over the next year.

As we’ll be working with community partners to start a majority of businesses over the course of our journey, we’ll undoubtedly encounter founders all across the business-knowledge spectrum. This is a beautiful thing for 52businesses. However, while the exact tasks and to-dos will vary each week depending on the idea and our partners’ knowledge and needs, each week will involve the execution and articulation of an idea. So, we’ve learned to not sweat the details and not be afraid of the unknown–most weeks, we start with close to zero knowledge about the business or industry we’ll be entering. That doesn’t stop us, because we’ve learned that a fear of failure will hold you back as long as you let it–so get out there and validate your idea!

Our journey is still very much beginning. I am excited to see where we go. My hope is that throughout this journey we can lift up others and fuel their entrepreneurial passions.