“Man is always more than he can know of himself; consequently, his accomplishments, time and again, will come as a surprise to him.” – Golo Mann

I’m willing to bet that one goal you have for this year is to become wealthier than you are right now. If you’ve been paying attention to Michael Masterson’s advice, you know that means starting your own business – which, says Michael, is ” one of the best (or possibly the best) ways of growing wealthy.”

Well, what’s stopping you?

Starting your own business may sound like an overwhelming task – but, like every worthwhile goal, it can be broken down into manageable parts. In fact, I’m going to show you how to do it in three simple steps.

The important thing is to take action. Instead of just dreaming about starting your own business, do it! Don’t worry about the details, just come up with a sensible overall plan and get your business off the ground. You can go back and fine-tune it later. As Michael says, “Ready, Fire, Aim.”

I have helped start dozens of small businesses. And all of them were the result of combining Michael’s Ready, Fire, Aim philosophy with my own three-step approach.

Here’s how it works…

Step 1. Identify something that people want and will pay for.

One of the most common stumbling blocks for aspiring entrepreneurs is deciding on a product or service to market. The primary consideration is to choose something that people will buy. And the easiest way to do that is to go with something that other people are already selling successfully.

Ideally, that will be something you love and/or know a lot about. For instance, if you’re an accountant, you could create and sell programs about how people can prepare their taxes, how they can make a household budget, and how they can find hidden tax deductions. Or, if you’ve always loved animals, you could sell pet toys, treats, and accessories.

If you have trouble coming up with a likely product or service based on your own interests and/or expertise, choose a relatively simple service that’s in high demand. A house cleaning service, for example, or bookkeeping, lawn mowing, resume writing, or house painting. The possibilities are almost endless.

Step 2. Find a way to supply it.

This step just requires a bit of business common sense. If you’re selling a service, you would either supply the service yourself or hire someone else to do it (or help you). If, for example, you’ve decided to go into the moving business, you don’t have to be capable of handling furniture yourself. Simply hire a few people who can do heavy lifting and either buy or rent a truck.

If you’re selling a product, you would ideally seek out suppliers that can provide you with merchandise at a low enough price for you to be able to make a profit. But that usually means buying in volume – which may not work for you when you’re just starting out. Let’s say you’d like to sell bookshelves. In this case, it might make more sense for you to get your business going by buying the lumber and building the shelves yourself (or hiring someone to build them for you).

Step 3. Sell it to the people who want it.

I’m a big believer in direct marketing for small start-up businesses. It’s a relatively inexpensive way to get your marketing message to prospective customers via e-mail, regular mail, ads in local papers, or even flyers distributed door to door.

Let’s say you want to start a housekeeping service. You’d identify a few affluent neighborhoods where the homeowners could, presumably, afford maids. Then you’d target them with either flyers or small mailers.

Or suppose you want to start a business where you take people on charter fishing boat trips. You’ll be marketing primarily to tourists, so you’d work on getting yourself listed in local tourist guides and maybe advertise on a few bus benches in your city’s hotel district. If you decide to go after locals too, you could contact local fishing clubs and see if you can rent their membership lists to do a mailing. You might also make a deal with local bait shops to distribute your flyers.

Obviously, starting and running a successful business requires time, energy, and effort. Still, when you break down the process, it’s just three simple steps:

  • Identify something that people want and will pay for.
  • Find a way to supply it.
  • Sell it to the people who want it.

If you really want to run your own business, it’s time to take action. Just think – by this time next year, you could be living your dream.

[Ed. Note: Paul Lawrence is a produced screenwriter who has written a multimillion-dollar film and is the president of a successful direct-mail company. Learn about Paul’s ” Dare to Live Your Dreams ” program on his website.]

Paul Lawrence

Paul Lawrence is an entrepreneur who has made his living starting and running a series of profitable businesses. One day while cleaning his mother's pool for a few extra bucks, it dawned on Paul that he could perhaps start his own pool cleaning business. He carefully employed all the marketing techniques that he had learned in school and designed his first flyer. Immediately the business took off and within a week, Paul had his own little business. He quickly expanded, hired employees and then eventually sold it some relatives who made well over $250,000 in the next year before they eventually sold it for a six figure profit. After finishing college, Paul did a brief stint in a management program for a national rental company, but he quickly realized that he was much happier running his own show. Paul left the rental company and launched one of the most financially successful independent ballroom dance instruction companies in the state of Florida where he received quite a bit of media attention for his revolutionary business practices that included front page features in the Life Style section of the Sun Sentinel, features in the Miami Herald, Boca News, Center Stage Entertainment and many others. With that business running profitably, Paul started several other businesses either individually or as partnerships that included a million dollar video production company, a mortgage brokerage, a home maintenance business, several mail order companies, a business consulting service among others.With a love of movies, Paul began to work at breaking into Hollywood as a screenwriter where he's beaten the odds by becoming a produced writer. He is a credited writer for the film CRUEL WORLD, starring Jaime Presley and Eddie Furlong and has signed a development deal for a national television series with one of the world's largest producers of television and films among his half a dozen sales and options of movie scripts he wrote. Paul is the creator of the Quick & Easy Microbusiness program.