Straight Talk

Here's what you need to do to successfully build a business

Key Points
  • If you think you want to start your own business, start by identifying a problem that only you can solve.
  • Once you know the opportunity you want to pursue, get ready to commit all of your time to making your plans come to fruition.
  • Be strategic about the tasks you pursue along the way, and make sure they all contribute directly to building the business.
Starting your own business
Starting your own business

If you want to start your own business, you need two things: conviction that you're solving a problem and the belief that you are going to solve it better than anyone else.

That is according to Elliot Weissbluth, who founded wealth management firm HighTower Advisors in 2008.

Beyond that, there are a couple of other key points you need to keep in mind.

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Recognize you're going to make sacrifices

Running your own business will consume your time 24 hours a day, seven days of the week for every week of the year.

That goes even if you are on vacation with your spouse and family, according to Weissbluth.

"Those sacrifices can be thought of as trade-offs because the reward for building your own business is significant, but that trade-off and the sacrifices to get there are also significant," Weissbluth said.

Start with the end in mind

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When starting your business, you will likely have a short list of things that need to be solved.

And that short list will never cease. It will empty and refill as your business grows, Weissbluth said.

But there is a risk that in working to cross of items on the list, you could end up spending time and money on interesting pursuits that do not actually build the business, he said.

You can avoid that by first identifying what the success will look like in the end and then evaluating where you are today.

That will likely prompt you to realize that you are already behind and create a sense of urgency to get things done.

"Imagine what success looks like," Weissbluth said. "Live in that state of mind and then walk yourself back to the present and realize what you have to do today in order to get to that successful outcome."