Common Mistakes Entrepreneurs Make
This episode we’re joined by Richard Finnie, founder of thelaunch.ca, and initiative designed to encourage collaboration with entrepreneurs. He’s no stranger to podcasting himself, since as part of thelaunch.ca he hosts his own show called — you guessed it — the Launchcast.
“We believe that the new entrepreneur focuses on collaboration over competition, and that ideas should be shared freely – that there are no physical or cultural barriers to sharing your ideas, your questions and your passions. We believe that small businesses, micro-businesses, and freelancers, bridged together in common cause, are at the core of a revolutionary change in business.”
Richard lives in Regina SK, and shares not only from his personal experience but stories from his community. If you are someone who is considering starting their own small business, or launching an idea, this is a must watch episode. Not only do we go over some common mistakes entrepreneurs make, we talk through how to best go about getting your feet firmly planted in order to give yourself the best chance at success.
In typical Because Money fashion, here is the list of resources we quote in the show! Enjoy!
Jackson: Jackson Middleton
Kyle: Kyle Prevost
Sandi: Sandi Martin
Rick: Richard Finnie (thelaunch.ca)
Jackson: Hey everybody. Welcome to another episode of the Because Money Podcast. I’m Jackson Middleton; joined by Sandi Martin in black and white, and Kyle Prevost in colour. Kyle just shaved his head. He’s looking pretty shiny and looking sparkly.
And our special guest today is Richard Finnie. He’s from Regina, Saskatchewan. Some people call him “Rick” and some people call him “Richard”. He goes by both. I think they mean the same thing. He is representing the thelaunch.ca. It is a websites geared towards online entrepreneurs. The start, the hustle, the game. It’s all of that. Rick, thanks for joining us.
Rick: Thanks for having me, guys.
Jackson: So we’re going to talk about entrepreneurship. We’re going to talk about mistakes entrepreneurs make. We’re going to talk about starting businesses, kind of tied into finance. Richard’s obviously a great guest because he deals with entrepreneurs all the time and he’s a real good communicator. I’ve known Richard for quite a few years. And he communicates well.
Honestly, I’ll say this because he won’t, he’s one of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet. You have a coffee with him and he cares, and he wants to learn. So I’m excited to have him on as a guest because he will then share lots of cool information. So tell us a bit about The Launch, with a particular focus to the “Launch12in12” because I think that’s kind of exciting.
Rick: Now you’ve set that bar extremely high for being a good communicator, so I can’t stumble over my words or anything. Yeah, so what thelaunch is, and it’s kind of been a project that we started, I co-founded about a year ago. Basically, we’re an online entrepreneurial community, with a podcast piece of it as well as a blog.
We’re just focused on building up the community. Obviously, what I found, especially in Canada more than some of the other areas, is that there’s pockets of great entrepreneurial communities, but there really isn’t an overarching one that really can help entrepreneurs across Canada. And so we’re going to focus on is kind of building that spirit across Canada. And so we’re doing a lot of different things to make that happen. Obviously, like I mentioned already, we have the podcast, we have the blog.
And then one thing we’ve launched mid-last year was the Launch12in12 project. Basically, the fundamental idea behind that project is just to show people that it’s really not that difficult to start something; to basically start pursuing an idea, to start working on something. With the idea in mind that we were going to launch essentially 12 businesses over the span of 12 months. And those can be a variety of different businesses and different ideas. And so people head over to Launch12in12.ca. They can see—we’re in six months now—so they can see we’ve done a variety of different things, whether it be an online coffee product, a couple different online stores, and an email newsletter. Obviously a podcast—we’ve actually detailed that one out a little bit on the blog as well. And so we’ve done a variety of different things, and more so just provide that—I don’t necessarily want to call it the blueprint, because each business is different, and how people do things different—but just to kind of help people understand that if you can break things down to basically MVP [minimum viable product] or the least common denominator, it really doesn’t need to get that complicated. And I think that’s really where a lot of things break down is that people kind of think–it’s great to have big ideas, but I call it “paralysis by analysis”, where basically they start over-thinking things and ends up being a lot more challenging to get going.
Sandi: I’m overwhelmed. Can I ask, so would you say that just the idea that “starting your own company, being an entrepreneur is too complicated or too much”–do you think that’s the first mistake that people make, then?
Rick: I think that’s one of the first ones, for sure. I think that they get frozen even in just what idea to pursue, or how to pursue it. And so that even just getting started is a challenge. So that in itself, I think, is probably the first step. And then, obviously, I think there’s mistakes after that, that they make. But I think that fundamentally is where it breaks down; even before people can even get going.
Jackson: So talk a bit about the financial aspect of it. Obviously 12 businesses in 12 months, we’re not talking about a lot of overhead. We’re not talking, “Well if only I have a $12,000 whatever, then my business will fly”. You’re starting pretty lean. Talk a little bit about that.
Rick: Yeah, I that’s really got to be the key. I think that’s where a lot of it breaks down, right now, is–let’s face it 15-20 years ago, you needed $200K and you probably needed to sign a lease somewhere. If you opened a store or opened a business, you needed a lot of operating capital and you needed to sign a lease on a building. You were going to do all these things. But the modern economy and the way the modern business works is you don’t necessarily need to do all those steps to make things happen.
I think that’s basically what we wanted to do with this project, was really show people that you don’t need really anything. So one of the things that we tried to do in the first–with all of these, but even in the first couple—was really to show people that you can launch basically with nothing. You can start with an idea, start doing some promotion, start getting some traction. And really what the next step is and what needs to happen is just do that market validation.
I think sometimes we get focused on building what we think people want versus what they actually want. And so, without actually doing the market validation, which is huge, you could go out there and get a bunch of financing for an idea that maybe you haven’t actually confirmed that it’s actually valid and people actually need it or want it, or are going to buy it.
Kyle: So what’s a concrete example of a market validation, because sometimes people out there are intimidated by some of the business jargon that us entrepreneurs like to throw around.
Rick: Well, there’s lots of different examples, but really what we’ve tried to do is we’ve tried to come up with a good idea as to what people can do for market validation. But to be honest, I recently interviewed, for thelaunchcast, which is our podcast that we run in regard to thelaunch, a company called Lending Loop. And basically what they did is they actually talked about how they went out there and talked to potential customers. And basically spent the time to interview businesses that fit their niche, before they even spent any time at all building their MVP.
Sometimes it’s hard. I don’t necessarily want to go into that legwork and actually confirm that people actually want a product. But really, just sitting down with who you think your potential customers are and understanding their pain points. That’s really what it comes down to is just having that conversation with people and finding out. That’s the simplest form of market validation. But you can do that in a variety of different ways. You can so surveys, you can do things like that. But really, to actually understand what people are wanting, it can be as simple as just having a simple conversation with them.
Kyle: I find that’s often the point. If you watch Dragan’s Den or Shark Tank, that market validation is often the point of “Okay, we’re going to take you seriously” or “Go home. You’re just a person with an idea right now”.
What have you done to show me people want this? Sure, it looks like a cool idea in hindsight, or your blueprint or your prototype. You’re doing these things, but you have no sales, you have no real plans for sales. You have no survey results. How do we know people will pay money for this? And I think that’s important for any entrepreneur, because we tend to jump around and do a lot of different things. So without that you can just be stuck turning your wheels.
Rick: I think oftentimes what happens is that people end up essentially building something in hiding. And I think it’s almost fear of feedback, which is feedback—especially in the early stages—is probably the most important part of your business. Because, like I mentioned before, you could build something and you could spend a ton of time building something that nobody wants or nobody needs.
But it is that fear of actually somebody giving you some criticism. And that some of it may not be constructive. To actually say this is good or this isn’t good, and here’s how you can improve it. So oftentimes, if you spend all this time building in hiding, like you said, it ends up just being an idea. But you haven’t actually confirmed that people want it or are going to buy it.
Sandi: And even after that point–so you’ve done your market validation and you haven’t spent a whole lot of time running a big business plan on going out applying for small business loans or anything. You’re working on selling it or knowing that it could be sold first. What’s next? What comes after that? Then do you buy all the infrastructure? Obviously, that’s not what you do. [laughs]
Rick: I think I get it. It comes out to kind controlled growth. I think it’s very easy to have these dreams and going out and getting large funding and things like that. And obviously, depending on your idea, and depending on what launch and what you’re building, it can require some investment, for sure.
But you have to kind of work through that. Again, it goes back to that MVP. So once you’ve validated your market and understand there is a need for what’s here, then you can start working on the smallest common denominator of trying to address that need, and scale up from there.
We talk about one of the projects we’re working on right now, or one of the projects that we pseudo-launched, as part of the Launch12in12 project, is platform called lunchSpark. It’s essentially a platform designed to help business people meet together, in their local area. We could spend a ton of time building that product, and we could spend hours and hours in software development, building something. But it doesn’t need to be that complicated. If we’ve confirmed an initial audience that’s interested in it. So now what we’re doing is basically what’s the least common denominator to build this? To actually get it out to the world, to get feedback on it, and then to iterate on it again and again.
It’s that whole mantra of move fast and break things, or basically just keep iterating the product until you get up to that point. Or maybe you need to scale it even larger and take on larger investment. But I think you can really build it and scale it in a manner that doesn’t need that 60-page business plan. It doesn’t need to go to the bank to have to get huge investment.
Kyle: I’m reading a book that was recommended to me by a guy who teaches entrepreneurship; which I always loved that, you “teach” entrepreneurship. But this guy’s legitimate. He founded and started over a dozen things and he teaches at Red River College here in Manitoba. The book, anyway, is by John Dini and it’s called “Hunting in a Farmer’s World”. And I think a lot of us teachers, from the teacher side of things, we’re farmers. It’s like do abcde, follow process, this that, and eventually you’ll get the result. It’s like formulaic. If you do the business plan, here’s the things you need in your business plan. And then it’s a good business plan at that point. And that’s just not simply how a successful entrepreneur can do it. It’s not a formula. They have to be messy and break things and invent something new and you one-offs and pivots and all these different messy things that don’t look nice in a textbook right away.
So I would recommend that. I think it’s exactly what you’re saying, and what your own experiences have likely led you to.
Rick: Yeah, I think there’s a certain appeal. Obviously, I’m an experimenter, right. So for me, it’s one of those things that I know it sounds cliché in the sense that people talk about it, “it’s not the destination, it’s the journey”. But for me, I just like to try different things. And so kind of lends myself well to trying these things, seeing what works and what doesn’t. Documenting the results and try them again. Do it again. Maybe try something different. It kind of lends itself well to learning along the way. And I think that’s really it. You talk about entrepreneurs and you talk about how they do things. I think that the true ones, you’re right, they don’t follow the formula of abcd. They’re bouncing all over the place, maybe trying a couple of different things. But they’re learning along that path as to what works for them and what doesn’t.
Sandi: I remember there was a small business start-up program in Ontario for a while that is now gone, and when I was first starting this business, I had done the market research because I’d been working in a bank for so long and I knew what clients were not getting. But I thought that what you needed to do was exactly what you’re describing, “Oh, I need to write a business plan.” It was just insane. There were charts that had no connection with reality. And I’m not a risk-taker, so that was really appealing to me, like “Well if I just sit here and get this business plan perfect, I’m not taking any risk”. And then very quickly I realized I had to throw that out the window. Now everything is all uncomfortable and new. I don’t like trying new things, but apparently that’s what I do now. [laughs] So, no business plan.
Rick: Yeah, exactly. I think that whole model has changed a bit, where the idea of spending all this time writing up a 60-page business plan; going to a bank, and basically praying that you’ll get a loan; waiting three months to get that loan; and then doing something from there.
I think the opportunities, even for alternative financing, are when you’re starting up. A few months ago we interviewed a company that basically started a business via CrowdSource and via crowdfunding. They launched Indiegogo campaign and raised their first $10K and basically started from there.
I think I’ve mentioned already, Lending Loop and that lending marketplace idea, where it’s not a true financial institution, but it provides an alternative way of funding. And even just bootstrapping it, kind of what we talked about already, where basically you’re starting small and you’re iterating up, and you’re basically reinvesting instead of committing to those large capital investments and things like that.
Obviously, like I said already, it really depends on what you’re launching. If what you’re launching or what you’re building requires a ton of infrastructure, if you’re building a retail store, like an actual physical storefront, obviously there’s going to be different costs and different things associated with that than launching an online start-up.
Kyle: Do you Rick, ever think in terms of personal finance mistakes entrepreneurs make? I find it interesting because entrepreneurs by nature want to throw everything they have into their project or their business, or their six companies, or whatever they’re up to. And the personal finance side of me goes “You’re not diversified at all!” That’s really risky. As an entrepreneur you think, no I like to see that confidence in investing in yourself, or is it a good idea to diversify and throw a little bit of personal finance element into it?
Rick: I think it’s important to have that divide. Obviously I agree that I think there’s lots of mistakes that people make. Myself included, probably along way where I maybe didn’t separate personal and business. It’s funny actually, we actually interviewed another entrepreneur a little while back, who basically talked about how she had a complete separation, which is almost unheard of a lot of times—a complete separation between her personal finance and her business finance. She paid herself. Her first goal for her business was actually to pay herself something and be cash flow positive and do those things. Which again, I wish it happened more because I think there is that tendency. Especially when you get latched onto an idea, to basically go all in on it.
So I think there’s still a challenge that comes up. I wish there was probably more of a separation, but yeah, I think there’s still a challenge.
Jackson: I’m jumping in there because that was totally me. I remember the first time I went to Sandi and was looking for advice. That’s actually one of the early parts of my relationship with Sandi. I went to her for some advice and opened my books and she was like, “You mean you don’t have a separation between your business and your personal?” and my response was “You mean I’m supposed to?”
But I think that just goes to the mindset of an entrepreneur. On the one hand, Rick, you’re talking about the entrepreneur who feels they have to have their ducks in a row to go, to actually do something; and there’s that paralysis analysis, or whatever the jargon is there. But on the other side, you wrote a great article called “Stop Reading About Zuck”. Yeah, this 1%, if that’s where you’re at. It might never be you. It might be, but it’s probably not ever going to happen to you. And that’s for entertainment value.
But I think, as an entrepreneur, I have believed that every idea I have will turn me into Zuck. So we just go all in and I know I need to pay bills, but don’t worry it’s coming in. So really, entrepreneurs kind of you might never get started, or you’re so all-in and you sink yourself. Is that your common experience? Have you seen that in people?
Rick: Yeah, I think that is probably a very common idea. I think it comes back to two things. One is people oftentimes don’t even start because they just don’t think it’s going to be home run. Or like you said, or they go all-in on something that maybe doesn’t necessarily require them to go all-in on it.
I think it really the fundamental lesson there is basically just start small and continue to build things because as you do that, you’ll continue to learn and be able to improve. And I think it even comes from the idea, even going back to the financial side, by starting small you’re not going to commit all your money. You’re not going to invest all your money that you have, into an idea that maybe isn’t quite ready for prime time yet. Not to say it’s a bad idea, but maybe just isn’t quite ready and isn’t quite there yet actually. It isn’t worthwhile, that commitment.
It’s funny, we’ve done about 15 or so episodes of the Launchcast, which our Launchcast basically talks to entrepreneurship who have just launched in the last two years. I never once heard any of them, and it’s funny because you would think you would expect it—I never once heard any of them say, “I wish I had more money.” It’s an interesting perspective, because oftentimes people think, “Oh, I wish I had money to start this idea”, but all these people that we’ve interviewed who have launched a product in the last two years, they never once said that. When you talk about their biggest challenge, it’s never been not enough money. It’s always been, “Oh I wish I would have had more market validation” or “I wish I would have done more research before I started” or these types of things.
So it’s just one of those things that people think they needed, but I think oftentimes they kind of jump the gun and maybe don’t need the money as early as they think they do.
Sandi: You know, I end up talking to a lot of people who want to start financial planning practices like mine. And one of the things that I hear a lot is people saying, “Well by next month I need to be making x number of dollars”. I mean, it’s very hard. I had the luxury of starting a business without needing any of the income from it. By nature I was very—I’m not even going to use the word “frugal”—I was super cheap. I put the minimum amount of money into the business and didn’t have to take any out. So that was kind of the perfect storm of luxury for starting a business that I could take the time to build it up and then see how the cash flow went, and obviously keeping everything separate.
So if you don’t have that luxury though, if you need your business to make money immediately, I honestly don’t really know what advice to give. [laughs]
Kyle: Well it allows you a lot of freedom, Sandi. It didn’t trap you into anything. And those folks that are coming to you saying I need to make this much money. Well, one, they’re going to find it super hard to do that. And if they do find a way to do it, they’re not going to be making decisions with long-term success in mind or with like building a firm platform in mind. They’re going to be doing it for, “How do I get money tomorrow”.
I mean, maybe it’ll work for some of them, but I wouldn’t think it will be that successful.
Sandi: I imagine it would be really hard then to do what Rick was describing. To allow it to grow slowly and kind of throw a few things at the wall and see what sticks, right.
Rick: You know, it’s funny. I think that oftentimes—I know this is going to sound strange coming from me because by nature I think I’m a little bit of a risk-taker—but if you’re in the position where you need money tomorrow from your business, from your start-up, you probably shouldn’t jump all-in. That’s not to mean you should start it, but it just means you shouldn’t go all-in on it.
Like I mentioned before, there’s opportunities there to kind of do some initial building of a business while you’re still working at something full-time. And I think you know oftentimes we get kind of, and there’s certain entrepreneurs or certain people who just getting basically overcome by an ideas. It’s like I need to do this right now, and I don’t necessarily think about the practicality of jumping in, spending all their money, and not having a firm idea as to whether it’s going to sell or not.
And I think you’re right, it lends itself well to failure because people are essentially not finding the right customer. And I think that’s also important, and we’ve actually talked about that a couple times. We’ve run a couple of different mastermind groups here, and one of things we talked about, and one of the feedback people give is that they’re not necessarily looking for more customers, but they’re looking for the right customers.
So if you’re motivated by just trying to make that dollar by next week, you’re going to go and take work that you shouldn’t take. And it’s going to kind of lead you down a path that next thing you know, six months from now, your business that you thought it was going to be is not going to be what you want it to be.
Jackson: And I’ve lived that. I’ve lived that 100%. I’ve taken on the client. And just a word of advice to entrepreneurs, if you are at a point where you’ve got this client in front of you and it like you really don’t like them. “I know this isn’t going to work, but I need the money”, that’s not a good place to be. And I’ve been there. And it’s kind of like, “I don’t think I want to work with her”. And then you take it and it’s a pain in your butt, and then she cancels after two months anyways.
So you’ve just got to trust your gut and don’t put yourself in a position where you have to make the money. But if you do, hey, you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do. Hustle, baby. Do what you’ve got to do.
Kyle: Yeah, it’s kind of a classic 80/20 rule, right? You talk about the proprietor principle. In fact, I think with a lot of businesses, it might even be more like the 5/95 or the 10/90, where a very small amount of your customers are 90% of your problems. Again, as a very small scale entrepreneur or a light entrepreneur, myself, I’ve really taken that to heart and just hit delete more and more often as I go through, and try to eliminate that 5 to 10%.
But you’ve got to make your mistakes to find out what that cut-off point is. If they’re just a momentarily difficult person or having a bad day, you can’t say “I don’t want to deal with that person at all”.
Sandi: But I found too, that if you lose sight of the reason that you’re an entrepreneur in the first place, which can be different for everybody. Maybe you really want to work 120 hours a week, but you have a kind of job where you can’t do that, but if you lose sight of why you’re doing it in the first place, you can start building a business that maybe isn’t a great business for you. It might be a great value or a good product, or any of those things, but if it’s not enjoyable–I don’t mean that you have to enjoy every minute of every day–but if you find yourself not really wanting to do this thing that you started, maybe you started the wrong thing. [laughs]
Rick: I think it’s really easy to lose focus quickly. Like oftentimes, like you said, you can start and just take this one because I need it, and then it’s the next one that needed. And then you start making decisions based on that. Like I said, it’s really easy to kind of go off on a complete tangent. And like Jackson said, you’ve all been there, we’ve all been there. And it’s all about learning from that experience too, where I think that as people start out you can kind of shape over time.
One of the good exercises that I like to tell people to do is really sit down–and sometimes people are like, “Ah, it’s a pointless exercise”–but really sit down and try to define that target customer, or that you believe it, and take the time to do that right off the hop.
Go as detailed as you can. Give him a name. Go through the whole process. Like what is their occupation? How old are they? All these things, because then you can kind of super narrow it down as to who you’re actually building something for. And then you then you can take that to the next level and obviously go back to what we talked about—doing your research and doing your verification of is this an actual pain point that you think.
I think sometimes if you skip that first step and you’re not really super-focused as to who your audiences is or who your target customers is. That’s when you start going off in all these different directions and not actually understand okay who am I building this for, and you start doing work that maybe you don’t necessarily want to.
Jackson: There’s no right answer to this, but I’m going to take it to that next step. So we’ve talked about starting. We’ve talked about how and when to start. But how do you grow? And I think that’s how do you scale? Again, there’s no right or wrong answer, but when do you hire somebody? When do you look for money? When you realize I’ve got to expand? What are some tips or what are some things that you found success in that you can hopefully share with people, and maybe I can learn something. I’m at that point in my business. I’m ready to go, but I don’t know what the next step is. Do I hire somebody here, do I hire somebody here? Do I go with my strengths? Do I shore up my weakness? Advice.
Rick: That’s a pretty heavy question.
Jackson: I told you I was going to hit you with a heavy question. [Rick laughs] This is that heavy question.
Rick: I think you’re right. There really isn’t a right answer and it really depends on each business. I think there’s opportunities to go to start, as you get larger, as your business is growing, or as you’re generating more clients or more revenue. There’s an opportunity to potentially find areas where you can grow or where you can maybe delegate some responsibility. We’ve had this conversation before, many times, you and I, Jackson, in regards to do your do you shore up your weaknesses or do you work to your strengths. I think we both agree that oftentimes it makes more sense to work to your strengths and offload those challenging areas.
And it’s really hard to do everything. It’s funny because we’ve had this conversation a few times, where especially in the first few years, and especially as your business is growing, it’s really hard to do everything right. So it’s better early on to get involved with people who can help you make those right decisions. And whether that’s bringing in legal advice or whether that bringing in an accountant, obviously, if that’s not your strong suit, or marketing help.
It doesn’t necessarily mean go hire a marketing person. Like I said, with the way the market it is now, there is an opportunity to piecemeal that work out to work with freelancers, to work with other opportunities, or other people who were doing things in that regard. Whether it be freelancer or whether it be other options to help build that business out and help make those right decisions.
But growing is always kind of a challenging topic, because I think depending on the business that you’re in, growing is kind of a loaded word too. Because do you want to grow revenue, do you want to grow customer base? What exactly is your definition of how you want to grow that? Because you can do that in a variety of different ways. I know what kind of skirted your question.
Jackson: You nailed it. Sandi, I can see her eyes are lighting up. She’s like, “He’s talking about clarity”. Sandi is all about clarity. Yeah, I think you nailed it. Tell us a little bit about the freelancer and your experience dealing with freelancers. Because obviously, most of us think, “I’ve got to grow the business. Now I have to hire an assistant” or “I have to hire somebody to do this”.
As the economy changes, as the online marketplace changes, and we do have a lot more digital access to people, is there a freelance market out there? Maybe throw some websites out there and we can throw it on the resource list. But yeah, what’s your experience with freelancers?
Rick: You know, it’s funny, I’ve actually had good success. I’ve done it a couple of different ways. One is obviously working with local freelancers that I’m able to establish that personal relationship with, and then they understand what I want a little better. What I’ve found is if you’re going to freelancer sites oDesk, like Freelancer, like eElance, and things like that, if you’re very specific in what you want and it’s very task or detail-oriented. So, for example, I want XYZ, so I want a graphic done up for my newsletter for this date. You’re likely to get good results if you’re very vague, because maybe you don’t know what exactly it is you need, it’s a little more challenging to get the results you want from kind of the commodity marketplace, the freelancer marketplace, like the online marketplace.
So what I’ve found is really depending on where you’re at and what exactly you’re looking for. Both sides work really well. So if you have a really specific request, go up to the marketplace, put it out there, and you’re probably be able to get something back that’s of decent quality. But if you’re a little more vague or you kind of have some ideas but you already know where to go with it, it’s obviously much better in that case to turn to somebody that you can have a little more interaction with and the little more back and forth with, to discuss your needs and to actually come up with an idea.
I think there’s certain areas where you can really have those discussions. When you talk about web design, you talk about graphic design, and things like that, it’s almost better—in my mind—to maybe have a little more personal interaction. Especially if you’re essentially trying to build a brand. To have that personal interaction with somebody, to actually work with them so they can really understand the message you’re trying to convey.
What I found especially—actually it’s funny you’re talking about freelancers, because the community that we’ve built around thelaunch, a big portion of it is freelancers. And I’m actually finding that the market is changing a bit where we’re seeing companies not necessarily hire employees to do everything..
And obviously, by nature, there are still companies that are doing that, but especially smaller market companies, we’re seeing this freelancer idea; whether it’s freelance web or freelance graphic designers, or communication specialists and all these things. There’s an influx now of people coming at it from that perspective, as opposed to “I need to go get a graphic design job at XYZ Company”. It’s more like “I’m going to just go do this on my own”, because it gives them the greater freedom become a different project, as opposed to be kind of narrowed down to one specific brand or one specific company.
Sandi: [laughs] We’re all just absorbing it.
Jackson: I’m loving it. I’m sorry. I was. I was actually taking notes on my other screen. I’m like, “I’ve got to do this”.
Kyle: I’ve seen it from the other side and I think that some people are choosing to go that route, and then I think there’s a little bit of market forces at work, forcing people to go that route too, where the traditional job market is drying up and to get a “marketing” job or graphic design job, it’s not there. And with all the education people are getting now, we’re seeing more and more educated, good people from all backgrounds that are available for freelance. So I think the market, the supply and demand are both there and it’s sorting itself out right now.
Rick: Another interesting side effect that I’m seeing too, is that that a lot of these companies that are breeding these freelance designers, because a lot of them come from companies. Basically what they’re doing is they’re trying to create a culture, but by nature they’re actually creating a culture that actually is essentially encouraging these people, because their creating these free culture, essentially the start-up culture within the advertising agencies or wherever it might be. And then by nature, they’re basically instilling this mindset in their employees and then within a few years, these employees are leaving these companies to become freelancers.
So by nature, these companies are trying to create a good culture, but they’re probably also creating a culture of people wanting to go to out and pursue opportunities on their own.
Sandi: Yeah, and to me, that’s the biggest thing. People have a lot of skills and it’s really exciting to see the way that technology can connect this skill over here with that need over there. And of course what I’m always going to go back to is you can be really skilled and have a really great product that you’re delivering freelance or not, but if you’re not organized in the back-end..if you don’t have your accounting set up, it’s a really easy way to sink that ship. [laugh]
Rick: Yeah, exactly. Actually it’s one of the things, one of the initial concepts where thelaunch kind of stemmed from was that collaborative atmosphere. And it’s funny, because I talk to a lot of people, like a lot of entrepreneurs that face similar challenges. And so if they can work together and start chatting together, and start understanding that you’re having problems with your accounting. At least that kind of creates that environment where they can turn to each other and start asking those questions and start fixing those problems before it does sink the ship, for sure.
Jackson: There we go. We should probably wrap up. I’m just going to ask you one loaded question. If there’s one thing that you’ve learned over your experience with thelaunch and doing what you doing, or maybe in your own business, one piece of advice that doesn’t even have to relate to finance. An entrepreneur is sitting in front of you, what advice would you give them? I know you’ve talked a lot already. We’re looking for pearls here.
Rick: I’ve said it already a couple times, but it goes back to couple of different things. One is don’t be afraid to experiment with ideas. Just because you think the idea is a home run, doesn’t necessarily mean it is. But if you have multiple ideas, don’t be afraid to put them out to the world and get feedback on them. And the other piece of it, like I mentioned a few times…
Sandi: Oh-oh. [laughs]
Kyle: The other piece of it. We’re waiting for the other piece.
Jackson: The other piece of advice, and he’s frozen.
Kyle: The other piece of advice, you can find it on thelaunch.ca, which is exactly where Rick wants you to end up. [laughs]
Jackson: Oh, he’s back, He’s back. We missed the last one.
Rick: Yeah, the last piece of advice is don’t tell them everything you know, right? [laughs]
Jackson: Well played. Well thanks for coming on the show, man. I really appreciate it. Good to connect with you. If people want to find you, they can go to thelaunch.ca. Follow you on the Launchcast. You’re on Instagram. You’re kind of everywhere online.
Rick: Absolutely. They can then head over to thelaunch.ca. They can go over on Twitter @thelaunch.ca. They can find me on Twitter, myself, @RichardFinnie. Yeah, we’re pretty much all over the place.
Jackson: Cool. We’ll we appreciate you coming on the show. Take care, my friend. Good-bye.