“I know I can be a millionaire…I just need one good idea.”
New entrepreneurs often think they’re inventors. They have an idea for a new app, or a new service, or a new spin on something old. They want to “try it their way” first. Or “tweak” a working model to “make it their own”. This is a deadly trap. I know, because I was in it.
You don’t need to reinvent the wheel. And you’re delaying your progress by doing so.
CrossFit affiliation is a great example: affiliated gyms pay a licensing fee to use the brand, but receive no business guidance at all. On one hand, this is a massive opportunity to use a huge global brand any way they want. But on the other hand, it means that new affiliates are prone to making the same mistakes old affiliates did. It means the sometimes-fatal errors of 2012 are doomed to be repeated forever. And the errors of 2019 that haven’t been fatal yet? Someone will repeat them in 2024.
Great entrepreneurs aren’t inventors. They don’t try to navigate their way out of the desert themselves. Instead, they ask “Who has already solved this problem?” and then pay for the solution, saving themselves years and millions of dollars. When I learned this trick, I went from $45,000 per year–not including missed paychecks!–to a platform 100x the size.
The truth that most new entrepreneurs don’t know is this: inventors rarely make money. Inventors make mistakes. Eventually, inventors make a product. Then they make new mistakes introducing their product to a market that doesn’t want it. Then they have to make a new market for their product, which takes years. Then they have to make apologies to their family. Then they “make it work” by spending more hours at the drawing board. But they never make money.
Real entrepreneurs take the inventors’ work to a market. Real entrepreneurs make money.
Why is this SO important today?
Because new gym owners are still repeating the mistakes we made in 2015.
“I’m going to set my prices low, get 250 members, coach them all myself, and remember all of their names!” – no veteran gym owner thinks that’s a good idea. We all learned the hard way that it’s a recipe for high turnover, low income and no sleep. But if no one is collecting these stories, or tracking these data points, every new owner will have to figure it out on their own. That means they’re starting out with a 3-year deficit. Instead of moving the Movement forward with their passion and care, they’re falling into the same tiger pits that almost killed us.
It means that the folks who floundered in 2012 might still be floundering today, because no guiding authority is keeping score.
It means that the mistakes that killed early Affiliates are still out there, waiting. Because no one is shining a light on them.
Bad entrepreneurs are forced to repeat the mistakes of others, because they want to invent their own solution.
Good entrepreneurs are quick to ask the question:
“Who has already solved this problem before me?”
And then they shave years off their journey to success by copying that model instead of inventing their own.