Guided Goals Podcast #16: Starting Your Startup with Ja-Nae Duane

Ja-Nae DuaneAre you ready to start your startup?

Need some advice?

Want a great way to figure out what needs to be done?

Ja-Nae Duane joins us on the Guided Goals Podcast, and we’re going to talk about starting your startup. Ja-Nae is co-author of the Startup Equation, and is helping 1 million entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses by 2020.

Ja-Nae talks about developing your startup, work-life balance, goals and more.

Ja-Nae’s Startup Path

No path is linear.

Ja-Nae started out as an opera singer, but couldn’t afford to be an opera singer. in 2008 all of her gigs got cancelled within a month and a half. The companies that supported them, washed up as well. So Ja-Nae found herself in a position where she had to reinvent herself.

She started an International Women’s organization with $100 in May 2005, as a way to help women find the resources they needed for their businesses. It quickly grew to 7 countries with 55 chapters in less than 9 months. However, she sun-setted it after a few years, as the different countries had different systemic root problems (in France women needed a cosigner, in Jordan, women couldn’t be the face of their own company).

That’s what set Ja-Nae on the path of helping entrepreneurs. She spends 90% of her time helping entrepreneurs on their start-up path.

By 2020, it’s estimated 1 in 6 people will be entrepreneurs, so we need to equip ourselves with those skills, so we are ready for those shifts, whether they are building a business or lifestylists.

Everyone is different. It’s about choosing your startup path.

Getting Started

Even if you have an idea, before you start to tackle it, try to look inward, Ja-Nae says.

No matter how it grows and evolves, you need to know who you are and how you will approach this endeavor. Everyone has a different personality. Knowing who you are is key to knowing how you are going to approach not only the idea, but the problem you are solving for your customer.

Next, once you decided you want to do it, you need to decide what it looks like for you. Are you a consultant? Are you an expert (like a lawyer or accountant)? Or are you looking to build and sell something? Know who you are and what you want that end goal to be – even think three or five years out.

As you approach this idea, doing some reverse engineering is going to help you figure out if you can handle this yourself, if you need to bring people on and if you have the right business model to start and sustain it. People don’t necessarily think about their exit strategy.

Knowing where you are headed will help you create a road map to get there.

Growing Your Side Project

We talk about what happens when your side project turns into something bigger.

There are several things Ja-Nae says to consider:

  • Decide if you want it to grow or if you want to keep it as a hobby.
  • If you want to make a living through it, decide if you want that life to be your day to day.
  • If you have a portfolio career (doing multiple types of projects), know when you don’t like something and stop doing that work. Although it brings in the money, it’s the same as being in a job you think is soulless. Decide if projects that are a hassle are worth it.

Work/Life Balance

Like many entrepreneurs (and many of the people we’ve interviewed), Ja-Nae loves what she does and doesn’t consider it work. However, since her husband makes sure they have quality time, it has allowed her to unplug more. For instance, they have specific date nights. Decide what kind of balance you need in your life, and then make it happen.

Personal Goal of the Week: Take an inventory of your personal life, see where it is needs balance, and put it back in there.

Personal and/or Professional Goal of the Week: Take a part of your life that you feel is lacking and, around that goal, write down 100 things that go along with that goal. It’s a great way to have clarity. (Note: I frequently break people up in increments of 20, while Ja-Nae goes straight to 100.) It will force you to get really particular about what you want, Ja-Nae adds. Also add a date and time, so it’s very concrete in your head.

Listen to Ja-Nae’s example of a long list, as well as some final thoughts toward the end of the podcast!

Get a Launch Kit of startup goodies when you pre-order the Startup Equation.

Want to learn more about starting your startup? Listen to the entire interview on iTunes or Stitcher:

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The Guided Goals Podcast gives you the tools, direction, and resources you need to pursue your passion project. Thanks for tuning in.

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Tell us how you are doing on your goals in the comments.

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About Debra: A project catalyst, Debra Eckerling works with individuals and small businesses to create a strategy, set goals and manage their projects. Follow Debra @GuidedGoals, Like Guided Goals on Facebook, Subscribe to YouTube.