Work for Yourself: How to Start Your Own Business

In 1984, Guy Kawasaki, world-renowned venture capitalist and special advisor at Google, got a life-changing opportunity: His former roommate at Stanford University, Mike Boich, offered him a marketing job at Apple. Kawasaki’s work at Steve Jobs's empire brought him fortune, fame and, perhaps most importantly, the confidence to strike out on his own. 

Since that roaring start, Kawasaki has founded or co-established four successful companies, including Alltop, a news aggregation site, and, which raises funds for promising technology businesses. He’s also the author of Art of the Start: The Time-Tested, Battle-Hardened Guide for Anyone Starting Anything, a blueprint for business success.

Here, the charismatic Stanford grad (who boasts 1.3 million Twitter followers!) shares four steps every budding entrepreneur must take to actualize her business plan:

Step 1: Just Do It
“The most important step is to create a real manifestation of your idea,” says Kawasaki. “For example, before you start a restaurant, try your menu on friends or at catering parties. [If you’re launching a physical product,] create and ship a prototype. Until you do this, everything else is just a made-up fairytale."

Step 2: Secure Seed Money

Every business needs some funds to get started. Write a business plan to figure out how much money you’ll need and when you can hope to see a profit. “For the vast majority of ideas, crowd funding on or is the way to go,” says Kawasaki.

Step 3: Get the Word Out
Now that your business is off the ground, how will you get the word out? “The most powerful and accessible way to market your business is to use social media such as Google+, Twitter and Facebook,” says Kawasaki. “Entrepreneurs must build their social media platform as soon as they decide to start a company."

Step 4: Have Faith
“Nobody ever said that entrepreneurship is easy,” says Kawasaki. Your business will face hurdles and challenges, and you need to stay strong and keep at it. “Truly, some things need to be believed to be seen. You must believe in what you're doing."

by Stephanie Fairyington