Derek Sivers, serial entrepreneur and founder of CD Baby, shared some advice last week on his business model:
I feel like I know almost nothing about business, because the only business I’ve ever done is the co-op / sharing model.
It goes like this:
1. You already have something that people want.
It might be something you own, something you’ve learned how to do, or access to valuable resources, space, or people.
2. Find a way to share it with everyone who needs it.
Share because it’s what you do for friends, because it’s the right thing to do, because it makes the world a better place, and because it’ll make you deeply happy.
Share as your contribution in return for all the things and ideas that people have shared with you.
(If you’re having a bad day, or someone has recently wronged you, you may not feel the world has shared much with you, but here’s a reminder.)
3. If it takes some effort for you to share it, you can charge a little something for your effort, to ensure that this giving can continue.
Many people I know are thinking about starting businesses of their own. It's the next iteration for their careers. A good place to start is figuring out what you have that other people want, sharing it the way you would with friends, and charging a little something for your effort.
Clearly it can get more complex later, but as a simple model for starting up, why not start with what you have to share?
Want to work with a creative way to explore some major career questions? Sign up for one of my upcoming Career Question Image sessions. In December we'll plan for 2012. In January we'll look at defining success and in February we'll explore what may be holding you back. You'll get a chance to try out the VisualsSpeak Image Center and work with other professionals in a live online discussion of your image. You can also try out this online icebreaker to see how the Image Center works.