Why “new idea” entrepreneurship is a lie (and a dead end)

Why “new idea” entrepreneurship is a lie

“New idea” entrepreneurship has infected the minds of the current generation of entrepreneurs.

Everybody thinks they need a revolutionary idea or a get-rich-quick-scheme to find success. Something that’s never been tried before. Something that will change the world if it works and will turn the founder into a billionaire and a walking legend.

TechCrunch. Product Hunt. Shark Tank. Forbes 30 under 30.

All about new ideas. Changing the world. Constant innovation.

We listen to the business titans like Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg who dominate social media, podcasts and our major publications as they preach innovation and live on the cutting edge of technology.

It is all about 0 to 1. Blue ocean. Raising money. Infinite growth. Scalability and exits. Initial public offerings. Up and to the right … on and on and on.

And, you know what? Most of it is garbage.

I disagree with almost all of it.

I have a different way of thinking about success, wealth and entrepreneurship and I will explain it to you in this book.

I’ve met thousands of successful entrepreneurs in my life. People flying around on private jets. People with vacation homes in the most expensive zip codes in America and overseas.

People who play golf every day while earning more money than ever.

People who spend time with friends and family and go on epic adventures with people they love.

People who generally do whatever they want, whenever they want.

These people are not famous. They do not spend time giving interviews to major publications. They do not post on social media. They do not write books to influence the next generation of entrepreneurs.

You know what is surprising about these people?

None of them had a new idea. None of them tried to change the world.

They didn’t raise venture capital. They didn’t found a viral app. They’ve never even been to Silicon Valley and can’t point to it on a map. They aren’t on the cutting edge of technology and a few of them still have fax machine sitting in their offices.

What did they do to get rich?

They found a simple opportunity and seized it. They did common things uncommonly well. They looked at the market unemotionally and figured out how to add value. They carved out a little piece of a large pie for themselves.

Most of them started really small and traded their time for money doing work. When they had more work than time to do it they hired somebody to help them for a few bucks less than they were charging.

Then they stuck with it for 10 or 20 years and built a great, boring business slowly over time. Hiring a few people here and there when opportunity came. Making good decisions.

They didn’t raise money to operate a business without profit for several years.

They managed risk and grew slowly. They built their skills and got better and better at making decisions related to business. They got better at leading other people. They were generally good at sales and convincing people to go along with them or buy from them.

One of them bought a car dealership and then bought 10 more over the next 15 years. Another took over a body shop from his father and that turned into a highly profitable chain of body shops. A third bought a struggling FedEx delivery route and it turned into an empire. Yet another started an HVAC company 20 years ago and does $20 million + in revenue today.

A friend of mine simply buys industrial buildings that were built by somebody else. He manages them a bit better and maximizes their profitability. He’s worth $250 million and he is 36 years old.

You don’t need to re-invent the wheel to make money.


Onward and upward,

Nick Huber


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About Me

I started the Sweaty Startup in December of 2018 because I believe the Shark Tank and Tech Crunch culture is ruining the real spirit of low-risk entrepreneurship.