Category: Business Pitch

The 3-Step Stress Test before you start your business

The 3-Step Stress Test before you start your business

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1. Who are your target customers*?

– Describe their characteristics, behaviors, professions, country of residence and finally age, gender.

2. Validate your assumptions
– WHAT is the pain that your customers* face now? How do they currently cope with this pain? Are there a combination of tools available now that the customers can use to partially solve the problem?
– WHY would the customers want to pay for your service? What are the assumptions you have made and how have you been testing them?
– WHO are in your management team? Do their background help your team achieve your business targets? What is the gap? How are you planning to address the gap?
– WHO do you know that can help you to get your customers? How many can they bring in?
– HOW similar are the behavioral traits of the customers* you identified to those that you assume in your business model?
– WHERE would your business get your customers? What’s the conversion rate and is it realistic given the limited marketing budget?
– WHEN would you get your first 100,000 transactions? Is it one year later? How much would you need? Given the budget that you have now, is it realistic?

3. Making money

-This overall market size is >$10 billion – Is this market too broad?
This overall market size is <$1 billion – Is this market too small?


*Customers are paying parties for your business

**Consumers are users who may not necessarily pay


Pixelists – Hone your Charisma through the Charisma Myth book

This blog post is inspired by the book I am currently reading, the Charisma Myth book by Olivia Fox Cabane. Here’s some quick tips to make you a more charismatic leader, especially in the world of entrepeneurship.

Where do I start, with regards to charisma?
As the rest of my blogposts have touched upon, all these are nothing but tools for you to achieve your ends, to be a great entrepreneur. Similarly, this book advocates being yourself and keeping the end in mind:

1. Starts with your personality: “It’s important to know what feels right for you, and to choose the styles, tools, and techniques that match your signature strengths.”
Not sure if being a Pisces play a role, but my nature is less of competitive and more of nurturer and team player. The mode of charisma that allows me to be more warm, personable and less authoritative will suit me better.
2. Determine your charismatic style, align with your goals: 
ASK, what you want to achieve at the end of day. 
As I will share later, there are certain modes of charisma which will make people obey you and the others will make you more personable and therefore prompting others to warm up to you and share.

3. Depends on the situation: “What context are you stepping into? The situation sets the stage upon which your charisma will play out.”

Modes of Charisma:

Focus Charisma

“Jack Keeler, former president of IBM, was known as a very charismatic figure who embodied another key component of focus charisma: the ability to communicate respect. Remember that one of the foundations of charisma is making other people feel good about themselves. Keeler knew how to make others feel that their opinions mattered, and that they were important.”

Visionary Charisma

“One reporter described Steve Jobs as being “driven by a nearly messianic zeal.… Jobs doesn’t sell computers. He sells the promise of a better world.” Visionary charismatics often promise redemption—think Joan of Arc or Martin Luther King Jr. With visionary charisma, you’re selling people on the vision more than on yourself.”

not sure of which mode? This paragraph sums it all –

“You don’t have to force yourself into one particular style to be charismatic, and I firmly advocate not doing something that goes against your values: it would only work against you. Trying to force yourself into a charisma style that really isn’t right for you can be as unpleasant as it is counterproductive. 

For example, an introvert forcing himself to be extroverted might feel unnatural and awkward, and be perceived that way by others. Not only would he put himself through an unpleasant experience, he would also fail in his quest to appear naturally extroverted. Instead of fighting it, knowing how to work with your natural style can reap major rewards.”

Other tips

  • “Write the least important e-mails first and finish with the most important ones. By the time you’ve written four or five e-mails, your mind will be more practiced, your writing more fluid.”
  • “You may need to speak less, to speak more slowly, to know how and when to pause your sentences, or how to modulate your intonation”
  • “CEOs as well as human resource professionals will often admit that they decide whether they’ll hire a job applicant within the first few seconds of the interview. As one senior executive once told me, “The rest of the interview is just window dressing.”

Excerpts From: Cabane, Olivia Fox. “The Charisma Myth: How Anyone Can Master the Art and Science of Personal Magnetism.” Penguin Group, 2012-03-29 

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