Original question from Quora:

What is some advice for a person who wants to start their own business in marketing?

I am an Indian male doing internship in digital marketing. I want to start my own company in digital marketing and Branding after four years. what are the strategies i should follow from now. I want to work delicately for four years and want to learn each and every expertise in this domain.

My Answer:

Okay, in a minute I’m going to give you some blunt advice, but before then I will make an observation.

It seems like you are thinking like a college student and not an entrepreneur.

You mention 4 years as if that is some magical time that will teach you enough to start your own marketing business. You also mention wanting to learn each and every expertise in the domain.

That is going to steer you wrong.

To be clear, learning new skills is good and learning your craft is even better. However, you are setting yourself up for being a worker bee, not the owner/operator.

You are missing the most important skill to running a business and until you learn that skill well, you might be better off planning to be a worker bee for a while.

Here’s the deal… you are in marketing and you don’t know how to sell your services.

Marketing is about persuading people to buy your product/service. If you don’t have some intuition or skill in selling your services, you shouldn’t be in marketing unless you are a worker bee while someone else figures out how to sell.

That being said, if you want to have a successful business you should do one thing…

GET OFF YOUR BUTT AND SELL SOMETHING!

Your current internship is good, but to be great in business, find an opportunity to practice selling in person.

Maybe on the weekend you could sell used cars, or sell vacuums door to door, or work a mall kiosk, or any number of other things. I’m sure you can find an opportunity to practice selling things to people.

Spend the next decade of your life immersing yourself in the skill of selling and closing deals with people and you will have no trouble being both a world class marketer and more importantly - selling your marketing services for a premium.

However, if you don’t know how to get clients, you don’t know marketing and selling yet. Once you learn how to get customers, you can build any kind of business you want. Until then, you can’t build any business at all.

Businesses need customers to be businesses.

Get out there and sell and you’ll do great!

-Brian

P.S. I unpack more ideas in Creative Genius.