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Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but this shouldn’t come as a surprise: brilliant inventions and good intentions are not enough to make you rich. The missing word is ACTION.

To that end, let me share my Great 8 Start-Up Essentials:

1. An idea: It should be fleshed out because you’ve done the knowledge and have identified a potential market.

2. A business plan: Take this seriously, even if you don’t complete a model plan worthy of publication and even if you don’t plan to raise capital outside your personal savings and access to funds. You need a business plan to clarify the vision you have for your idea as well as for yourself.

3. Bookkeeping and accounting basics: Because you’ll likely have to wear a few hats in the first days of your business, you’ll have to get comfortable with some basic math to keep track of your business’s finances.

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