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Cathy wants to set up a small newspaper business; Dennis wants to build an online clothing emporium; Carmelita wants to sell imported beetle vapour.  Diverse they may be but there is one thing common to all these three start ups who met in a lift and immediately tried pitching their business to each other.

All three knew the stuff of their business – the content, the processes, the qualities of what they were developing.  They’d all be working in their businesses for many years and were intimately connected to what it was their business consisted of.

All three had their business plans in various states of disrepair which reflected their partial knowledge of working on their business: the cash flow, the marketing, the SEOs.

But perhaps more importantly than working in and on their business, all three know deep down that what really really mattered was their understanding of what was going on under the business: the stuff which told them why their business was important to other people, why it mattered and what had led them to deciding to working in and on their fledgling business.

Cathy was driven by a desire to improve reading skills in very young people, something she’d missed out on when she was young; Dennis wanted to support emerging economies in Viet Nam having been involved as a soldier in the war in the 1960s; and Carmelita was obsessed with the quest to find a cure for the lung cancer which had killed her mother’s family for generations.

Working in the business is important; working on the business is essential; but working under the business will provide Cathy, Dennis and Carmelita with the energy and motivation to sustain their businesses through the long dark nights of recession and economic challenge.

More Tips for Business Start Ups here.