Getting a Personal Business Model off the ground
The ACT section of Business Model YOU has sound advice on using Customer Discovery as a place to start. It's very reasonable to take a newly developed Business Model to the streets and test if it's something that 1) people really want, and 2) they are willing to purchase. There are countless examples of ideas the flew past the first test only to fail the second.
However, Cold calling, which is often what Customer Discovery really becomes for an individual, is distasteful or even overwhelmingly threatening. It can easily stop an individual's ACT phase dead in its tracks.
Customer Discover is not the only way we can "get out of the building" and test a model. Look to the other side of the Business Model Canvas to Key Partners. Working with Key Partners is much less threatening and often more rewarding than going directly after customers.
Take a moment to watch this video by the author of Business Model YOU discussing the development of the book. Ask yourself, does this seem to be an example of Customer Discovery or Key Partner Discovery? The process of building out from Key Partners is natural for the individual.
What makes a Key Partner?
For organizations, Key Partners are sought where Key Resources and Key Activities they DO NOT HAVE can be outsourced. For individuals, Key Partners are frequently those who compliment the Key Resources and Activities that they DO HAVE. It's a far more vital role. In a Personal Business Model (PBM), it's very possible for Key Partners to develop into Channels; and then for the Channel's Customer's to develop back into more Key Partners. Almost any established individual practitioner will tell you most business now comes from "referrals." This is known as a positive feedback loop in Systems Dynamics.
The ability to provide positive feedback in any form is a prized attribute of a Key Partner and one to be sought right away in launching a reinvented PBM. Unlike sales prospects, partner prospects are eager to find sources of feedback that will help their business models as well as yours. In a sense, this is recommending Networking as an alternative to Cold Calling; however, those who understand canvas thinking have a unique advantage in this area over a group of people who just pass leads along. Your understanding of how the canvas pieces fit together help you better recognize the Key Partner potential in others.
Key Partner YOU
More importantly, it helps you recognize the Key Partner potential in yourself. Who has Value Propositions that are complimented by yours? Who can benefit from the insights produced by your value story? Not everyone has learned to think like that. Start to gather ideas about the kind of Key Partner YOU make by reviewing your answers in the "Personality and Environment" exercise. Then look again at the "Get Out!" exercise in Section 4 of Business Model YOU substituting Partner Discovery for Customer Discovery. It becomes less threatening and more exhilarating.
Career reinvention is just a fact of life in today's changing world and we can expect to need to reprocess any career multiple times. Our personal Key Partners make this more achievable and rewarding. The take-away - it never hurts to become a better partner now.