If you’ve ever wanted to start a company, or write a book, or make something meaningful, it helps to go through the process as the person who’s paying for it.
If you’re starting a company, figure out your potential competitors and see if you can work with them as a customer.
If you want to start teaching an online course, join a few as a student first. Learn more about your own observations and responses to pricing, onboarding, synchronous and self-paced courses. Connect with other students.
If you want to start a marketing agency, try working with one as a client first. It also helps to try working with professional services companies in different industries to learn how they operate, and what their practice looks like.
If you want to make art, try starting a small collection or even organizing an exhibit or a gallery.
You get the idea.
Don’t just “be a customer,” study how the business works.
Ask questions. Be nosy.
(Barrel’s DTC patterns is a great example.)