You have an amazing idea, right?
Sometimes it keeps you awake at night because you’re just so excited by it!
You’ve given up your 9-to-5 job so that you can put 100% of your time and efforts into your business. And yet it still doesn’t seem like enough.
Progress seems slow. You have so many things to do. You lack sleep.
you are not alone.
These are common traits of the entrepreneurial journey.
Instead of trying to rationalise with others about the merits of working so damn hard all the time, listen to other entrepreneurs and learn from their successes and their mistakes.
Over the weekend, I attended Startup2015, touted as the UK’s largest startup event – lots of speakers, hundreds of attendees, and some valuable startup lessons shared.
Here’s my round-up of some of the themes that emerged.
1. just do it
You can talk and talk and talk about your idea. But until you make a start of SOMETHING, it’s only going to be an idea.
When chatting to other attendees, I heard so many excuses on why it wouldn’t work.
“There’s so many others doing it.”
“I’d have to be really good to compete.”
“I don’t have enough money.”
“I don’t know how to ____.”
Stop making a million excuses on why it won’t work. Change your language, be positive, and give me the reasons why it WILL work.
You won’t go from idea to profit over night. It’s going to take quite a bit of time, a whole lot of patience and determination, and bundles of hustling. But make a start!
Maybe you’re saying “I don’t know where to start” or “I have too many ideas”. That’s okay. Just pick ONE thing, focus on it, and take your first…small…step.
2. something you love
You’re going to be spending a lot of time with your business and it’s going to be a rocky relationship at times.
Make sure you’re working on something you love. If your business excites you, you’ll want to get out of bed in the morning for it! You’ll want to tell people about it. You’ll be motivated by the idea of its success.
And you’re going to need to remember your passion and purpose when you’re lying in a heap on the kitchen floor in tears or banging your head against your desk (it happens to us all!).
So if you don’t love the idea that you’re working on, either find one that you do love or go back to doing something you hate but that at least pays the bills…!
3. ask anyone anything
When you start a business, you’ll do some things really well, particularly things around your passion, your craft, or your experience. But there are going to be a lot of things that you don’t know how to do. Maybe it’s crunching the numbers, finding customers, or being comfortable with sales and marketing.
There is a lot of information online that can help, but making sense of it all can be a challenge in itself. So what can you do?
Look out for people you admire and respect. Watch how they do things. Get in touch and offer to buy them a cup a coffee or lunch. Pick their brain and find our the things that you really want to know.
The worse they can say is “no”. The best they can say is the answer to all of your questions!
You’ll probably be pleasantly surprised by the generosity and openness of other entrepreneurs. Remember: they, too, were like you once!
4. surround yourself with good people
When you’re starting a business, it can start to feel pretty lonely.
The colleagues that you used to turn to for help are no longer around.
Your friends and family will probably try to be very supportive, though they, too, may struggle to understand what’s taking so long.
Many just won’t understand what it’s like to run your own thing. They can’t imagine NOT working for someone else, with the safety, security and frustration that comes with that.
Some people will get tired of listening. Some may even be waiting for you to give up and get a “real job”.
Having a strong network of support will be absolutely critical for your success.
At a bare minimum, surround yourself with other entrepreneurs who know exactly what you’re going through. Bounce ideas off one another, ask questions, and get that much needed boost to morale when the going gets a bit tough.
my gift to you
Stop banging your head against the wall! Download Venture Vitals, the free step-by-step checklist that tells you exactly what to do, and in what order. All so you can really start making progress and get business going.