1. Why you started, even though it takes a different shape later
You had the first thought one day. You saw an opportunity and decided to make the world better. Later, you start talking to people and start getting valuable feedback and learning. That gives a shape to your idea and plans. However, many times, the original idea gets lost. You perhaps were frustrated with a product and thought there should be something better. Engrave that thought in your mind. Have faith in your idea and concept.
2. Understand the feedback, not just agree
We all need feedback and mentors. That’s how we improve. When you start a new business, try to get feedback from as much as possible. But then understand the feedback, not just agree. Not all the feedback is necessarily right. When you hear something, see how it connects to your plans.
People always sound surer than they really are or qualified to be and also remember, that if a successful person gives you feedback, it does not mean that the feedback is 100% correct or applicable to your situation. So always work on your feedback, before taking action.
3. You can be right!
When you start your business, you stay highly motivated, but then, you meet new people and hear positive and negative feedback, you may lose motivation. Keep in mind, though, that you can be right and there should be 50% chance that you are right. There will be times when you will indeed be wrong, but it will not mean that everything you are doing is wrong. An entrepreneur is a person who takes the risk, so don’t be afraid of being on the wrong side half the time.
4. Don’t forget organization and accounting
Product or Service development is the most important thing for any startup. But both, organizing and accounting are also important for any business. For every minute spent organizing an hour is earned – Benjamin Franklin Keeping your product development plans, milestones, feature lists and documentation organized will pay you a big dividend, sooner than you think. Keep your potential investor lists, potential or actual customer lists, etc. These will come in handy. Use a CRM! Accounting is the language of business – Warren Buffet Accounting for your start-up business is important even though you may not realize or you find it boring or a bit difficult. Remember, if you don’t have up to date accounting then it will be difficult for you to know upcoming cash flow, expenses, salaries. Accounts will help you maintain and enforce your budgets and cost controls and will also help you when working with potential investors.
5. Go to events – start-up, industry, meet with people
A simple hello can lead to a million things. - Unknown Going to events is the best way to market your product or service. You get to generate interest or sometimes even show off your product or a service to a large audience. Always be aware of the events happening around you. When you go to the events, meet new people (and your competitors). No break here. If you aren’t very social, learn! Get out of your comfort zone and start meeting new people. This is how you’ll find your customers, investors, and mentors.
6. Enjoy the stress
Startup = Stress
If your start-up doesn’t stress you out, something is not right. This stress is what will push you beyond your limits and comforts and will make you successful. If starting a new venture was an easy task, then everyone would be doing it instead of working on corporate jobs. So you know that you are the special person, who can handle this stress. Now, if you know that stress is part of the package, just enjoy it. Sometime later, you’ll either be successful or not so successful in your start-up, and you may not do it again for whatever reason. But enjoy it while you are at it. If you start enjoying the stress, then nothing can stop you, and as you overcome the challenges, you will always be proud of yourself.
7. Enjoy the success
You do not pay the price of success; you enjoy the price of success. – Zig Ziglar
After enjoying the stress, you may get a turn to enjoy the success. While you’ll hear that 99% of the start-ups fail, I think it is 50/50. If you are working hard, have a good team, sticking to plan and going through the cycle of learn-adjust-execute, then you will be in the successful 50. Enjoy your small successes. These can be achieving milestones, making the first sale, hearing good feedback, and countless other reasons to celebrate your small wins (and big wins later).