Trigger warning: Harsh realistic truths ahead! (read if you are brave enough).
In a startup, you don’t get to pick and choose which aspects of entrepreneurship you’d like to dive into. Either take it all with a pinch of salt or take a different route.
“The best startups generally come from somebody needing to scratch an itch.” – Michael Arrington, founder and co-editor of TechCrunch.
Here at MoneyMatch, we say, SCRATCH THAT ITCH!
If you have decided to join the startup world – then it is all the more reason to arm yourself with all possible arsenal to scratch the itch.
However, for many, the dream of owning a startup usually has everyone thinking you’d go from rags to riches in a short amount of time as you’ll be making your own rules. After all, who doesn’t like being their boss, right? But, if you reach out to any successful entrepreneur, they will all say it was a tough row to hoe and not a picturesque road to success.
From securing your funding to handling the backend technicalities all while you put on the biggest smile for your marketing campaigns, it is certainly not an easy feat.
Instead of sugarcoating the road to a successful startup, we have listed down a list of realistic truths and advice that we would like to convey to all of you future entrepreneurs.
TRUTH 1: THE HUSTLE IS REAL
If you think being your boss includes taking as many vacation days as you’d like, you are very wrong. Your early days are the most crucial as you will be building the foundation of your startup which is why you will be hustling on most, if not all of your days.
You might think of this as an exaggeration but when you are pioneering a startup that translates to building something from scratch, you best believe all the hours you spend awake will be properly invested in your business. From answering emails to picking up calls, attending meetings – the only vacation you will get is probably in your sleep. Rome was not built in a day and certainly did not happen overnight with unnecessary vacation days in between.
TRUTH 2: TEAMWORK MAKES THE DREAM WORK IN A STARTUP
Another realistic truth that we’d like to address is that in the startup industry, it takes a lot more than a brilliant idea to succeed. Even if you have a great idea, a solid business plan, and a lot of money, it’s not always enough to be successful. If you’ve got a “me, myself, and I” attitude, it’s not going to be long till you realize the startup life isn’t for you. A successful business comprises a diversified group coming together to grow as an organization.
Why do we say a ‘diversified group’? For instance, at our FinTech firm, you would assume those only in the financial field and the ‘techies’ are the ones who are involved in all decision-making processes. However, our marketing, engineering, and communications team foster our growth as much as other departments. A successful startup team must be a supportive, collaborative organization that brings diversity to the table while maintaining cohesion.
Unlike huge organizations, where employees have very precise job descriptions that limit their responsibilities, startups require you to adapt and shift from one set of responsibilities to another as the company develops and pivots. This frequently entails learning whole new job abilities, failing at them for a while, and then succeeding at the new job. Everyone must provide their fair share while assisting one another and working towards a common goal.
TRUTH 3: FORTITUDE AND TENACITY WILL BE YOUR DAILY MANTRA
Let’s be honest, patience isn’t anyone’s strongest suit especially when it involves money and stress but cultivating the art of being patient and practicing fortitude is crucial for any entrepreneur. Why do we say this? It avoids a lot of hasty decisions like establishing a launch date simply because you want to keep up with your competitors. We understand that it is a cut-throat world out there but always take a step back and evaluate your decisions before rushing to make them. Remember, a great leader keeps cool under fire and for that you need patience!
However, just being patient isn’t going to cut it. This is the most important aspect of all — the ability to persevere, endure, or have the grit to march on!
“I’m convinced that about half of what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance,” – Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple.
Let’s take a look at the renowned startup, Uber which was co-founded by Travis Kalanick. Did you know he had a series of businesses and software failures before he started on the conception of Uber? If he hadn’t persevered, we would probably still be getting ripped off from local taxi drivers with no meters.
TRUTH 4: A STARTUP IS NOT A GET RICH QUICK SCHEME
Yes, you heard it right, folks. Contrary to popular belief – a startup is most certainly NOT a get-rich-quick scheme. It requires a lot of hard work, blood, sweat and tears and the profits do not magically appear overnight. Instead, be prepared to make a couple, if not many initial investments first before you even think about attaining any sort of financial gain from your startup.
For instance, look at the well-known social media platform, Facebook. Did you know that Mark Zuckerberg took only two weeks to completely code Facebook and launched it from his dorm room? How long do you think it took him to get Facebook to become profitable though?
In a month? Six months? A year?
You’re wrong! According to Business Insider, it took him 5 solid years to become a successful entrepreneur via the platform.
Out with the Get-Rich-Quick mindset and focus on what your goals are for your company. Profits are only one aspect of a business. It’s about conceiving an idea and nurturing it beyond the limitations of your thoughts.
If money is your primary priority, business is a terrific place to be in, but not as a founder. Money isn’t enough for an entrepreneur. You will need something more long-term and empowering.
“Chase the vision, not the money; the money will end up following you” – Tony Hsieh, Zappos CEO
Bringing your vision and mission to life will be the indicator of whether you have accomplished the goals set for your startup which will bring along the right type of investors and customers your way. Here at MoneyMatch, we want to rethink finance and disrupt the traditional financial industry. We are still growing each day as there is always room for improvement.