When you hear the word “startup", what images are conjured in your mind? Do you think of a bunch of genius nerds in t-shirts noodling away on the next breakthrough app?
What about some upstart, coming along and turning a decades-old business or entire industry on its head, seemingly overnight, with immediate riches to show for it?
Well, both can be right… kinda. But the reality of most startups is rather different to the modern folklore that seems to surround them.
You may have heard (or currently believe) a few of these myths; we'll take a deeper look at the reality:
The reality: Erm, well, no. By definition, a “startup” is any newly established business. Whether it’s a new app or a hotdog stand, both are startups. However, we tend to see “tech” synonymous with “startup”, as it is those types of breakthrough new companies that typically get media coverage, especially if they’re touted as a ‘game-changer’ of sorts.
The reality: Well, it’d certainly be nice to have a business blast off super quick, but it’s rarely the outcome. In fact, it’s more in miracle territory than the norm.
An article from serial entrepreneur Wil Schroter estimates that it takes at least four years to establish a startup into a fully fledged business, and seven-to-ten years to reach the vision you had in mind when you first formed the idea and decided to charge off and make it happen.
The reality: In short, nah. Silicon Valley is an exceptional, fertile ground for tech startups (hence the name, hurr hurr) but it's not the only place you can make your idea into a tangible product.
One of the reasons many flock to the San Francisco Bay Area to rub shoulders with Silicon Valley’s tech elite and up-and-comers, is that these same people can often be enthusiastic investors, willing to get in on the ground floor of new ventures and supply funding. Naturally, it also helps that they are savvy and understand a new concept very quickly.
For a new tech venture, this can be a double-edged sword, as it can mean the idea goes relatively untested on the general population who may not “get” it with quite so much gusto. And if you’re not a tech venture at all, then it’s definitely not a must!
That’s not to say location doesn’t matter, though. It does. No matter what you’re doing, choosing a location where you can access clients, your desired market and a ripe talent pool to build a team are important. You can do a lot with a laptop and internet connection, but as your business grows you need to choose somewhere that will make it easier for you, not harder.
The reality: Bzzt… wrong! Do you need a plan? Yes. Do you need to spend months agonizing over it? No, because that will actually hinder you, especially in the early stages of a startup.
There’s a reason that the agile work methodology works so well for startups (yes, tech and non-tech!), and that’s because it allows a business to move fast, adapt to changes and seize opportunities. If you’re stuck on a big, unchanging business plan, this can only hold you back.
The reality: Well, you very well might, and that would be fantastic. However, before you start shrieking, “you get a car, and you get a car!” at your adoring fan base, the reality is that there’s a lot of work to do before anyone hits the big time.
If your main interest is simply getting rich, it’s unlikely your focus is truly on the things that will bring you the epic financial success you imagine. Work hard at finding and filling a gap you’ve seen in the market, solving a problem, or improving on what is already available, and you’ll have your chance.
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Found correlated with venture success, big picture thinking is critical in starting a new venture. Increase your comfort and use of big picture thinking to avoid getting lost in perfectionism or sweating the small stuff so you can focus on what is important and move quickly. Big picture thinking is key in communication and situations where you need to get the gist of things quickly.
Inspire yourself and others to see and achieve grand visions and goals. A focus on goals is especially helpful for starting a new business, inspiring others with your ideas, maintaining focus over time and aligning teams with clarity and purpose.
In this high impact eight week program Coach Marlee will help increase your comfort and confidence to be a founder of a new business, navigate investors and other stakeholders and also help you develop greater comfort to compete and collaborate at the top of your industry or field.
Comfort to initiate and kick things off is at the heart of a startup. Close the gap between your great ideas and taking action on them. Strengthen your comfort and motivation to start conversations and initiate opportunities that can accelerate your business growth.
Explore, strengthen and stand by what you believe in business and in life. Trust in your ‘gut feel’ and point of view is especially helpful for starting a new business, inspiring others with your ideas and for living an authentic and meaningful life.
In this high impact nine week program Coach Marlee will help you to increase your self leadership and general wellbeing while also helping you to break through self sabotage, develop life long skills for emotional resilience and solid self-esteem, all crucial skills when starting a business. Enjoy weekly cutting edge science backed wellbeing resources from Blisspot.
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