Have you ever watched intense video gamers? Their eyes are glazed and they are intently focusing on the screen. They are gripping the controller with both hands, thumbing the buttons and advancing to the next stage of the game.
Did you play video games as a child? How about as an adult? Starting a company is like playing a video game. You have an end goal – whether it be rescuing a princess, overthrowing the bad guy, collecting the crown jewels, or creating a sustainable business. You will definitely encounter obstacles getting to your end goals. Along the way, you may have small wins, but they are all on the way to the grand prize.
You also also have a controller in this video game. As a founder, you use the buttons to maneuver your way though challenges. The important buttons at your disposal are:
- Offense and Defense – Use these as often as possible.
- Competitive Attack – This can be used in conjunction with offense and defense.
- Pivot – This button is used more often than you think, but after using it too much, it becomes inactive.
- Hire – Use this button sparingly, but wisely. It can backfire if you are too aggressive with this button.
- Plans A, B, C, and D – If you have really taken a wrong turn, you can use the different plans to set your path straight.
- Launch – This is the button you use when you are finishing one stage of the game and moving to the next.
It’s not about having these buttons though. It is about how many times you have used them before, the order you use them, how fast you use them, and when you use them and how you use them. Some buttons may have additional functionality if you use them in combination with each other. All of these factors together will catapult you to success.
What are the buttons on your controller? Let us know in the comments below.
This was originally created by Kriti Vichare for #entrepreneurfail: Startup Success
What if someone told you that you could be wealthier and happier beyond your wildest dreams? Would you believe them? What if you were told that it was possible but you had to spend an undefined time working, in confinement. Would that change your mind?
The promise of entrepreneurship reads like a good book. You hear the stories of young billionaires. You see how people are writing their own ticket. You are amazed how people can change the course of history, just by executing on an idea.
Yes it is true. Entrepreneurship can set you free. It can give you and your family the choice, the options and flexibility for the future. It can provide a nest egg, and an identity.
However, there’s a catch. The next 5-10 years of your life (your sentence could be even longer) will be work, work and more work. You may be locked up and have to miss family gatherings and recreational events. The conditions when you’re confined working aren’t ideal. However many of the best entrepreneurs love being there. It is a self-imposed banishment and they do it in order to find what they are looking for: power, respect, creativity, identify, and/or freedom.
Is it worth it? How long have you been locked up working? Are you looking for freedom? Let us know in the comments below.
This was originally created by Kriti Vichare for #entrepreneurfail: Startup Success.
New entrepreneurs are often frustrated at the beginning of their journey, thinking they just don’t have the luck to make their venture work. Some seasoned entrepreneurs attribute their successes to luck, but the truth is that luck, though out of our control, is just a function of hard work.
At the beginning of an entrepreneurial journey, new founders may feel that all their tremendous efforts have no payout. And very often, they are ready to give up. However at one tipping point throughout their journey, their “luck” will spike. They just have to be patient and diligent to make it happen.
Let us know if you got luckier the harder you worked in the comments below.
This was created by Kriti Vichare for #entrepreneurfail: Startup Success.
Who cares about passion, right?
“We don’t have time for fanatics! We have a business to run.”
On the contrary, passion is one of the most important things you can bring to a business. Here are a few questions to ask yourself:
- If you were extremely, unbelievably tired, would you still work that extra hour on your business?
- If you had no incoming money for 3 years, and after that it would still be variable, would you still want to work on your business?
- Do you periodically dream about your business, and does it keep you awake at night?
If you answered yes to at least one of these, then you are passionate about your idea and believe in it. This is an absolute precursor to starting your own venture.
What exactly is passion in entrepreneurship?
It is a strong and uncontrollable drive to actualize your idea. And why is it necessary? You will face tough days, emotionally draining days, steamrolling days and the only thing that will get you through them is your passion. Last year I was pursuing a business that I thought had good applications and had potential, but I fooled myself into believing I was passionate about it. I plowed through assessing the customers and creating a prototype. However, as soon as I found a competitive threat, I was disenchanted by the entire idea. This lack of passion was an #entrepreneurfail. I decided to switch gears to a business where my passion was more evident.
Where else will passion help you?
Whether you are networking and searching for new leads, trying to get funding, or delivering extra value for your consumer, your passion will come through and propel you that extra step. When times get tough, your passion will be there, like a long-time friend, to pull you through. So go out there and find your passion. It’s something you won’t be able to find anywhere but within you.
Have you found your passion? Tell us how you found your passion in the comments below.
This was created by Kriti Vichare for #entrepreneurfail: Startup Success.
This post is written by Ben Martin, Startup Weekend Alum and founder of Johnny on the Spot – The Surfers Personal Diary.
Back in November 2013 I had one of the best surfs of my life. I was buzzing for a week afterwards.
The following weekend I attended a Startup Weekend and talked about an idea I’d had after that surf session that would help me do more of what I love.
I had no business experience. No programming skills. No previous thoughts of ever owning a tech startup. What I did have was an immense amount of passion, and less than six months later, Johnny on the Spot, the Surfer’s Personal Diary, is in the App Store.
Here’s why I think turning your passion into your business is a great way to go.
You are the expert
I’d spent the last decade traveling around the world, looking for the best waves and working out what makes them happen. Without trying, I’d built up a vast knowledge that became essential as we built Johnny on the Spot. Create something around what you love and you’ll be amazed by just how much you know, and how useful this suddenly is.
You are your target market
Whether your passion is surfing, cycling, trainspotting or playing the banjo, you have a unique knowledge of something that is very hard for an outsider to understand. There will be terminology and jargon specific to your passion. There will be a huge range of personality types, but at the end of the day they are all turned on by the same thing. As an insider, you speak their language and you understand their needs. That kind of knowledge is gold when it comes to marketing your product.
People don’t buy what you do…
They buy why you do it. I didn’t say this – it’s the motif of a TED talk that a friend sent to me towards the end of the process. It helped me realize why the Startup Weekend judges picked my idea ahead of several others which I thought more commercially viable. It helped me to understand why a 5-strong team of busy developers and designers have all worked without pay for the last six months. And why, now it’s released, the reception has been better than I could ever have imagined. My primary motivation behind Johnny on the Spot was never money – it was a desire to do more of what I love. People pick up on this, and genuine passion goes a long, long way.
You won’t give up
I thought I knew busy before I started this business. I was wrong. I could never have predicted how all-consuming this project would become. I’ve talked to enough other start-up entrepreneurs now to be confident that I’m not alone. Whatever you do as a startup, it’s almost certainly going to take up your time like nothing else, so bear this in mind when you embark on your new project. Would you rather be working late into the night on a commercially viable idea that means little to you, or grafting away to solve a problem that’s dear to your heart? Any Startup venture requires huge reserves of tenacity, and you’re far more likely to stick with it if you genuinely care about the end result.
There are people like you
Whatever your passion is, you can be sure that there are others who share it. So next time you are rock-climbing, embroidering, parasailing or searching for rare vinyl and you think… ‘Wouldn’t it be good if…?’ it’s very likely that a lot of other people will think so too. Do it, and see what happens.
Here’s what happened as a result of pitching my passion. If you know others who share my passion, please push this in their direction. I’m confident they’ll thank you for it. Now go and work on yours!