If I could go back in time a few years and give my terrified-to-death entrepreneur soul a few bits of advice, this is what I’d say:
- Just start. Giving life to a startup or an idea is like giving birth to a baby — you’ll never have enough money and it will never be the “perfect” time. The time is now. Sometimes you have to jump before you look down, because that’s better than not jumping at all.
- Don’t make up potential problems when they haven’t come up yet. You’re wasting energy fighting something that doesn’t even exist — something that may never exist.
- Stop worrying about how “risky” it is. Keep the big picture in mind when making decisions, but remember that no matter the consequences of your choices, the world will continue to rotate on its axis and you’ll still have breath in your lungs. Recover and keep moving.
- Ideas can be like children — tell them they can go anywhere and do anything, and they become paralyzed. Give them reasonable boundaries, and they run free and flourish. These boundaries can evolve and change, but don’t lose sight of the target.
- Push yourself and be disciplined, but live and work within your limits. If you’re not a morning person and you’re trying to become one, dreaming of all the extra things you could get done in the morning if you just had a few more hours, lay that to rest (no pun intended). Extra morning hours mean nothing if they aren’t productive. All it means is that you’re less likely to tackle the beast on your list because you’re too tired. Get the rest you need — guilt free — and wake up refreshed and ready to move mountains.
- If the passion can’t get you through the hard times, it wasn’t passion to begin with. The definition of passion is “suffering for something you love.” It isn’t a fleeting enjoyment, but rather an innate component so thoroughly woven through your being that you wouldn’t be you without it.
- Don’t quit your day job too soon. You’re more likely to cut corners on your product design or choose the shortcut when you launch too early because you need income. Having a safety net will allow you to slow down and take time with the details, which is key to a product that stands out.
Got any advice to add? I’d love to hear it! Comment below.