«Ideas are easy; the key to success is implementation » Guy Kawasaki
Startup represent the future of humanity! Many of them are trying to change the world right this second, by changing the way we communicate with each other, how we perceive the world, and how we define our choice and our decisions.
Google, Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Ubber and Airbnb. Each one these gigantic companies began as a startup with only two or three people.
Plus, financial freedom, and being your own boss is a tempting idea! If you are independent, creative, and you are not a big fan of receiving orders from a boss, then startups are for you…
You don’t need to invest thousands of dollars, or take out a bank loan with scary interest rates. All you need to have is an innovative idea, a niche, a business plan, and you’re good to go!
Next, you must spark the interest of an angel investor (or if you’re lucky enough to have a wealthy father who believes in your idea) and as soon as he learns about your genius idea, he will be so impressed, that he will grab his pen and write you a 100 million dollar check. After that point, you can start working quietly without being bothered by a lack of funding.
You’re going to be able to work on your laptop whenever you want, wherever you want, however you want. Dressing in your pajama and slippers while your cute cat named Chibaba is by your side!
Finally, you are a TRUE entrepreneur! Dozens of employees, a big office in Silicon Valley, and who knows, you may even sell your company and have an early retirement in the Caribbean!
La vie est belle! Right?
The reality is just a little bit different.
A new study by professor Michael A. Freeman demonstrates that there is a correlation between psychological troubles and being an entrepreneur. 242 entrepreneurs were questioned for the survey and the results were shoking.
49% of them admitted to having mental problems. Depression was the major trouble mentioned most by entrepreneurs (30% of them). Concentration issues, whether there were linked to hyperactivity or not followed suite. Lastly, anxiety was mentioned.
The worst part is that many startup founders feel that they have too much pressure because of their title as an entrepreneur. They feel that they have to be a true leader. Confident and happy…or at least, that’s what they feel they have to show the world! Marketing can be a b**** sometimes, Excuse my French!
Some pay a high price. For example, Ilya Zhitomirskiy, founder of what could’ve been Facebook’s competitor, Diaspora, Jody Sherman co-founder of Ecomom, (an e-commerce website),and Austen Heinz, co-founder of Cambrian Genomics couldn’t handle this enormous pressure so they committed suicide.
In fact, here is what is happening: from afar, startups look easy, and attractive.
But as soon as you invest your time, energy, and money, you start to realize that the road ahead is filled with challenges, obstacles, and risks.
«The grim reality is that most start-ups fail. Most new products are not successful. Yet the story of perseverance, creative genius, and hard work persists. » Éric Ries The lean Startup
Profound work on yourself is required to confront issues and not give-up before your website host is due to expire.
A Startup needs plenty of time, effort, a sense of organization and discipline. Expertise is essential, not to mention knowledge.
However, your personal qualities come first in my opinion.
I know some of you may use counter-examples as a base for your argument: Mark Zuckerburg was antisocial. Bill Gates was a real nerd. And Steve job was a big asshole. But it did not stop them from eventually succeeding, and becoming billionaires.
I’m not going to deny the exceptions. But as we say in Latin, exceptio probat regulam in casibus non exceptis. To work on yourself is always a plus.
The type of success I am talking about is balancing the various aspects of your life; professional, family, personal, but also spiritual. This will lead to success on every level.
This’s when your startup is only a part of your life. It doesn’t define it.
So before endeavoring to begin a startup, think about it. Start with thorough work on yourself. Especially work on your confidence. This’s how you can avoid the unavoidable. And you will know how to find solutions without stressing out about it. You will also know how to keep your head-up during difficult times.
Working on yourself will save you time and effort. Matter of fact, your chances of success will increase tremendously.
A startup founder needs to acquire qualities for leadership. He/she needs to control his/her emotions, especially fear. Procrastination may also limit his/her chances for success. He/she needs to chart out their objectives. He/she needs to be flexible. He/she needs to develop their creativity, and their emotional and social intelligence.
Having an idea, a laptop, and a Paypal account is the minimum that you need.
You MUST develop all of your personal-qualities to maximize your output which in term will produce a product or service with the potential for high growth. This development-loop will successfully convince a venture capital firm to fund your startup.
Afterword, the rest becomes a lot easier, believe it…