We have all heard of it. Hell, we probably have even been approached by our friends about it.
“Hey, did you hear about that guy who’s going to launch a startup about that thing?”
“Hi, are you interested in investing in this startup that guy and I are developing on that thing?”
Startups have been quite the trend in recent days, especially when technology has become so advanced and young people are getting so hyped up about the things they can do that can possibly make the world a better place. Some people start small; some people go big or go home; and some people are scared out of their minds.
And here’s the thing, if you are a part of the third category, there is no shame in it. After all, you are throwing in a lot of money with hopes that it will come back to you double or triple the amount. That alone is reason enough to just ignore that urge inside your heart and go along with your boring life.
Starting up is scary. To risk losing money for a spectacular idea that might or might not be able to impress the idea is petrifying. All the legal and financial attachments that come with startups are intimidating. Just thinking about all the things you may lose because you want to pursue a dream can bring chills right down to your core.
Anyone who tells you that being the CEO of a startup is sexy is lying. If you have people telling you that it is easier to be a boss of your own company rather than working for someone is easier, you can tell them that they can take that lie away from you, because they are both equally difficult, only with different responsibilities.
The question only bears down to: How much are you willing to risk?
You totally have legitimate reasons to be afraid of startups.
1. You may not have a life
This is not just a matter of possibility; this is a matter of certainty. When you are starting up, you are basically racing with time. And the one thing that everyone should know is that Barry Allen is lying and he is not the Fastest Man Alive; Time is. There is hardly anyone who can win against time, and if they do, they have a great future ahead of them.
There are simply too many things to be done. You have to write a dozen of emails and respond to a million of emails. You have to write proposals and convince someone else to partner with you so you can get the funds going. You have to set up a superb marketing campaign that can wow the big timers and have them sponsor your startup company so that it can gain some traction. Not to mention, the tax papers are enough to make you not want to deal with it anymore.
And do you want to know what the worst part of it all is? You pretty much have no idea what you are doing!
And this is why when you begin to build your startup, you will be losing your life for quite some time where you are supposed to be out there getting a life.
2. Hard times are looming upon you
Are you expecting a smooth startup? Well, unfortunately for you, that is not going to happen. There will be things that can be good to your beginner business, but you can be assured that things will definitely go south one way or another.
And you know, when things get hard, you will naturally head into the I-don’t-wanna-see-the-world mood, where everything is dark and nothing seems worth it. Perhaps you might even end up catching up on all of Gilmore Girls episodes available on Netflix in just three days.
This is what they call the emotional roller coaster, especially everything that gets hard becomes a complete nightmare. At times like this, the only question you can ask yourself is: do you have the persistence to endure through the hard times?
(It’s kind of like marriage.)
3. There are no hacks to startups (!!!)
It is probably everywhere, or you might have possibly come across ads of it; something along the lines of ‘How to Successfully Be a Startup CEO’. Well, save your money, people, there are no hacks around startups.
Sure, in school, you probably have strategies around how to study smart, instead of study hard. Or some way to cheat around the required word count so that your marks won’t get redacted because your essay is way below the minimum word count.
But when you are starting up – when you are trying to make your dream a reality – there are no hacks around it. You cannot somehow generate customers in order to produce profits to keep your company afloat. There is no way you can just get someone to fund your company with a flimsy proposal with no solid foundation.
If you want your startup to succeed, you need to do your homework. Don’t leave pages empty. Don’t leave any traces uncovered.
Okay, but it’s not unworthy to launch a startup
Now, don’t get your panties in a twist, don’t freak out. It’s not the time yet.
Yes, there are certain aspects to a startup that makes it a lot scarier than you thought it would be. At this point, you’re probably deleting all the PowerPoint slides and erasing the history record in your browser, because you think it’s not worth it.
Stop right there!
Nothing comes without a risk, and certainly nothing comes without terrifying angles to it, and that is including startups. But where there’s a will, there’s a way! If you persist, if you do not give up, if you just stay strong and keep on rowing the boat in that stormy sea, you will soon see a clear blue sky where all the opportunities to advance are in front of you.
You just have to take them.
1. You will have more roads to advance towards
Startups always start out with a small team of dedicated and hardworking individuals. As a part of these individuals, you will be given more chances to explore your talent. And you will be given opportunities to voice out your opinions on how you can bring the company forward.
A startup that starts out small will need people with different backgrounds and different skill sets, which means that you will possibly be the only one who has the singular skill set that got you into that team. As a result, you will become the de facto person for the things that only you can do for them.
2. Not just this one thing, but that thing, and that thing, and so on
Let’s assume you are someone who is good at writing, and perhaps you joined the startup company because you can write quality content that can boost the company’s reputation. But here’s the thing, it’s not that simple.
A startup company needs all hands on deck. It means that even if you are hired to write, you will probably be tasked with some other objectives to fulfill, like filling out spreadsheets, and designing logos. And don’t even think for one second that you don’t have to do it because it’s not your responsibility, because you may not know if what you have learned today will be useful in the future.
3. A fun-filled atmosphere
You can build memories. You can innovate and create. You can form long lasting friendships.
When you are in a small team trying to build a successful startup, you are naturally included in a close and tight-knit group. It does not matter if you are facing an up or a down, you will be experiencing it all together.
At the end of the day, when you switch off the lights and close the door, you will be walking to the nearest bar with these people.