Posts tagged "reality-check"

The Realities of a Startup Company

startuplifeWhen you look at the Facebook, Instagram and Apple’s of the world, it absolutely seems like a possibility to work for a startup and make huge money fast and move on. The reality isn’t quite that, failure rates are high and more often than not people give up a lot to work for or start their own company. That’s just a fact.

“I want that Aston Martin, I want that glamour lifestyle and I want to be a part of the new startup trend that everyone seems to be working on.” That is the single most common reasons I get from people who tell me ‘I want to start a company’ or ‘I want to work for a startup’. It drives me nuts. First of all, if that’s the case you definitely want it for all the wrong reasons (I’ll describe the realities in a second). To add to that though, you’ll likely have to give up your current lifestyle to work for a startup. You have to weigh the advantages and disadvantages.

I’ve worked for startups my entire career so far and I’ve even started my own. Here’s my realities.

    Even when you’re not working (which is likely for you to get some sleep… or eat …. or see your wife ….etc.) you’re thinking about your startup. It’s your baby. Even if you aren’t the owner, chances are you feel that invested in it anyway and really want to see it go somewhere. Again, its all you think about every morning, noon, evening and night. Your friends will start to think you are just annoying and your family will want to move out if they hear you utter your startup name one more time (lol). But hey, you have to be prepared to be okay with that. It’s what you are signing up for!
    You’re never going to just ‘get lucky’ with a startup. That doesn’t seem to exist. What you will have is luck if you prepare and if you work hard. You absolutely need to make sure you’re 100% prepared for anything and you need to work your butt off to prepare for all those things. If that’s the case, seriously … you will have amazing luck. How could you not?
    One of my favorite quotes of all time is “Entrepreneurship is living a few years of your life like most people won’t so you can spend the rest of your life like most people cant.” I just love this, it’s so true. Sell the house, give up the car and live off raman noodles for a long while. That’s what I was prepared to do for these startups. Now, I’m not saying that will be the case for everyone, maybe you’re financially stable before moving into startup mode but nevertheless, you’ll be taking a pay cut and likely scaling back monthly expenses somehow.
    Wouldn’t it be nice if someone could just give you the blueprint to success? In bigger companies generally you have a little guidance and you know what is expected of you to move up in your career and easily know how to surpass those expectations. With a startup, there’s no right or wrong answer ever. There’s no one telling you what to do and how to do it. It’s all on you. Its an amazing feeling but it certainly adds the pressure, stress and time when you make the wrong decision or decide to go down the wrong path. You can’t let yourself be discouraged, you really have to just get up and, in the words of Jay-Z ‘dust your shoulders off’ and keep going. Time after time.

I make it seem like startups are the worst thing in the world, but the truth is that these challenges are what make entrepreneurship so great. Decide you want it more than you are afraid of putting in the effort, and go for it.

By the way… here are a few entrepreneurship quotes that I love

“What is not started will never get finished”
– Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

“Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.”
– Maya Angelou

“The best reason to start an organization is to make meaning – to create a product or service to make the world a better place.”
– Guy Kawasaki

“Genius is 1% inspiration, and 99% perspiration.”
– Thomas Edison

“Formal education will make you a living; self-education will make you a fortune.”
– Jim Rohn