Don’t throw in the towel too early

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Climber in Vedauwoo
Climber in Vedauwoo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Starting something new takes a lot out of you. You’ve got to do many things: build a solid value proposition, a sound business model, test your product or service prototype in the marketplace, prepare a business plan and if you don’t know marketing, learn marketing as you have never done before.

Would-be start-ups come up with “brilliant” ideas all the time. But will they stay the course with their ideas until they have seen the concept implemented, tested it and adjusted it to the marketplace? Many would-be start-up entrepreneurs give up too soon.

Why is this so? Why after the initial excitement of coming up with a new idea, seeing the possibilities and potential to maybe even make a difference in other people’s lives, do people run out of steam?

After the first kilometre, the would-be start-up entrepreneur finds it difficult to go the full distance. They are often run into the realisation that creating new things always takes longer (three times) and always cost more (double) than you think. It’s no wonder that start up founders run out of fuel quickly.

One of the things that also affects the drive and motivation for small entrepreneurs is the reason why they are trying to start their business in the first place. Unless you have a strong “why”, it’s going to be difficult to muster the motivation and energy to keep going. In front of you must be a crystal clear vision. If you don’t have one, you are only making it hard on yourself. A strong “why” can keep you going. Starting a small business is not a sprint but often turns out to be a marathon.

An entrepreneur in Malaysia wanted to start modular homes for lower-income groups. Everywhere he turned, no one would help him. Architects, engineers, even lawyers said it would be impossible to build and install the modular homes. This entrepreneur had a very strong “why”. This motivated him, energised even and kept him going well through what entrepreneurs call “the first kilometre”. Eventually through his sheer perseverance he was able to find somebody who helped him develop the initial concept for the modular home. If he hadn’t persisted he wouldn’t have found this “lucky break”.

A lot of courses, idea accelerators, books and DVD sets can help you hone your theory about entrepreneurship but eventually you’ve got to go out there and through experience learn how to start and run a start-up. Real learning takes place while you are creating, while you are searching, for instance, for a supplier who can help you realise your product or service.

There is a big difference between knowing and doing. All the tools in the world won’t help you get your start-up off the ground and operational unless you have a strong “why” that can sustain your vision. Beating the odds takes perseverance but you need to have very strong reasons for doing what you are doing.

If you have the motivation to succeed, then step over here.


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