I think sometimes we overestimate what it takes to “start” – especially for those of us who are first-time entreps and don’t exactly know what were doing.
(welcome thought: I suspect most first-time startup founders fall into this category – everyone starts out feeling stupid)
Perhaps we’re thinking:
“Oh gosh, I need to raise a million bucks.”
“I need a technical co-founder who has a 3.8 GPA in computer science.”
“To do this I need to resign from my job and risk everything! Need to prepare.”
“I need to win one of those startup contests!”
You know, if we always think this way, we might never come to the point when we think we’re ready to start. It will end up as just some lofty dream we scarcely scratch. Soon, we may begin to tell ourselves it’s exactly that – just some crazy dream.
I remember when I first realized I wanted to share my experiences as a startup founder and entrepreneur, I wanted to write a book. It was my lofty dream, and it was so hard to start – I felt I had to have the whole book concept crystalized in my mind before starting. The sobering moment came when, after 3 months, I realized there was no progress with what I was trying to do.
So I decided to just start.
I got a free wordpress account, read a bit about blogging, and just wrote my first post. Then the name just came to me – Juan Giant Leap. But then I realized precisely what I am writing about now – the leap doesn’t need to be GIANT to be GREAT.
I thought that precise nuance was important. So, even if I thought Juan GIANT Leap had the better recall, I went with GREAT.
And so Juan Great Leap was born.
Instead of worrying about starting, just start.
No need to put distracting pressure on ourselves.
Some practical ways to start simple:
- Talk about your idea with someone whose opinion you respect, or an industry leader in the idea you are thinking of.
- Get some real customer feedback – hold chats with potential customers of the idea you’re thinking of.
- Attend Open Coffee and pitch your idea (for free, without pressure, with people who want to help)
- Have dinner with potential co-founders. No need to hard-sell (“Would you want to be my partner?!”), instead coyly just ask for advice. (“I value your opinion, what do you think of this idea?”) If the person is truly interested – and would be a fit – the person would actually volunteer and ask if you need help.
- Think of a name, and invest a bit in buying a URL. You’ll be amazed at how empowering this is – because in some way, your startup is truly “alive.”
- Get off your butt. Your startup will never happen if it never leaves the realms of your imagination. Get out and talk about it. Create it. Slowly is surely.