“Startups aren’t for everyone.”
I’ve written this considerably in this blog. (very prominently here)
We’ve also heard it uttered by every other entrepreneur, it seems, right?
“Entrepreneur you say? Well, ho ho ho! You have to have a unique skill set: a combination of cast-iron will, uber-magnetic charisma, the ability to laugh in fear’s face, and space-age technical skills. Oh, and you need to be stupendously lucky.”
(I guess in a way, talk like this validates what we’ve done and makes us feel good about ourselves a bit)
Lately, however, I’m starting to feel differently.
I think startups are for everyone.
Before you hurl tomatoes at me (especially existing entrepreneurs :), do hear me out…
Defining What a “Startup” Is
Obviously, I’m not talking just about the Googles, Apples, Facebooks, or even the Jollibees and Mang Inasals of the world. Not everyone will build startups like that (believe it or not, not everyone wants to).
One paradigm to take is that being a startup founder is all about independence and the quest for it.
It’s about not needing a corporation to survive on salary. It means having the ability to build something which enables you to not only pursue a dream, but also to stand on your own two feet.
Under this definition, small micropreneur ventures who are able to eke out a living ARE startups. Fulltime freelancers who reside on Odesk and Elance? Yep, startups.
That small hotdog stand sideline business you manage to give you extra cash apart from your corporate salary?
It’s a startup if you plan on quitting your day job someday to commit to it. It’s mere sideline if its got no ambition.
Armed with this broader definition, startups are still the small, small minority.
Do witness the vast majority of fresh graduates enter corporate year after year after year.
I believe things are starting to change though. (related blogpost here)
Everyone NEEDS to realize – the perfect storm is here!
This is something I want to shout out with a country-wide megaphone.
I really believe that if one WANTS and DESIRES to, ANYONE can harness his natural talents and passions into a business which earns enough money to pay his monthly bills.
The perfect storm for doing this is now out there.
For one, information is free and flowing.
ALL the resources on how to build a startup and be independent is available online.
You want to build a skill? There are FREE courses to be found on the web. High quality.
I know a doctor-turned-cake designer who started her new career viewing youtube clips and then just applying her natural talent.
There are meetups and courses galore, both free and affordable, for hundreds of different interests and topics. You just need to use this thing called Google.
Moreover, the other barriers to putting up a business are just falling like the rain.
Wanna build a website? You can do it for free.
Need to reach people? Social media allows you to reach thousands like never before.
The necessary infrastructure for startup success is THERE and ripe for the taking.
You just need to bring something unique and special to the table.
“But I don’t think I have something unique and special…”
This is where my belief structure comes in.
I think God made each and every person unique and special. Every person HAS something compelling to offer – enough to make (at least) a decent living out of.
If we add these elements then:
Uniqueness + Infrastructure = Startup Potential
I think there is an entrepreneur in each of us.
What’s stopping the 99% of us in pursuing this?
Information gap, Fear, and The Dip.
Will cover these on part 2!