Sam Lee Mohan, Founder & CEO at GBC, 3 min read
“Is it really all or nothing?”
Wouldn’t it be nice if raindrops could turn to jelly tots? Wouldn’t it be nice if we could spend every waking minute working on our start-up bring our projects to life? Realty is, if raindrops could turn to jelly tots, we are yet to find this magical place and yeah, unless you’re young without commitments, obligations and have just a handful of extra-curricular activities, giving your start-up all your thoughts and minutes is wishful thinking.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that wishful thinking is necessarily a bad thing but when that sort of thinking starts to affect your morale, motivation and desire to start a new company, it can cast a dark cloud over your pursuit of success? When you start thinking, that if you did not spend all your time and thoughts on your start-up then you do not deserve the success. Thinking that your start-up is destined for failure because you decided to take an hour with the kids or to socialise with friends is actually more harmful to what’s really important and ensures a successful start-up. Using the concept of “exciting new company” interchangeably with the “start-up culture” is a massive problem. Put simply, this is when you start to lose yourself amongst all those “How a 21 Year Started His Billion Dollar Empire” articles. You suddenly find yourself scrambling around like a “headless chicken” trying to get shit done or end-up deferring your start-up altogether. I’ve seen and heard far too many times of people with great ideas putting-off starting their project because they believe they need 100% of their time to devote to the start-up.
Giving 50 to 60% is better than nothing. Dreaming-up a whopping 110% to give to your start-up is a myth. In a previous article, I wrote on how I started my company working just two hour per day between the hours of 7 and 9pm. I believe that 10 to 20 hours per week is enough to get your project off the ground. It just means that you may have to push your launch back a month or two, and potentially have a steady and incremental growth of your business rather than chasing a steep growth curve. Slow growth and delayed launches is not a bad thing. I have seen many businesses fail because they grew too quickly, struggled to meet customer demand and failed to recover from the situation.
I suppose to some extent the concept of the “start-up” has been tainted with over-working, long hours, 100%, all-or-nothing mentality. It’s time to re-write the concept of start-up to mean something along the lines of exciting, pleasurable, passion, enjoyment and not forgetting my favourite, personal fulfilment.
“The critical ingredient is getting off your butt and doing something. It’s as simple as that. A lot of people have ideas, but there are few who decide to do something about them now. Not tomorrow. Not next week. But today. The true entrepreneur is a doer, not a dreamer.” –Nolan Bushnell, Entrepreneur
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