I’ve always gravitated toward entrepreneurs, start-ups and small business owners not just because it is them that need the services I provide, but because they live a different lifestyle than most when it comes to work.
“Work” in a start up never stops. People behind start-ups are deeply interested and personally invested in their business and what it is working toward. These aren’t the advertising executives that have been directing and grinding out multimillion dollar television commercial campaigns for the past 15 years reusing the same themes and templates. These are the people who stumbled upon an idea and have formed it into an innovative dream they are dedicated to seeing come to life — soon.
Here are five things that you can learn by being a part of the start-up culture:
1.) There is no such thing as impossible.
Entrepreneurs and start-up leaders know that anything can be accomplished with the right team and a few resources. This isn’t to say that you can just snap your fingers and see things come to light. Sometimes, you are too early to the market or you have to wait for the right other stars to align before your idea really takes off.
2.) Risk is only another “What If” scenario.
When you played the board game Risk or Monopoly as a child, chances are your parents were always better at it than you were at first. Why? Because their risk analysis emulators have been running many years longer than yours has. This means they can make better predictions while being more in touch with their gut feelings regarding scenarios. The amount of what if scenarios you’ve processed increases your ability to mitigate future risks.
3.) The quickest way to scale is to keep your team lean.
Keep your overhead and payroll costs down or eliminate them all together by harnessing volunteers and voila you have a shot at scalability. It’s common sense, but don’t take on additional staff you don’t need and don’t keep anyone who isn’t adding value.
4.) Passion keeps the opportunities rolling in.
You control your message and your destiny. If you speak critically about your product when you are introducing it to others, how is that helping you to open another opportunity? Negativity breeds conflict, while positivity opens the pathway for acceptance. When there are scarce resources and little time, passion is what attracts new opportunities.
5.) The “Someday, Maybe” outlook is pointless.
In a start-up, you don’t have the luxury of waiting for the next McKinsey report before testing an issue yourself. You are your company’s own R&D. The minute an idea strikes, you need to investigate it, delegate it, or forget it.
Like this post? Read some of my other submissions on this site. I write about business, culture, marketing, social media, branding and technology.