Inspirational Lessons I Learned From Startup Entrepreneurs
The last thing you want is to view every day as a repetitive routine, cruising on autopilot until you finish work. What most people need is a regular dose of inspirational lessons and stories, in order for them to explore their greatest potential. Startup entrepreneurs have been known for taking risks, despite the reality that there’s a bigger chance of failing than achieving success. In fact, according to experts, most startup entrepreneurs are bound to fail. And though failures and setbacks can be discouraging, or even devastating, it can also be a recipe for an inspirational story in the making. Here are some inspirational lessons I’ve learned from startup entrepreneurs.
You can always try again
Before Bill Gates became the richest man on the planet, he was first known for creating Traf-O-Data. It was a product known to analyze data from traffic tapes. Unfortunately, the product didn’t really work properly. Instead of wasting resources on something that didn't work, Bill Gates decided to stop working on Traf-O-Data. After that, he then switched to creating Microsoft. The lesson here is that you can always try again. No matter how lousy your first idea is, you can always find a better one, and even though a business venture or a career choice doesn't work, this doesn’t mean that you can’t retry other options.
Timing is everything
One of the reasons why businesses fail is not because of their silly ideas, but because of poor timing and execution in entering the market. During the dotcom bubble in 2000s, EmpowerAll.com was one of the casualties forced to shut down due to lack of profits. The one responsible for this particular site was GoPro founder, Nick Woodman. Fast forward a decade later, he was able to develop GoPro, a relatively affordable action camera perfect for outdoor enthusiasts. Today, GoPro is currently America’s fastest growing camera company. It is adored by surfers, motocross enthusiasts, divers and individuals involved in extreme sports. This just goes to show how timing can make a huge difference. If GoPro entered after a few handy action cameras in the market, it wouldn’t be as successful as it is today. Entering a saturated market too late, without bringing anything new to the table could easily spell disaster. How do you minimize the probability of entering late into the market? There are two things that you’ll need in order to get the timing right. First, you need to invest on research knowing what the market really wants, or what they need. Next, you need to squeeze your creative juices in order to come up with new ideas and innovations that can serve as the new benchmark in a particular niche.
Follow your passion
Most of us are so caught up making a living that we forget to live our lives. Most of us, in fact, forget about things that we are really passionate about, and just stick to a safe job that provides us with a regular income. If you are going to fail or succeed at something, you might as well do what you love to do. Terry Finley loves horse racing. He runs West Point Thoroughbreds, a multi-million dollar race syndication company based in New York. In 1991, he was a regular guy who had a regular job selling life insurance. It was after he bought his own race horse, Sunbelt, that everything changed for him. After winning a couple of races, he placed an ad which attracted investors to pay $5,000 for a partial ownership deal. At that point, he started accumulating more horses. Thereafter, he was able to quit his job and make a living out of his passion.
Don’t be limited by your educational background
Are you worried to make an investment because you didn’t go to business school? Evan Williams, the founder of Twitter, only attended a year and a half in University of Nebraska. He then pursued a career working for companies like Hewlett-Packard and Intel. After co-founding Blogger, which was then bought by Google, he brainstormed Twitter in 2006. What you can learn from his story is that you can always accumulate knowledge from other sources, aside from school. You may have a different career, but it is never too late to explore other possibilities. The internet is now filled with tutorials that can give you a wide range of ideas about different topics. Putting aside one hour a day to online learning can make a huge difference.
Do not be afraid to start small and dream big
A lot of startup entrepreneurs are too afraid to start small, not to mention dream big. It is a common misconception among startups that you need hundreds, if not, thousands of employees in order to make it big in the industry. In reality, startups can start small and make a huge difference in their niche. For the longest time Instagram operated on this concept. The mobile photo and video sharing app only had 13 employees. Today, Instagram was acquired by Facebook in 2012 for $1 billion (in cash and shares).
Adapt to the changing times
You may have used MySpace in the early 2000's. What led to the demise of MySpace, despite several redesigns, is its failure to adapt to the changing times. In 2006, MySpace was the most visited website in the US, but after settling in 2008, Facebook was able to overtake MySpace. The only difference is that Facebook has constantly updated its algorithm and overall performance in order to better suit the needs of its users. Today, MySpace is a shadow of its former self. What we can learn from this venture is that times are constantly changing. It is imperative to evolve in order to stay on top, or work your way closer to the top.
Know exactly when to quit
Persistence is the key to success, but learning when to quit in order restart again is important to remember. Using MySpace as an example, they attempted to re-launch the company in 2013, thinking that a few changes could lure users back in. Unfortunately, people have now stayed on Facebook and other social media platforms. The lesson learned here is that the sooner you realize that you can try again, the less time that you are going to waste.
Startup entrepreneurs are risk-takers. Unlike large companies that have funding, a lot of startup entrepreneurs started their venture with minimal resources. But what is life without the risks? Here is an opportunity to learn a lot of life lessons. And since there’s more to life than just playing safe in a stuck up job that really doesn’t guarantee growth, you can use these life lessons to improve other areas of your life. We would like to know what you think of these lessons. Feel free to leave your comments below!