Meet the Team, Follow Progress and Enjoy the Ride

This blog is about the lives of a few entrepreneurs who are aiming to establish the next trend in social networking and the concept that will make it happen. Since our venture is all about connecting people together, we want to be involved and connected to you and we want you to be involved and connected to us. We'll be sharing with you: who we are, how we got started, how we’re doing and where we’re going...we're taking you along for the ride!!

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Rites of Passage (Part II)

As an entrepreneur with a brilliant idea (sorry for the shameless self-promotion) I’m on the journey (with my partners) of getting our start-up off the ground. I have embarked on this journey with my eyes wide open, and every day, I remain extremely conscious of what’s happening to me and what I’m experiencing. I constantly check-in on the state of my well-being, my outlook on everything that’s happening or not happening, my train of thoughts, my expectations, and the reality of current statuses and progress.

Blogging has been a useful method of expressing myself and keeping tabs on what’s happening…however, I have yet to truly and directly express what I have learned to date and what I am still struggling with.

The question I ponder the most everyday is this: What are the rites of passage to getting a start-up off the ground?

I ask this question in ways that extend well beyond having a solid idea, comprehensive business plan, strong business model, and appropriate funding. Those are obviously crucial benchmarks, but what goes on psychologically, emotionally and mentally into each of those steps are the real Rites of Passage every entrepreneurs undertake to get their start-up off the ground.

Starting a start-up and being an entrepreneur is often compared to being on a roller coaster ride. You often have either real highs or crushing lows and keeping things balanced is difficult. I believe the Rites of Passage we undertake on the journey identify why that is…

Here are The Rites of Passage I have identified thus far:

  • Find comfort in taking constant risks
  • Enter and live in the realm of unknowns
  • *Accept reality while living in fantasy
  • *Maintain hope while releasing expectations
  • Develop nerves of malleable steel
  • Identify and surpass all weaknesses and step out of all comfort zones
  • Release all doubts and believe in possibilities
  • Trust key players and trust absolutely no one
  • Become temporarily selfish and live with the guilt/circumstances

(* most troublesome for me)

Find Comfort in Taking Constant Risks

Upon making the decision of embarking on the start-up/entrepreneur journey immediate risks are taken. Leaving a steady job, placing your financial future at risk, and risking the current state of all your relationships due to the time requirements involved.

Taking the initial risks is just the beginning. Every decision at the beginning of a start-up is a risk. The key is this, do not not fool yourself that you’re making a decision…and not taking a risk. Of course, there are ways to minimize the risks…but as someone taking daily risks, that really means crap at the end of the day.

By default, taking a risk means you have no guarantees of the outcome but an educated guess, so when you take a risk based on an another risk…it has quite a compounding factor and creates what many people call “a house of cards”.

This is definitely the first Rite of Passage. Those who don’t have the stomach for it will never start a start-up.

Enter and Live in the Realm of Unknowns

Once you start building your “house of cards” (on hopefully a valid foundation, i.e. strong idea and solid business model) you work everyday to apply crazy glue to each cards so they never tumble.

Your daily work might include meeting key people, creating partnerships, building your team, developing your technology or product, and raising funds, etc. Through your daily interactions and tasks you begin encountering answers to your unknowns…some answers will propel you forward and provide glue, while some will shake up the house.

But here is the kicker, ALL potential answers to unknowns (good or bad), have to remain in the unknown category. In a start-up there are no guarantees—Therefore, unless it’s a signed deal, a delivered product or money deposited in the bank…it remains an UNKNOWN.

Your sanity is often tested. If you can do this and remain semi-sane then you have passed another Rite of Passage.

To be continued…

1 comment:

Martin Saenz said...

You answer your own question concerning your Rite of Passage. You create your own Rite through persistency, determination, creativity, and smarts. Then you partner with people who share your vision and it is brought to life. The beauty about Whygosolo is that it is a societal offering that is desperately needed in our fast paced world. We are simply filling the prescription. Martin