Doing great in your current relationship? You'll most probably do great as an entrepreneur as well.
Who would have thought initiating a start-up and dating would have anything in common? Not to mention, it is also possible to be great both as a game developer and a parent at the same time (and don't end up as a stressed-out-loner).
Nevertheless, here is my take why people who are great in relationships should do great as an entrepreneur too:
The startup environment (especially in a game developer's environment) is the not the right place for you to run a 'One Man Show'. Studies has shown that startup founders tend to run their operations single-handedly. Similar like relationships, running a 'One Man Show' in a startup is definitely not ideal. Which is why it is imperative to work together with like-minded mates to help sail your ship more smoothly & safely - making the journey to success more meaningful. So learn to give, take, delegate work appropriately and party together in style.
- Be Flexible
Adaptability is among the most basic yet important key to keep up with latest trends and consumer habits. Like relationships, the environment can be constantly evolving and subject to change, especially in moment when you least expect them. To go the distance in a startup ecosystem would heavily require you to embrace & adapt to these changes even if it means stepping out of your comfort zone.
- Be Optimistic
Entrepreneurs and businesspersons are getting younger. In fact, studies shown the average startup founder is aged between 20 to 36. The entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well in millennials.
- Be Prudent With Money
Did you know it costs about $45,464 a year to maintain a startup in Manila and about six times more in Zurich? What more an indie studio? Though cynical, the statement "love won't pay the bills" realistically reflects the situation. While the initial round of seed funding may come from angel investors / in-laws, startups / marriages are an investment that will continually incur costs.
Be smart about your spending and work towards developing a self-sustaining business model that generates revenue quickly. Just like how you wouldn't spend money on renovating your home to include a designer kitchen but with only peanuts in your bank account, don't spend money on glitzy TV ads for your business before you even have a chance to generate profit.
- Be Committed
Before embarking your startup path, be prepared for the hardships. On paper, initiating a startup seems fantastic with the idea of embarking on a new path. But the reality of it is that startups aren't everybody's cup of tea. A research revealed the odds of startup success:
- 10% of startups would become succcessful
- 89% of startups die around 20 months after their last funding
- 1% of startups enter stagnant 'zombie-mode' and end up being part of the 89%
Sometimes we forget amidst the thrill of being involved in a startup is the amount of risk involved, so take time to learn what you need to deal with before diving head-first into your startup idea. And here is a very important aspect to consider why startups fail: There Is No Market Need
- Be An Expert On Your Partner / Target Market
The more you understand your target market, the high your chances are. Listen & learn your consumers' likes & dislikes to find that one true unique calling that will work for your business in the competitive landscape of business. Niche marketing and quirky businesses have proven to be effective in garnering attention from your target market. Here are some niche and weird businesses that made bank:
- Litter Kwitter:
- A toilet training system for cats
- Sold over 500,000 units in five years
- The system is now carried in Petco, PetSmart and other majot online retailers across the U.S.
- Dirty Rotten Flowers:
- Breakup revenge service that helps people send revenge gifts to exes
- Their service expanded to now serving rotten items to bad bosses, colleagues and even neighbors
- I Want To Draw A Cat For You:
- A website that helps people draw cat pictures
- Sold 18,974 pieces within five years for $30 each
- Made an appearence on ABC's Shark Tank Show and received $25,000 worth of funds from Mark Cuban
- Be Ready To Fail
Just like maintaining a relationship, it can be an exhausting endeavor as you will have to innovate all the time, whether it's on ideas, new places to go, technicalities, product design, room renovation or growth. Remember that the struggles you face will only make you stronger.
"Alibaba is my 1,001th mistake. While it won't be east, believe in the fact that greater success and happiness awaits you" Jack Ma, CEO of Alibaba
"As a startup CEO, I slept like a baby. I woke up every two hours and cried" Ben Horowitz, Co-Founder of Opsware
- Be Passionate
Every struggle or hardship will definitely be easier, when you absolutely love what you do and believes that it achieves a greater purpose. Regardless your love for tea, organic food, a person's smile or even if you have greater goals like fixing transportation issues, ideas generally sound great on paper. Nonetheless, it is up to the market to decide whether you'll succeed but it is totally up to you to keep it exciting & relevant.
Amuleek Singh Bijral, owner of Chai Point (tea retail venture) had to close his business after his first year and re-do his business concept. Today, he sells about 150,000 cups per-day. Hold on to your dreams and keep it up, because trial & error will always be part of startups (and relationships).