Starting a company today is pretty easy – just get a domain, support it with AWS, think of a cool business, and you’re off. You’ll be rich in no time. In fact there is so much money out there now, you don’t even have to scale your business, just offer an ICO and someone will fund you. Defining and growing sales channels, scaling your business and eventually IPOing will simply happen by themselves. In no time you’ll be rubbing shoulders with Zuckerberg at cocktail parties talking about how fun your weekend on Necker Island was….
While we often hear of the unicorns and amazing rags to riches stories which miraculously happen in the shortest amount of time (example: youtube), this is far from reality. In fact I believe it gives such a bad representation of starting and growing a business that it is hurtful, ultimately giving dilutions of grander to young entrepreneurs hoping to make it big. The inevitable crushing of their dreams hurts then all the more.
The stories we should instead be focusing on every year are those of Walmart and Nike. Sam Walton and Phil Knight are amazing people with business adventures. Odysseus and Robinson Crusoe have nothing on these guys (from a business perspective of course). Understanding the constant battle these companies have had from minute one is a real version of starting a business. Having similarly almost gone bankrupt several times, I can personally relate to the troubled times both of these iconic businesses had while in their early days.
But what then is the magic formula? The proverbial secret sauce? Well it’s quite simple actually… Passion and Grit.
“Find something you love, and you’ll never work for the rest of your life.” (Gasp) While sayings like these catch me torn between puking and laughing, there is a bit of truth behind it. Being an entrepreneur is incredibly tough. I have literally bleed for my company, lost hair, aged 20 years and had more sleepless nights than I want to even remember. But what’s keeps me going and my business successful? Passion and Grit. What gave Sam Walton and Phil Knight the push to stay the course after so many people said they should quit? Passion and Grit.
The path to success is simply divided into 3 Steps:
Step 1 – Find an idea which you are willing to literally give up everything for, and I mean everything.
Step 2 – Grind, hustle and work to the point of exhaustion, almost going broke several times while narrowly avoiding multiple nervous breakdowns.
Step 3 – Enjoy your company’s IPO making you incredibly rich, eventually allowing you to buy some land near Necker Island so that you can eat pancakes with Richard on a regular basis.
Easy right? Well most people can’t even get even get past step 1. They look for money and fame rather than taking time (normally years and years) to identify what they really love doing. Then comes the even harder part – work. You have to grind and hustle until the point of exhaustion. Then get up and do it again the next day. Fail 1000 times, and the 1001 time, you get it right, allowing you to move to step 3.
Here is an inside tip to step 1 – if you are having trouble finding your own vision, don’t worry, there are plenty of other visionary entrepreneurs who you can join. Just ask Simon.
Passion and Grit are what it takes. Or better put, just find something you love and you’ll never work again. (Vomit)