The reason I said “other” is because I wrote another post about another lesson that I learned which you can find here. I wrote about humility and how it is one of the most important aspects of life in the startup world as well as on the personal level. Now, I want to talk about another such observation that I made.
It’s the most common phrase you’ll ever find; the books about entrepreneurship are riddled with this word.
Now, it isn’t as easy as it sounds because what comes before it is equally important – Starting off.
“I want to become X”, where ‘X’ can be anything you want. An entrepreneur, a singer, a writer, an innovator, you name it. It all starts with you. You start with knowing as little as possible. That’s how it always is.
Facebook didn’t have about 70% of the features it has back when it started. It was still an idea, and they started working towards it. They didn’t say, “Let me just research what my idea CAN be 10 years from now and let me build that.” NO! They built it. Period. And then they kept modifying and adding features which is what we are used to now.
Kunal Roy, one of MindPluckd’s very own partners started writing a book about a year ago, and he’s published it. It’s a science fiction novel which has an incredible story, and he hasn’t even graduated college. He didn’t stop and say, “Hey, let me worry about my grades. I’ll just do this after graduating.” He could have. But, he didn’t. That mindset of just starting off without a lot of thinking led him to deliver his first TED talk here at Bangalore, which was based around an idea that he conceived. Now, we both are working on building a website which uses that idea in an efficient way.
It’s incredibly simple when you think about it. You just start. You don’t worry about anything else. People might say mean things, they might not understand, you might not have the complete information; whatever it is, you’ll find out along the way.
Then comes persistence. You don’t just give up at the first sign of trouble. You fight, and keep going until you see that all your work is paying off. George R.R Martin didn’t publish a best seller in the first year of Game of Thrones’ release, Harry Potter’s sales were erratic and not stable until the 2nd year of it’s publication.
Not everything has to be viral to be a success. The momentum definitely helps, but there’s also the slow, persistent, old fashioned way to be a success- To keep doing what you’re doing; even if it doesn’t yield anything now. Only then will you find out the magic of persistence.
I’ve heard another good excuse – Gaining experience first and then trying to start something off. That’s cute, but you know what’s a little off? Most of the people saying that are gaining experience in the wrong fields of work. Corporate IT professionals saying they work there to understand something and then starting a company, a student getting an MBA because he wants to start a company; all these are pathetic excuses for not doing anything!
Instead of whining about building a profile for yourself, and gaining experience in the wrong area and then trying to start off something, just do it!
You want to start a website? Start it. NOW. WordPress could not make it easier for you.
You want to build an app? Do it. Or partner with somebody who knows how to. Or learn how to build one. It doesn’t take a computer scientist to build an app for you.
You want to organize a festival? start talking to people about how feasible it would be, and then keep working. ( We’re doing that right now. I’m talking about that in another series called Startup Ventures. )
It’s absolutely simple to start doing something. To maintain it and derive success is the challenge, and persistence is the key to deal with that. If you hesitate to even start off, then you won’t even have a chance to discover how persistent you really are.
Another PS – You can find all of Kunal’s works at MindPluckd here.