16 Essentially Paramount Lessons About Being a Startup Founder

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Happy 1st Anniversary! Yes, It’s been a year since we first started off with InyMiny. One year of success and one year of happiness with you guys, and this is just the start. There’s a lot more to come I promise. Oh! how I remember being skeptic about a new platform. After Emlii was a huge success, working on another platform seemed too quick and random. There have been a lot of long nights and tons of coffee and chocolates! (for those sad times…hey chocolates do wonders trust me!!)

This article is all of my experiences together. You can imagine how tough it was to sum it all up into one. Nonetheless, we’re writers and that’s basically our everyday job! And although it’s been one hell of a roller coaster
ride, there has been quite a lot that I’ve learned through all of it, by being a startup founder. So, a heartfelt Thank You to all you readers. We wouldn’t have made it through without you guys. Keep reading and keep enjoying because InyMiny brings you ‘Teeny tiny bits of happiness in every moment!‘  I know this article is a little different from the usual content here at InyMiny, but it’s our one year celebration! and I couldn’t wait to share my experience with you guys!  So, if you think you have an idea that you’re planning to work on, here are 15 advices on startups I have for you:

1. The Leap of Faith

Starting up a business/website is major stress. Its like walking through a dark tunnel not knowing what’s on the other end. Its a huge risk at first and a challenging one at that. But unless you have faith in your idea and are willing to risk everything on the line to achieve it, you can never attain success. I know it sounds scary as hell, but you’ve got to believe in yourself, plan everything out systematically and take that leap of faith.

2. You Gotta Work Your Arse Off

Yes, that’s right. Start-ups require a lot of hard work, blood, sweat and tears. Initially it’s all about more work and no return. But if you keep yourself determined and keep your mind focused, it’s only about time that you will start seeing the fruit of your labor. Once you’re over the hump, then it’s all uphill from there, provided you keep working harder and stay strong.

3. Think Outside the Box

I’m sure whatever idea you come up with, is going to be something completely amazing and hip. But unless it’s different from others and has an edge to it, it is not going to work., believe me. You’ll just be part of the herd of thousands of other startups that fail to draw mass attention. So whatever you do, no matter how small or big it is, you have got to think outside the box. Your idea should be distinct. So be creative and set your grey matter into
action.

4. Failures are a Must. Treasure Them.

Failure is not the opposite of success but it is actually a part of it. During your struggle to reach the top, you are bound to fail multiple times. At one point it kinda seems like a struggle to pull up a heavy boulder that is just not going to budge. But persistence pays off in the long run. If you fall seven times, have the courage and determination to get back up the eighth time. Because, you don’t fail until you stop trying. If one idea fails, develop another one. Keep tweaking it until you’ve found ‘The One’. Treasure every part of your journey – failures as well.  Because to fail means to learn and grow. And remember : Failure doesn’t come to those who fall, but to those who fall and
don’t get back up.

5. You’re The Boss!

Yes, you the boss! It means you don’t have to work under someone and struggle to achieve daily, weekly or even monthly targets, only to get rammed off in the end. You make your own decisions. You work as you like and there is no whining boss to report to in the end. But with great power comes great responsibility. Just because you have the ease to do everything at your pace is actually all the more challenging. You have to look after the whole company, work towards achieving your dream and manage your team, your finances, your clients, your short-term and long- term objectives ALL BY YOURSELF! Yes. Now you know what it actually feels like to be on the other end! However, the fact that you are living your dream and not working towards achieving someone else’s dream is enough motivation to get you through. So Yay!

6. Basically, You’re Everything!!! (PANIC!!)

Like I said, you have so much on you. I mean yes, it’s your startup, your dream, you’re the boss. But you are also the Finance tycoon, the HR head, the marketing guru, the social media analyst, the technical head, the creative team and so much more. You have to be everything in the beginning. But once you’ve managed to pull through, help will arrive along your journey and you will be hiring people gradually.

7. Manage Your Time

Time is golden. It’s one thing that you cannot buy or revert back to. You have to plan and implement. You have so much up your sleeve. Just manage everything systematically. Make charts, time tables, whatever it takes to keep a check on those minutes. Just remember, there is no free time. You’re going to be essentially working 24/7, no matter how tired you may be. So while your friends are enjoying happy hour, don’t become upset about finishing up
a business plan, doing research or having a late-night meeting with employees. That’s just the nature of the beast.

8. Manage Those Finances or Hire Someone to Do it For You!

Raise money, invest sensibly and manage your money! You are going to be needing money for a whole lot of stuff. It can be as small as office supplies to as big as loans and market investments. Just plan everything out in advance, take advice from concerned people, do an extensive market research to know how everything works. Analyse the risks associated with your investments and don’t put all your eggs in one basket! Remember, not all investments payback returns. You will have to keep that in mind throughout your journey.

9. Take risks

High risk equals high return. I know, it’s easier said than done. But unless you’re ready to risk it, you won’t be able to move forward. In today’s world, where people are testing new ideas and constantly experimenting with different kinds of stuff, you can’t be left behind amongt the herd. You will have to rise up against all odds. Be bold, be brave, be confident of what you’re doing. Off course, research thoroughly and have faith. So, even if you fail, you will get back up and try again.

10. Market shamelessly

If you want your idea to reach to the masses, you’ve got to get rid of your shame gland and market your idea without the guilt. Discover your customers, target your audience, position your idea and start reaching out to them. Unless you are up for some hardcore social media marketing, you my friend are at a risk of being left unnoticed. Social media is such a blessing for startups nowadays, that they let you choose your marketing plan, help find your customers and adjust your promotions accordingly. But one thing to keep in mind is that unless your ads have content and a good quality marketing design, it will fail to create that desired pull among customers, after all its all about the pull and not the push!

11. Managing People

As the Japanese say, “People are the most important assets of a company” and boy are they right. When you start a company, you work with all kinds of people – your partners, your employees, your financiers and investors etc. etc., and there ought to be differences in ideas, execution and wavelengths of thoughts with at least some of them. Always remember, every person is an equal and important contributor towards realizing your dream. You have to learn how to bring your team on the same wavelength as you. That doesn’t mean imposing your ideas on them. Listening and working together is the key. Hear them out, speak your mind and find solutions as a TEAM.

12. Stay Motivated

I know it’s easier said than done. Being an entrepreneur, it’s hard to stay motivated with so much on your shoulders and with failures making a regular fly-by every now and then. Keep yourself motivated. If you ever decide to give up, remind yourself why you started it all in the first place. Take breaks in between and engage in activities that you enjoy and those that are relaxing. Accomplish smaller tasks first so that you get the feeling of slowly moving through and actually achieving something. Most importantly, believe in yourself and your idea…success will follow eventually.

13. Take Responsibility For Your Team’s Failure

Mr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, the former President of India, once said : ” As a leader, take responsibility for your team’s failure and when you do succeed, pass on the credit to the team.” This is a critcial quality of leadership. Humility is not a value we typically associate with leadership or success, but it is one of several key leadership behaviors that fosters feelings of inclusion in followers. Thus courage and accountability together form the hallmarks of altruistic leadership which in turn has a deep impact upon the team and the organization as a whole.

14. Stay Creative

Creativity is a tool you will have to keep sharpening every now and then. Keep coming up with new ideas and modify the existing ones. All in all, KILL BOREDOM! It’s a deadly customer disease, once caught, it’s hard to find a cure for it. So keep innovating, stay inspired, take risks and experiment with stuff. My advise is to drink coffee. It’s what kept me going. Coffee fuels creativity. Just the smell of it can recharge your neurons and set your creativity in action.

15. Grow and Keep Growing

Once you think you’ve achieved your goal, keep growing. “Don’t take rest after your first victory because if you fail in second, more lips are waiting to say that your first victory was just luck” – Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam. Keep coming up with new ways of improving and excelling at what you do. Think and create.

16. Love What You Do And Do What You Love!

Yes, the key to all success is enjoying what you do and being passionate about it. Your work is going to be a huge part of your life, make it great and the only way to do great work is by loving what you do.

ALL THE BEST!

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