The path of creating a startup from scratch and trying to get it to reach ‘traction” can be a tough one, and you’re going to need the right mindset. Most of that time, you’re going to feel you’re on your own. Sure, your friends will say words of support, but it’s you that’s going to be putting in all the effort and scratching out a path to try and find your market fit.
My advice? Take advice often, and don’t forget to also take some time out for yourself…
1. Take advice gratefully, and as a sign of belief
Successful business angels are busy people who hate to waste time, they spend every second wisely. If they’re giving you advice, then that is the highest sign that they believe in your idea enough to conclude that it warrants their time. Through my past career and through reaching out and networking at a lot of events, I’m now fortunate enough to be surrounded by a large amount of people that I can reach out to for opinions and advice when it’s needed.
I have learnt from experience to take their advice, write it all down and refer back to it on a regular basis in the future. Often some parts of what some thought leaders will say won’t make sense until you’re further down the line in your business journey so keeping a journal of advice is crucial and will pay dividends when the time is right to follow it.
2. Know when to take a rest, not quit
This is a quote that I often see floating around the world wide web. Whoever said it is spot on. When you’re trying to work your regular day job to pay the monthlies, as well as working the same amount of hours on a side-project which you hope will one day become your main job, life can get exhausting very quickly.
Sleep deprivation can lead straight to negative thoughts and when things might not be moving along as quickly as you like, or you get some negative feedback from something, you can spiral very quickly.
Keeping your head up high and being future focused is essential. Part of protecting that mindset is to take enough breaks to recharge your imagination and energy levels to keep the project alive. I’ve learnt in stressful times to force myself to take a break and exist in the real world. We all have friends and family commitments that we need to enjoy, after all you don’t want life to pass you by. Make sure that when you take a break you surround yourself with like-minded people and those who believe in you. Often the kind words of someone can be enough to recharge your mind to find the next solution to getting your idea off the ground, so taking that break to sleep or to socialise really was worth every second of your time invested in it.
3. Learn from failure until you don’t call it failure any more
You will fail using growth tactics ten times more than you succeed. Every startup has a tidy front yard and a messy back yard that is littered with skeletons of failed marketing tactics. So the best way I’ve found to fail, is to fail fast! Don’t protract the experience, recognise it, analyse your tactics and move on quickly.
Of course, just saying that former sentence requires a certain amount of expertise in planning out a series of campaigns based on your desired niche target markets and perhaps some comparison ones too. These are logistical skills that myself and the Startup Giants team will coach you to learn in a manner that will be relevant to your idea. Plus they will set you up with a system to effectively analyse all the results of your efforts, be it Facebook marketing ads, emails and landing pages to know which ones to ramp up and which ones to dismiss. Very quickly when you start analysing the results on a daily basis, you’ll find that your old mindset that said ‘failure’ when something didn’t go as planned, simply says: ‘that’s interesting, what tactic shall I try next?’ Eventually, you won’t see experiments as successes or failures, you’ll see campaigns as a process of elimination to evaluate which approach wins out.
It’s all about forming a positive, resilient mindset that makes the most out of every day to push your concept out into the world in the best light. Apply and let’s see where it takes you…
Cherry has worked in branding, copywriting, communications, and PR for over 14 years, and is Chief Wordsmith at Startup Giants and our main point of contact for journalists and editors.