The first thing you should work on, when creating your company, is yourself.
We've always thought that creating our own company would mean freedom, more income, and power. But what nobody told us enough is that it would be a long and unpredictable road.
We often think that launching a business is a sprint when it is a marathon.
Most of us create our company because we want to resolve a problem and help many people with our new product or service. Some others wish for freedom and the feeling of being their boss. There are as many reasons to create a company as entrepreneurs out there.
When we start thinking about our project, it is natural to have high expectations and big ambitions. We feel we know exactly what we want to create. What type of consumers we want to target, how to brand it, and advertise it. Then the funniest part starts.
Listen to your gut.
Creating something is almost like giving birth. Your company must feel like your first child, and that's completely understandable. It requires time, investment, money, love, and care. Just like a mother would recognize her baby's screams, an entrepreneur should have as much care for his audience. And that all comes from your gut. Only your intuition can lead you somewhere constructive. Is it natural? Talent? Intelligence? Chance? Maybe. But mainly practice. We all have instincts, perhaps not in the same field, but we all can sense a good or bad idea—a message from our audience, insight from our friends, or just an economic need.
The key is to open the canal to let the information flow. Some environments and habits can help: practicing meditation, breathing, being surrounded by creative people, watching movies, listening to a specific kind of music, museums, galleries. You just have to find the right atmosphere to release your brain and let your creativity emerge. We often keep those unlimited resources quiet. If you succeed in finding an environment comfortable enough, you'll be the first one surprised by your capacities.
Pressure and time, and time pressure.
Do you remember the story of the Rabbit and the Turtle? Remember how snobbish and confident was the Rabbit? How successful was the Turtle?Lean Startup methodology teaches you how to release as fast as possible a product. They call it "minimum viable product." The logic is to test as soon as you can your solution and improve it to be the first on the market.But, not all the business ideas can be released in a month, so how can you handle the pressure?
If you have a strong "why", everything will feel more manageable. Creating a business and a company will be different every day; you'll face new challenges. Some days will be better than others, and some days may feel horrible. If you start by figuring out exactly why you are working on this project, what do you want to change, whom you want to help, and the impact you want to make, the pressure will be worth it. Like a marathoner who would feel exhausted doesn't stop running, an entrepreneur must continue believing in himself.
Pivot and keeping motivated.
Every entrepreneur fears making a mistake big enough, or a competitor releasing one week before the same product, that would make him change almost everything. Mentally, how do they keep motivated enough to keep going? To wake up every morning without wasting a second? We often forget, as entrepreneurs, how precious is our mental health. It is maybe taboo to talk about it, but yes, mental health is still part of our global health, and feeling down sometimes doesn't mean we're weak; it is in fact, healthy.
We don't see and appreciate enough how our "failures" guide us to our real successes. It is just a matter of changing your perspective: What if this failure was a huge opportunity to think bigger? How can you use this energy to work harder? To differentiate yourself? To propose something completely different and maybe way better? We live in the present, so it can feel impossible to think positively in those moments because we fear the future. The only way to keep going and finally reaching your goals is to use this event as much as you can to grow and learn from it.
The best advice my friends from Silicon Valley gave me:
« The difference from a successful entrepreneur and the other is the capacity to handle the shocks, face it, and move on quickly. »