on bootstrapping a company
Starting something is always easier than finishing something. But with that said to be true, it is also not easy to get something beyond that point, where it is just started. You know, like rolling something, that has a pace on its own. That is really hard to do.
When i started my first company, it was important to me, to do something of value. It was not about earning money. It was about, what i was doing. After trying different businesses and working with different kind of people, i came to that point, where i realized what matters the most to me.
In this article i try to give you some guidance for starting something. That can be bootstrapping a company but also just steer your career into a different direction.
First, you have to choose what you want to do. If you want something that is completely out of reach, just pretend in doing so or look for something, that is near to that. Then try to do that. It is really important that you know your target - or at least the direction in which you want to go.
pretend and become
Because nobody is a master at something just by being born, it is absolutely crucial to stick to something and work yourself into that direction. To do that, it is necessary and absolutely normal to pretend. Pretend that you do, what you are going to do. At first that may sound weird, but it will make sense when you start doing it on your own.
While you are talking to other people about what you are doing, they should understand what you want to do. It is important that they are left with the knowledge on what you are doing is what you want to do. How should they get back to you, for what you are going to do, if they only remember, you are reading blogs about becoming the next big whatever-star.
follow the right people
Find the people who are connected to both worlds: the one, you are trying to reach, and the one you are currently in. There is always a crowd or circle or people who are in the midst of that, what you are going to be in the future.
By connecting to these people and following their ideas, you inevitably learn more about what you are after. If you can, try to give something back, share your own experience (if you have any) and keep in touch with those, that are there where you want to be.
After you know and connected to the people near your position, you can find out, who they follow to get inspiration from. It is easier to see where to head direction, if you see other people already doing something and find out, if that fits you. If not, find other people or even better, try to do it on your own with a variation, that is just you.
By following the people that are deeper in that topic, you can easy see, if that is really, what you want to do.
To make the whole thing easier, find other people like you. The ones, that are at the exactly same spot as you are. Talk to them, get to know what they are learning and what experiences they had. Share your experience and achievements and give them feedback, so they can improve as well.
Remember: An evening with everybody on the same page, is a wasted one. Don't be shy to argue about things. But be friendly, and stay calm, of course.
learn your stuff
Exactly as in school, where you had to learn the basics before you can go after the more advanced stuff. If your topic involves different kind of technologies, sciences, skills or abilities learn all of them. At least to a certain point, where you can say you can control that specific thing. Do not try to cheat or find an excuse like, "i do not want to do that, i want to make it different".
You have to know how other people are doing things, even or especially if you want to change the way people are doing it.
do it with passion
I expect you to be passionate about what you are doing. But i see so many people and companies fail, making no errors at all. They just do, what all the others do. But to stick in the market, you have to be different. At least, for one certain thing, you are well-known for.
Try to be better than the others or just walk the extra mile, to get an easier product, a better tool to craft or just be so professional that others will notice.
stick to it
There will be hard times. Especially, if you are on your own and nobody believes you or believes in what you are doing. Do not care. Do what matters most to you. You will find directions right within yourself and know, what your path is. If you want to create something new, it is quite logical that this path is hard to see. This path is not yet created and has to be marked as a path, by you.
do not fear failures
Although that may sound obvious - make sure, you do not forget: You will fail. But the best part of it is, you have learned something. Failing is the only best way to learn fast. If everything would went smoothly, you will have little insights about what is right and what is wrong.
While working as trainer, i used to make mistakes by intention. I wanted to show all the pitfalls other may run into. That way, people can learn that it is normal to face problems and how to cope with them.
It also helps you to understand and communicate why you are doing it the way, you are doing it. You know for sure and with reason why going a different way is just wrong: you have been there.
I hope sincere that you can stay yourself. A lot of people will try to change you. Some of them, because they are positive about you and want to change you for a good reason, e.g. become someone better. But others will try to change you, just for their own advantages. Be clever, find out who is who and do not let other people disturb you in, well, being you.