What are the factors that you consider yourself successful in your startup journey? Do you want to be famous and known by most of the world? Do you want tons of money? Or both?
All these questions popups in my mind when someone says I am working on a startup idea. I am sure most of them want both (Fame & Money). Is that really possible? What are the best ways to achieve one after the other or both?
Startup bug for Avinash
Avinash is a successful Leader in his domain. He started his career as an analyst and quickly grew up the ladder. After working for 10 years startup bug started in his mind. He quickly resigned from his job and floated a company.
What kind of services were offered?
Last 10 years Avinash was working with Mortage customers in the US. He traveled a lot while working and maintained a good relationship with the CIO and CTO of large companies in the US. All this happened while he was working with a big Brand company. Now seeing all this, he quit and felt to start a similar kind of service offering for these customers. Look at the service – Competition to his own Employer.
When he started approaching his contacts, the scene was different. All his contacts were nice to him but none of them really bothered to offer his business. This went on for 6 months and Avinash burnt all his savings.
Lesson 1 – You really can’t compete with your ex-employer. Never copy the model or approach your customers with whom you worked with.
After trying this for 6 months, he concluded it’s not easy and felt to start something else.
While you are in business especially in India, you will have at least 10 visitors, 5 new business suggestions everyday. These could be from brokers (who says they can offer business – which is nonsense), friends from what they heard.
With no idea of what to start, Avinash quickly grabs and opportunity which came in his way. He never really analyzed if the service that he wants to offer is a need in the market, competition and most important will your customer pay this service? Avinash wants to start this business without any of this analysis and finally bound to fail.
Lesson 2 – Focus on what you want to offer after a detailed analysis. Don’t grab every opportunity that you get. Things may not turn up in your favor.
As expected Avinash lost for the second time burning his leftover savings.
What is next for Avinash?
After a year of his startup journey, Avinash had two options.
- Get back and find a job
- Spend more time working one solution that customers are willing to pay.
Most often Entrepreneurs do not want to go with option 1. Either they feel bad to go back and work or they really want to prove themselves.
For Option 2, you really need to have complete support from your family and friends. Considering Option 1 is also not bad when you think you explored and learned well when compared with your peers. At least Avinash tried it but there are many people who still want to but can never do that.
What was Avinash looking for?
Avinash’s intention was to earn a lot of money. While he was working, he looked at the dollar billing and expected making 10% of it would make him really rich. So the bug started with earning a lot of money.
Slowly when this did not happen, he wanted to recover his losses by grabbing any business that came to him expecting again he could make tons of money.
When he failed for the second time, he learned it hard. He started working on a small and niche challenge his customers were facing and no company in the market is really offering these services.
This sounds like he is on the right path right. Yeah sounded so but he started reading and following the funding news and got fascinated with the volume of funding that’s happening in Startup space. Now the idea changed, he wants to join the pool of riches and fame.
Why is he trying to do that when he is going great?
Avinash found a lot of money and fame in this funding news. All co-founders who secured funding were in news and all over social media. This drove him crazy and thought he could be the next one.
It’s just, not Avinash but this is true with most of them out there who quits jobs and wants Fame & Money.
What is Fame & Money
Most often Fame and Money runs in a parallel track. It takes years to merge them together. You really can’t expect both to come in a year or so (very rare cases where you have solved a kick-ass challenge).
Let’s take example of a real estate agent. Every real estate agent earns a commission out of his sale. They earn really great. Now for this agent his target Money and not fame. Question is will he be famous? Well, he is really not worried about that but maybe after he earns a lot he would brand himself with different opportunities and be famous. You see most businessmen hosting celebrity parties etc for contacts and fame. Here the fame bought with Money.
You can earn money and buy to be Famous
Let’s take an example of a Product idea that really addressed the challenge of current needs like Uber. Pretty soon this product was adopted by customers and became so famous. Once this was proven Uber made tons of money.
You first can earn fame and then be rich ultimately.
It all about how you want to be. Never chase both Fame & Money together. Be clear on what you need and then work towards that.