Starting a Business. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.
Because I do not like the word business or any of its fashionable, but over used synonyms, we will further refer to it as gelato.
Every time a new gelato idea occurs to someone, the world is potentially becoming a better place.
We hereby declare under our sole responsibility that our idea is special and unique. Our gelato is the answer to all your questions, the key to all your issues. Our interests include general welfare, environmental protection and world peace. Be our client. Invest in our gelato.
That’s what we all promise, don’t we? A lot like a Miss Universe speech, though popular belief will deny it, led by the delusion that a gelato maker must be smarter than the rest.
Having a gelato idea means being creative in a practical way.
In the broad acceptance of the term, we are all creative: unique human beings, with specific traits, that may resemble others of our kind, but will never be an exact replica of them, despite the efforts. Genetic variation, accept it, y’all.
However, the good thing about goal oriented creativity is that it usually benefits a group, besides the creative individual who may or may not be looking just for a moment of glory.
Creativity is the interaction among aptitude, process and environment by which an individual or group produces a perceptible product that is both novel and useful as defined within a social context.
Plucker, J. A., Beghetto, R. A., & Dow, G. T., (2004, p. 90)
Useful is the key word and it’s highly related to the social role of gelato.
Gelato connects people.
Useful things spread fast, uniting people over the most unexpected and undervalued details.
-Hey, creep living next to me, your music offends my sense of space. Turn it off.
-Oh, sorry not sorry, but look, you also have a door handle, I wonder who’s the genius behind it.
-Yes, I can’t imagine my life without this door handle! Let’s forget about the noise situation and just celebrate whoever invented door handles!
Said no one ever, but you get point. Regardless of their purpose, products are conversation starters and services are dialogues by their own nature.
Gelato challenges you to learn new things and give your best.
You never take this cliché seriously until your first rejection. Failed pitch, negative review, consumer brand confusion or so on. You start googling: How to dominate a pitch competition? How to be a charismatic person? How to create products people love? What is wrong about deceptive advertising?
Negotiation Strategies. PR workshops. Web development courses. Metalwork. Engine Mechanics. Dehydrate fruits and veggies without electricity. There’s an endless list of skills you will need to improve after you dive into this gelato thing.
Gelato teaches you how to lose.
Why is this not a school discipline yet? Knowing how to lose is a form of perseverance. Perseverance, of course, maximizes your chances of actually succeeding in what you do. No fake it ’til you make it. Fail until you make it.
In the public eye, your gelato can sometime speak about you like your mother does:
My kid is awesome, believe and do not doubt. Please don’t check his balance sheet.
Popular doesn’t mean productive or financially stable, and vice versa.
No matter how poetic your gelato may be, it becomes the most mundane, disrupting, demotivating thing when it comes to paperwork.
Intellectual Property. Employment Law. Consumer Protection. Competition Law. Sale and Supply of Goods. The fact that these laws exist is brilliant. The fact that they change as seasons change is not right. The legal exceptions are confusing. The paperwork they require is exhausting.
Setting prices or fees. Asking for payment. Waiting for payment. Reminding your client about the payment. Pretending you don’t care about payment. Needing payment. Working your tail off for payment. Doing the work — payment ratio. Being asked about income or net worth.
Expectation #1: I’ll never work a day in my life because I do what I like. Absurd.
Expectation #2: My gelato is so great, the world will stop spinning and applause. Do not wish to witness the world stop spinning.
Expectation #3: People will support my gelato every second of the process. Never happens, everybody’s got things to do.
Expectation #4: Haters are just haters. Sometimes. Other times they know what they’re talking about, so don’t be too proud to admit your mistakes.
Gelato ideas get stolen.
So next time you’re procrastinating — not judging, it’s only normal- try to develop and implement that idea. And if you manage to implement it, celebrate the victory, and then discover something strikingly similar, it’s only normal as well. Everything is over-saturated.
Gelato means being responsible.
Being serious about your responsibilities without taking yourself too seriously is hard to accomplish, and you might annoy everyone around you trying to achieve this. So having ideas and especially trying to put them to practice, is pretty much like keeping a diet. You’ll have to give up things. It may do you good on the long term, but you won’t be ecstatic about it. There’s an entire list of don’t-s.
X pass on responsibilities
X find excuses
X lose your nights
X throw your budget in the air
X act on impulse
X check your mails when you are not at work
X bring your work home etc.
Needless to say, the to-do list is much longer.
Sometimes, a gelato is just not good enough. Or it melts too fast. Or people would rather have a soup. So you need to rethink your strategy, start over, maybe even get a job.
My two cents. Sayonara!