3 Lessons Learned from Becoming 100% Self Motivated
We’ve become so dependent on others to validate us that often times we don’t realize what we are capable of until we start investing 100% of our time and resources into ourselves. This is what happened when I became 100% self motivated to solving problems for people that care about their health.
For a long time I believed tea was just a home remedy for sore throats and indigestion. Until I started traveling the world.
Then I became aware of the plethora of energy and goodness a cuppa carries. I came close to drinking tea daily, predominantly in the evening when I wasn’t racing the clock and on the weekends when I wasn’t pressed for time. It wasn’t until I moved to London, that I become extremely frustrated with how much of a hassle it was to make loose leaf tea quickly and easily. And I found, I wasn’t alone.
I went out and spent way too much money on small gadgets and travel mugs to make life easier in the morning, all of which were still a hassle and a royal pain to clean. I also found that I was going through loose leaf tea faster than when I was drinking bagged tea because I wasn’t reusing the leaves after my initial steep. Then I came across my favorite cup, the Aladdin. I used it daily, it allowed me to steep for as long as I needed and then preserve the leaves for a second or sometimes third cup later in the day. It didn’t spill in my purse, even with all the bouncing around that comes with riding the oldest underground subway in the world to and from work. I was content with it.
For about six months.
Then the interior cup separated from the exterior, the plastic that was binding the two cups together unraveled and I was left with two cups I couldn’t brew properly with. After sharing my dilemma with the manufacturer Aladdin, they sent me a replacement cup, only the same thing happened again. And again.
And that’s when it all started, my insatiable desire to find a loose leaf tea cup for busy people on the move.
Because more important than my own vested interest, the health benefits of loose leaf tea plus the average cost per cup make it a powerful option for the average health conscious person.
And so I’ve been on this head-banging journey for 118 days.
That’s what it will feel like if you’re on your own without a team or a VC handing you a check, don’t let anyone romanticize the process of starting a new venture outside of your comfort zone. From that, here are 3 lessons I’ve learned thus far.
3 Lessons Learned
- Manufacturing is convoluted and disjointed, there’s an entire phase that needs to be considered beforehand, it’s called Design for Manufacturing (DFM). Keep that in mind before you think about sourcing a manufacturer. I took Dragon Innovation’s online course and met with Anna Thornton, Director of Engineering for perspective. I’d recommend Maker’s Row for general inquiries and Dragon Innovation for hardware specific companies.
- Plan less and do more. Everything feels possible in your mind, until you actually begin executing on it. I spent way too much time planning and anticipating than actually testing my hypothesis, which is when I learned the most. Albeit scary and nerve wracking (which I find many entrepreneurs admit only after they’ve overcome the fear and not when they’re in the thick of it) the biggest mistake I made was planning and strategizing for too long. Because after I put my plans in motion, everything changed and all the time I spent planning was essentially wasted. So yes, be afraid because you will fail. Just don’t get stagnant. During this time, I was inspired by Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert.
- Outsource early and often. I know what I’m good at and what I absolutely should be learning at this stage, for everything else I know to outsource. I should have started hiring help sooner and offloading to strangers sooner. Over the past four months, I have hired help from Thumbtack, Freelancer, Fivr, Upwork, WP Curve, and WP Engine Support. I’ve found WP Curve to be incredibly responsive and easy to work with. Rule of thumb for hiring strangers who you will only communicate with via email: you get what you pay for so be realistic and make sure your pockets coincide with your wishlist and project requirements. Freelancer offered my the best quality of Mechanical Designers.
As the head banging continues and my days of constantly figuring it out grow longer, I have to admit — I wouldn’t have it any other way. Jumping out the window to pursue this venture full time has been both exhilarating and humbling. I look forward to sharing my prototype and the journey it took to get there with you in January 2017.