Start(up) basics I live by to create wealth
If you are virtually alive in 2017 utilizing the magic of that 5(or more) inches screen touch handheld device to derive value out of your time, your best bet is most likely on the “Startup” that made it possible for you. Isn’t starting up the most reliable way to make wealth for decades now? It has to be, that is why everyone wants to get into it!
Fundamental is where it all starts-up (or should start).
Current Scenario: One major difference between 2007 and 2017 is that there is a lot to innovate but now with better tools and widely accepted technologies. So, whatever took 10 years, 15 years or even 20 years to build and establish can be done at a much, much better pace and can be established in 1/10th or lesser fractions of times and a lot of people took it upon themselves to make things possible that we could only imagine in the movies back then and the ones out of them who we also chose to call Entrepreneurs with sheer pride succeeded exponentially with making wealth.
So, with a lots and lots of people innovating each day, as an aspiring individual how do you seek enlightenment and choose your path?
A lot of serious entrepreneurs and investors (who seem to have contributed in meaningful stuff) have been pissed off lately about how wrong people take entrepreneurship spirit and set their so called ingenious purposes for life which in most cases are in the lines of “To be my own boss” or “To make billions” which leads to nothing but a waste of time, resources, energy, relationships, money and ultimately a mediocre life setting.
Anyone in the world possessing talents and knowledge can apply them without objectively structuring their endeavors around the buzzword called “startup”.
So what would make for a basic understanding in choosing to do something (anything)? It is that when you dig deep down on something only then you can say you have the experience and you can make wealth out of your endeavors.
Let me connect this logic with John Doerr’s theory of difference between Missionaries vs Mercenaries to see it making sense to you and helping you in understanding of the actual spirit behind starting up something (anything).
What is the difference between organizations led by mercenaries from the companies led by missionaries?
John Doerr, famous billionaire investor who is a partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB) says in his most precious opinion, while the two types of people might seem similar at first glance, they are in fact very different:
“Mercenaries are driven by paranoia; missionaries are driven by passion. Mercenaries think opportunistically; missionaries think strategically. Mercenaries go for the sprint; missionaries go for the marathon. Mercenaries focus on their competitors and financial statements; missionaries focus on their customers and value statements. Mercenaries are bosses of wolf packs; missionaries are mentors or coaches of teams. Mercenaries worry about entitlements; missionaries are obsessed with making a contribution. Mercenaries are motivated by the lust for making money; missionaries, while recognizing the importance of money, are fundamentally driven by the desire to make meaning.”
John Doerr Sensibly remarks: Great Companies Are Led By Missionaries, Not Mercenaries.
So where do you draw the line to start(-up) and create wealth to make meaning? Here are the basics I live by:
Know your stuff — Without contradicting Doerr’s “missionaries are driven by passion” line I would like to tell you that you need to do what you gotta do based on your life circumstances and find your passion in curiosity. Different people would not be able to identify different set of problems if it wasn’t for their unique situations. You have to be passionately curious to know about your interests that relate to your circumstances so well that your contribution can add value to people’s lives at the optimum level of it’s realm.
Set goals that make sense — “I am going to make billions of dollars with this sexy idea” or “I am going to revolutionize the world with my future company” is the last thing you can have as a purpose (my friend calls it fapping over an unrealistic idiotic possibilities). There is nothing wrong in the desire to make wealth, but set goals like “I will contribute my time, energy, knowledge, talent and expertise in solving that one problem that concerns me deeply so that it adds lot of value to to others who are going through the same” or “In next five years or ten years I should have xyz number of people as my customers or users who are using my product, service or invention for saving their time or money or energy”
First Start with Why? and then How? and then What? — Focus on discovering problems and needs at the first place and then try to find out the solutions. Missionaries are always thorough with what could be the worst and/or best result they might achieve in any venture they set out to attempt.
Most of the ventures fail because people focus on what is to be done without thinking about why it should be done. Always ask why then how and then what. This has solved the biggest problems of the world making people wealthy.
Don’t Fake your work but you can fake the right attitude till you posses it for real — Intent to make a quick buck out of the things that you know very less can survive you for some days to destroy you later while actually faking the right entrepreneurial attitude and sticking to it till you have it in you for real makes more sense. Once you have it you can make everything great (again? LOL) happen allowing yourself and others to extract the optimum value out of it.
Make people count and matter — Everything you do is for people, by people and of people (just like everything AIs do is for AIs, by AIs and of AIs :-P. I am kidding by not kidding) What I can tell you for sure is Missionaries always end up making people’s lives better and wealthier. Knowing the company’s purpose connects with them, inspires and motivates people and makes them feel they are at the right place at the right time. When people care for mission, it influences the systematized self driven process instead of randomized process in the actions that people want to undertake for a company. Companies that care for people and their time manage to find people who do the same.
Have a life long Vision (for at least a 100 years)— If what you are going to do with your life isn’t going to matter for a 100 years, you are getting into meaningless hook-a-doodle-do. The first thing is the clarity of your vision for your own limited life time. Don’t fake your vision to get the temporary work done with no value for anyone else, believe in your vision and make people working with you believe in it too, if you are not doing that you should go get a life.
Here’s what Paul Graham says in one of his essays on HOW TO MAKE WEALTH (When Paul says, you don’t not listen):
“Startups are not magic. They don’t change the laws of wealth creation. They just represent a point at the far end of the curve. There is a conservation law at work here: if you want to make a million dollars, you have to endure a million dollars’ worth of pain. For example, one way to make a million dollars would be to work for the Post Office your whole life, and save every penny of your salary. Imagine the stress of working for the Post Office for fifty years. In a startup you compress all this stress into three or four years. You do tend to get a certain bulk discount if you buy the economy-size pain, but you can’t evade the fundamental conservation law. If starting a startup were easy, everyone would do it.”
The spirit that makes your start(-up) grow is the same recipe to make wealth.