We raised over $100,000 for our startup this year, here’s what we learned
Being an entrepreneur is the millennial profession, quotes about becoming big and “entrepreneur“ profile descriptions are circling the social media platforms, everyone wants a piece of the pie.
Although I wouldn’t say we have our piece, we’ve sure had several bites, and you don’t get to taste it by posting inspirational quotes on Instagram.
Moving away from the pie metaphor, here are some of my personal truths about surviving in the startup world, there’s a great deal of personal introspection, pain and dedication before seeing the glimmer of the glamorous side.
#1 Nurture creativity
I’m not going to say that everyone has ideas because that’s not entirely true, but it is true that most people start and end at the same point, the idea. Whether it’s because they’re too scared to act on executing it, or they’ve been shut down by those surrounding them, people fail to make ideas come to life.
This is where surrounding yourself with a talented group of teammates could make or break your dream.
We spent the entire first year of college brainstorming, no idea was left undiscussed, our group kept dropping in numbers because not everyone agreed with the insanity of constantly trying to come up with the next big thing. Near the end of last summer we toned it down a bit, people went on vacations, and the hype of conquering the World was slowly dissipating for most. But that was the calm before the storm, a previous idea has now evolved into something in an unexpected way and we now realize that this was the one that would change our lives and take us to the stratosphere.
Our team allowed us the constant mutual creation of ideas that were allowed to develop in our subconscious and everyone had the courage to share them freely and work on them.
#2 Have the courage to ask for it all
We were rejected ten times before we got our angel investment, but that didn’t stop us from asking and meeting everyone we thought could help us. Some laughed at us, some admired us but still refused to invest, I’ve never spoken publicly but here I am winning a pitch competition with no visual presentation and no preparation, who would have guessed that when you have the courage to ask and be yourself things just come together.
I don’t want to make this out to be a fairy tale, because it’s not. We hit several brick walls. We changed the original idea, we lost more than we wanted, but we’re still here together.
You’re not entitled to anything, but that shouldn’t stop you from asking.
Ask for everything you think you’re worth and more, because if you don’t ask, you lose by default.
#3 Belief and patience
If you chose to go into this exhausting but thrilling process with your team, you must have complete trust in every one of them. We rejected many qualified applicants because of the way they affected our teams chemistry, a master coder is worthless if he pits the entire team against each other.
Problems will arise and doubt will consume your thoughts but have faith in the people that rode the wave with you to where you are now.
This is not an absolute but it is easy to lose patience when things don’t work out, and the worst thing you can do is start pointing fingers.
This was a general overview of the past few months of our work, the points I wrote about were in my opinion crucial to us getting to where we are now. However, I skipped a lot of technical points and details because I wanted this to be a something similar to a recap and not a comprehensive guide.
We will write on specific subjects in greater detail in the future posts.
We’re still learning, still chasing the dream, just as hungry as the first time they told us “No“ .
Thanks for reading.