Hardcore Startup, Part I

How to Make Your Dream Come True?

8 years ago a Crazy Idea put its tent in my head and I couldn’t imagine what I would face to make it happen. I was a co-owner of a successful online-shop in Moscow. We clawed our way from the bottom of crisis, and the business was flourishing.

To sum it up for today, I can say there were lots of NOs and a couple of YESes, and three serious Decisions made on the way.

NO #1: From a Best Friend

I shared this idea with my close friend and business partner. He enjoyed it, but I saw he wasn’t ready for starting up anything new.

It didn’t put me out of tune. I was all about it, studying foreign experience and global giants in my sphere as I like to look for all pros and cons of each project. Just like that, night by night, I was creating My Precious incubating a new business plan.

NO#2: Heart Vs Mind. Mind Wins

Finally, the day when I broke up with my old business partner has come, so I could start to implement my plan. I came back to Belarus and had to make a choice whether to start a new e-commerce business or make my dream happen.

I was realizing that I could make a viable online-shop as Minsk was a little behind the time compared to Moscow those times, but I was not so sure about the Dream: I had too little experience. Cold-blooded premeditation of the Mind got a victory over my Heart’s ambitions.

NO#3: A Prisoner of His Own Success

Climate equipment online-shops were a success. Staff was exposing, turnover was increasing, but the Dream was still keeping me on the hop.

I realized I couldn’t give it all up and make an absolute commitment to a Dream, I felt like I married into money and can’t leave my wife.

NO#4: Give Away, Sell… No Matter, I Wanna Quit!

I made a decision of selling my business to rivals. Dozens of letters and meetings that led nowhere, nobody was interested in a small belarusian local market, as the high and mighties of this country are not in fact ready to move forward and rise.

NO#5: I’m Drowning

As I didn’t manage to sell the company, I decided to propel it to the top and launch my own project after turning some dollars. The strategy was to set a franchise of climate equipment shops.

And this was a Mistake. I butted in the market that had already been divided between old players and I just had no chance to develop. I was floating in a yacht through the Ocean of Business held by a friendly wind, but faced the fact that I had no chance to conquer in uncharted waters.

NO#6: Rif or Die

My experiments desolated my pockets, it turned out there were neither money nor Dream left, I was moving to the point of no return.

Thinking several moves ahead, I came to closing up retail shops and one office, and concentrated at things that I can surely profit from.

Dismissing is another thing to staffing. It’s a hard decision to make knowing how much effort had been put in making up a team and how strong you strived to encourage them to develop. And then you just change your mind. That’s all!

I had to make it, and I could miss everything.


YES#1: Reboot

I took a decision of having a break for summer as I couldn’t realize what to do next, how to move on, I was tired down like an animal and didn’t know how to escape. By autumn I knew the time has come, it was in 2014. I handed the reigns of power to my friend and colleague who worked together with me and made a certain progress. He lent me his shoulder and lead the company to a better tomorrow.

YES#2: There’s No Money, but You Hang in There!

We rented a flat for the new project start. It was like laying the first stone into the foundation of a new building, though I had enough money for the first month only. I was absolutely sure that we would deal with that.

Neither Here Not There

We finished making basic mockups and viewpoints’ drafts so we had to choose the contractors for filling an order. They were all verу similar to one another technically, but their financial demands differed so much that some of them even put a smile on my face. Development costs varied from $50k to $230k! We stopped at a Ukrainian team.

YES#3: Here Comes The Miracle

Start-up requires huge investments, but I didn’t know where to take the money at the beginning of the year. My first steps were based on Dream only.

And the Miracle has come. Our climatic equipment company signed a Grand Contract, that was like a response to our prayers. We couldn’t trust our happiness, as the company has never experienced filling such orders: it aggregated to one million dollars!

YES#4: Hail to My Intuition!

I came to one important thing to understand. If I’m the Idea’s Man, and the project logic is fully understood by me, this logic can be also put into my followers’ heads.

Jack Ma, the Alibaba.com owner, once said: “If there are over 90% of the crowd saying “Yes” to approving a proposal, I will surely dispose the proposal into the bin.The reason is simple if there are so many people who thinks that the proposal is good, surely there will be many people who would have been working on it, and the opportunity no longer belongs to us.”

Decision#1: “I Know That I Know Nothing”

I faced a squillion of fails and wrong decisions. The production was put on a back burner three(!) times as we didn’t know what and when to do. None of my plans had been realized as i wanted them to. Don’t be fooled, I’m a bad-bad scheduler.

It is important to be stick to your basics, values and principles, always move on and be ready to change your plans and their realization methods. I think everyone failed into a snare of planning to spend one hour having spent several days in fact.

Decision #2: Follow Your Dream… And Our Updates!;)

Hey, you, Author! What for Heaven’s sake was the idea of yours?!

Follow our startup-hardcore chronicles, I’ll reveal all the secrets. Later=)