I’ve worked for more than one year at My outfit. It was my first experience as an entrepreneur, yes my first step into it! Going from an idea to a real product was one of my greatest achievement. So, I wanted to share with you my 5 lessons learned as a first-time entrepreneur . So let’s begin!
1. Only start when you are passionate about it
Passion is what gives you the gut to begin your entrepreneurial journey. Of course, you can start your company without it, but you’ll find yourself more reluctant when you’ll face problems that all entrepreneur meet. As an entrepreneur, your first challenge will be to believe in yourself and your idea.
In being passionated, you’ll be able to convince not only yourself but other peoples to follow you in your long journey to success. So dream, drink and eat only by your startup, when you’ll have reach this level of obsession, now you can begin…
2. Get to know customer before coding, designing and shipping
When you start thinking about launching a startup, you rush to launch your code editor and want start coding as soon as possible. It sound exciting at first but it’s not about building the greatest technical product, it’s about giving what people want. It’s about solving your customers pains. By talking with your customers first, you’ll have deep understanding of it.
So keep coming back until your customer wants to pay you, even if you haven’t built something! Only then, you can start coding or designing! By the way, I use Atom to code and Sketch to design give it a try.
3. Find a great team and support them
Have you seen a (great) company founded by only one founder? Well, I’ve not seen one! Having a team is about building a complete set of skills which can lead your startup in both business and technical side. I have something pretty simple about it, surround yourself with people only better than you. Yes, it seems harsh because you’ll feel stupid in a room full of people brighter than you but it’s the only way to succeed and you won’t get cocky…
I’ve added “support them”… Well, do you want to work in a start-up/company with people who doesn’t care about you? I’m pretty sure you’ll run-out with a team like that. So please, support your team, give them a cheer when they’ve done great work. Make them feel like without them, nothing wouldn’t have happened ! And it’s true, you need other peoples to grow your business.
4. Don’t be afraid to fail
This one is more for french people. We, french people, are so pessimist about everything that we view failure as the worst thing in our live. And when you tell people (non-entrepreneur) that your startup fail it’s like you’re a complete mess…
So, drop everything that block you to launch your startup. A lot of successful entrepreneur fail, and get the first fail as the recipe to launch a new venture the best way. You can check this resource if you don’t trust me :-): http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2014-07-28/study-failed-entrepreneurs-find-success-the-second-time-around
5. Focus on execution and don’t get cocky about being an entrepreneur
Yes, you’ll get cocky about being an entrepreneur. You’ll think, well I have my own company, I’m on the road to succeed! I know because, I get cocky. Entrepreneur, CEO, CTO, COO these are just title! I’d rather be an intern in a multibillion company than CEO of an 0$ turnover startup.
What you need to understand is, being an entrepreneur is about FOCUSING only on growing your company. So be focus on finding the right way to present your company, differentiate yourself from you competitor, building and hiring A-players! I won’t enter in the debate about having a great idea, but for me, execution is the only thing that differentiate bad startup from successful one.
I hope you’ve find this lessons interested, being an entrepreneur is something really amazing because you have to built from the ground-up your company and few people are capable of taking this challenge.