Tomorrow we wrap up what has been an epic Denver Startup Week. There were so many great sessions, so many inspiring discussions, and so many exciting startups are being hatched.
Over the course of the week, three big truths started to become clear to me. These things were mentioned again and again, in one way or another:
1. Start Now
Above all else, your great idea for a business will never become more than a great idea if you don’t take action now. You can’t wait for the timing, the funding, the concept, or the product to be perfect. Those things will never be “perfect”. Your startup, like your life, is likely to be one big beautifully messy work in progress. So take what you have now, do your best to make it great for a phase 1, mitigate whatever risk you can, and take the plunge. Iteration will get you from your initial concept to your polished end product.
2. Ask for Help
This week we heard from many entrepreneurs, both those with huge success, and those with huge desire to get there. Most often (with a few exceptions), the big differentiator between those with fledgling businesses and those with accomplished acquisitions under their belt is time. The “successful” folks have been at this for a while now. They’ve taken their risks, made their pivots, learned their lessons, and built their companies. In other words, they’ve done their time. So if you have a question, ask it. If you need help, get it. Seek out whatever it is that you need to take your business to the next level. The intellectual know-how is out there, and it’s up to you and only you to seek it out before you let your business stall.
3. Do the Hard Work
There is no other way to slice this one. If you want to start a business, you have to be willing to do each and every job that you plan to eventually hire for. It will be up to you to get the business off the ground, and the only way that happens is with consistent work. You are founding a company, so you are signing up for long hours, low pay (if you even do get paid), and a ton of grunt work. So strap on your boots and prepare to get them really dirty. This is your business, and you have to be all in to make it work.
In conclusion, this whole startup thing is going to take a ton of grace and grit. No one is promising an easy path. If it was easy, everyone would be doing it. But it will definitely be worth it. And there are a ton of great resources out there to help you along the way.
It’s a very specific person that is called to this type of undertaking. So if you’ve been bitten by the entrepreneurial bug, then you have a long and hard and hugely rewarding road ahead of you.