Don’t let the concept of change scare you as much as the prospect of remaining unhappy – Timber Hawkeye
Are you sick of working the system at the expense of someone else’s gain? Have you got a breakthrough idea that you desperately want to implement, but feel like you’re trapped? Well, you’ve come to the right place… before I made a decision to start Podstel, I was asking myself these very questions.
I was stuck in a rut with a monotonous 9-5 job. Resistance kicked in and I found it incredibly difficult to get motivated and work on the things I loved. I quickly noticed that if I wanted to be truly happy, I had to break away from this detrimental way of life. I knew that If I was to go alone and progress along the path of self-sufficiency, I had to do what others weren’t willing to do.
And here I am now facing the ultimate test. I’m growing Podstel – the first ever Crowdsourced Hostel Project -whilst I travel the world. I can report that I’m fully embracing the challenge of working on my own terms and doing something I LOVE.
I know fine well that it can seem like an endless battle getting a product or service together, let alone finding a group of people willing to pay money for your offering. With that in mind, I want to share some of the early lessons I’ve learnt about entrepreneurship that could benefit you on the road to self-sufficiency and making a life out of what you love.
Have you got what it takes? Lets paint the picture of the entrepreneur…
An entrepreneur will not accept societal expectations. They have this unwillingness to settle for the status quo. Their dreams are so radical that most people think they’re nuts. Their work is focused on creation rather than consumption. They want to become a real expert in something and add value to people’s lives. They find that working on their creative outlets is a major source of their happiness. They know if they stay in the game long enough, eventually they will prevail. They realise that scarcity of opportunity does not exist, and if anything, it’s a lack of imagination. They always aim high, and in doing so, realise it’s a win-win situation. They know that the path to success means advancing one small step at a time. Last but not least, they have unprecedented grit, perseverance and resilience to bounce back and keep getting back up.
Now, if you still think you’ve got what it takes then here’s six useful entrepreneurial lessons from starting Podstel to help kick start your new business idea:
- Imitation and Improvement – It’s important to copy other successful people. You need to watch them relentlessly. How do they live their lives? How do they do what they do? How do they communicate with others? What skills do they have that you need to develop? BUT REMEMBER… don’t stop at imitation. You need take it one step further by finding a way to improve the way they do stuff.
- Build Momentum through Consistent action – Your actions are the best manifestation of your dreams; talk isn’t unfortunately. I’ve met so many people that have wonderful ideas but have no follow through ability at all. These wonderful ideas will remain just that. Put bluntly you need to get your shit done! It’s all about excellent execution, making timely decisions and small step progressions. You need to be a DOER and make sure you continue building momentum for your project through consistent action and discipline.
- FOCUS – Focus your time, energy and resources on what’s vital rather than diluting everything by spreading yourself thin – you’ll get overwhelmed very quickly. No focus is like pouring a tub of red paint in an ocean. Also, don’t try to multitask. Always work on one task at a time and be sure to always ask yourself whether it’s adding value to what you’re trying to achieve overall. By choosing the essential, you will create great impact with minimal resources.
- Failure’s REALLY GOOD, embrace it – You’re path on the road may look like this. The middle bit Failure-Refine may repeat itself x 20,000….Initiation – Failure – Refine – Failure – Refine – Failure – Refine – Success Failure is a beautiful learning block. It reinforces more than anything else what doesn’t work. Think of your project as a scientific experiment where each failure is an anomaly result in the overall experiment. A scientist doesn’t pop his shit, get upset and disregard the whole experiment when an anomaly pops up. The scientist learns something from the anomaly, and makes sure they take something from it so that it adds value to the overall experiment. You will learn something from every single failure. Your task is to use this “failure” learning point, refine the project as necessary and try again. Through repetition of this method you will reach your overall goal. Embrace failures. Learn from them. Refine your Project.
- Conscious development – I can’t stress the importance of this enough! As far as I’m concerned, if I’m not growing, I’m dying. You need to make a conscious effort to self-develop. READ, READ, READ. I find it useful to read blogs on success, self-development and entrepreneurship. But don’t just READ. In fact, nothing beats actually getting out there and experiencing first hand through good old trial and error. You can read, watch videos and listen to as many audiobooks as you want but you can’t beat learning by doing. Getting out there is also awesome way for gaining fresh inspiration, maximising your imagination and identifying new ideas. In all of this it’s so important to find balance. That means finding time to work on what you love, whilst looking after your body and your mind. Don’t forget socialising regularly with the people you love too. It’ll be hard to crack at first and it’ll take time but I guarantee you’ll be much happier and will notice a massive increase in your productivity.
- Take a notepad everywhere – This is a big one for me. I make sure I take a notepad everywhere I go. Thoughts will pop up when you least expect them to. I’ve been on the verge of falling to sleep when some of my best ideas have entered my brain. I also find it useful to make observations on what I see and do in a day. I’ll write questions to myself and ponder over the answer on a bus journey home.
It can be a very lonely path for an entrepreneur in the early stages of developing a new idea. It’s often difficult for others to see the beauty in your idea and this can be frustrating. It’s perfectly normal that some days you’ll have no desire and feel aimless. Know that it’s purely a temporary state. Of course, you’ll doubt your idea from time to time but then you’ll find an answer that immediately eradicates that worry. In these times, you must notice that the project will seize to exist if you give up. I guarantee through persistence, grit and resilience that you’ll find a way.
Above all you’ll know that you pursued what you loved and lived life with a purpose. You’ll now that you didn’t plod along in a safe 9-5 job that you hated at the expense of someone else’s gain – and that my Sir – is a wonderful feeling.
Dan Beaumont, on behalf of Podstel.