I really don’t think life is about the I-could-have-beens. Life is only about the I-tried-to-do. I don’t mind the failure but I can’t imagine that I’d forgive myself if I didn’t try – Nikki Giovanni
The way I see it, launching out and setting up your own startup is one of the best decisions any human being can ever make. And it’s not just about the monetary gain. In fact, in this post, I’m considering money a non-issue. Because there’s a high likelihood, your startup may end up as another crash and burn project.
That shouldn’t discourage you from launching out though. Win or lose, launching your own startup is a great investment as the returns from your money, time and other resources are immense.
You learn a lot about nearly everything
I don’t mean learning in a metaphorical sense. I mean you’re literally always reading and trying to stay in the loop of the information cycle. Your zeal to grow your startup creates such an immense hunger for knowledge that you’ll plow through several libraries’ worth of information in your first six to ten months. As a founder, you’ll also find yourself having to delve into subjects like finance and accounting, marketing, networking and so on; subjects you may have smirked at in the past.
You become more creative
Startups demand dynamism and creativity from their founders. So, your thought process and approach to problem solving will constantly evolve. A lot of startups are also bootstrapped from day one. This means, you’ll have to come up with creative ways of gaining traction, like this really inspiring story of how Marc Ecko got celebs to love his brand. Trust me, your creative muscles haven’t been flexed until you are the shot-caller at a startup.
You learn how to prioritise
Most startups start out as side jobs. Founders usually keep their 9-to-5 while chiseling away at their startups in their free time, at least until the business is stable and sustainable enough to become a fulltime gig. During that transition, founders usually reevaluate their priorities. It’s not strange to see bad habits like oversleeping, indulging in videogame marathons, binge watching TV serials all through the weekend and so on, getting dropped.
You grow your network
Even if your startup fails, remember, money is not the only gain a startup offers its founder. The amount of connections you get to make and contacts you get, within and outside your industry will go a long way to helping you in your future endeavours. And believe it or not, having a startup under your belt, whether successful or not, makes you an attractive partner to other businesses and their founders (assuming it wasn’t egocentric issues that crashed your initial startup)
At the end of the day, you came, you saw, you didn’t conquer, but you definitely gave it your best shot. And at the end of the day, that’s what living is all about.