The Process - Chapter 1 - An Obvious Revelation
I can’t recall how and when I got the call towards entrepreneurship. It’s quite possible that I jumped on the bandwagon because the word became hot, especially over the last decade. You see the word “entrepreneur” on everyone’s and their mum’s Instagram bio.
Now that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
While it’s gotten a lot easier to fake it, it has also gotten a lot easier to become an entrepreneur today as opposed to 10 years ago - thanks to the internet.
I mean, think about the kind of money you’d have to put up in order to start something before social media became a thing. And money means trouble when you’re next to clueless about how to execute a business plan over a five-year timeline from day one.
Anyway, let’s talk about why a couple kids in Uni sitting in a chinese restaurant decided to start an apparel brand.
To learn. To finally get off our asses and do something in the real world. And of course, make some dough. (We had to split one noodle bowl threeways for god’s sake.)
We always came up with ideas, shared it with each other, drew logos, typed out business plans, got excited, yapped about the “concept” to friends and then dumped it to the back of our heads. It was a cycle. A bad cycle.
There was no doing.
I keep thinking about why we didn’t act on the other ideas but we did on this one. The answer seems to be the approach.
The first time round, the brutal facts are:
- You don’t know the first thing about starting a business, running one and handling realities of screwing up with real life consequences.
- There is a high probability that up till this point, most of the work you’ve done has been mandatory (homework, studying for tests and group projects). The game of motivation changes completely when you’ve got no one else pushing you. It’s gotta come from within. You need to construct/identify the consequences, the risks and then learn to fear them. Not easy.
- Going at it alone is scary. But the chances that your friends can match your interest in an idea you come up with or vice versa is low.
- “Kid, don’t waste your time, energy and take on the risk. It’s unnecessary - just ace your exams and get a good secure job.”
- Point 4.
Considering all the above, if your first idea is to bring your biggest passion project to life, that’s going to be scary. (Of course, if your biggest passion project is to set up a lemonade stall, go for it.)
The first step for us was to realize that we had to prioritize learning over everything else. If all else fails, we’d have at least learned something out of it and we’d be happy with that.
So the next order of business was to figure out which one of our ideas had a low barrier of entry. The idea that would require the least amount of money to start up and be low enough to the ground for us to fall and be okay.
Not necessarily the coolest idea, or the most innovative one. We had to go for the most practical - and boy was that tricky for a couple of dreamers.