I think I am on my 14th startup now; I try hard not to count them all as there were several early failures and the scars still itch when closely examined.
What I wish I had known before I started:
1) Always do what you love, not what you think others will like
2) Always have an exit plan
My early failures were usually “great ideas” which I thought others would love. The issue is, if you come to the market too early, you go broke trying to convince others exactly how the idea is great. If you come to the market late, you miss the gold and only pick up the bronze (at best), or an “also-ran” yellow ribbon.
My later successes came from sharing what I was passionate about, and creating a system which was easy to run. Startups often have no income in the early stages, so if you are truly passionate about your field, it gives you fuel to run through the first dry months. If you create a business which can be run part-time, it enables you to pursue other passions, or to easily sell the business to another party.
My initial startups were often 70hr/week monsters which primarily relied on my efforts. My last three startups outsourced non-essential tasks and could be run in 24hrs/week or less. Guess which one is easier to stay motivated for, and guess which one is easier to sell?
Harness your passion. Build a team. Create your system. Share it with others. Enjoy life.
This post was written by Jeremy Britton, Business, Lifestyle & Money coach