Once in a while friends would pick my brain about starting a new venture; their plans to raise the capital needed, the responsibility each would bear and the rest of the whats and what-nots. I would try my best to be encouraging and shared my resources where ever possible. The night usually would end with us raising glasses high up in the sky and ordered more beer for the road.
I’d like to view myself as an optimistic individual and consider problems are integrated part of our daily lives along with many other things worth cheering about, sometimes it is bitter and sometimes it is sweet, but a lot of the time it is both. However, after more than 6 years of operating a shop, my view has substantially shifted towards pessimism, and I think it’s because starting up a business is a tiring road and it gets to be extremely ridiculously lonely.
Forget about the extensive business plan, risk management, and whatever contingency plan with fancy names coming straight out of the text book, are you mentally prepared for a start up?
- Attitude over time. Do know having a like minded partner is as rare as having a good business plan. A good partner, however you may wish to define what good is, is limited to a time frame, that is, people change as time goes by and the mutual goal you once have is likely to be gone.
- Accusation. If you are the initiator of a business, all fingers will be pointed at you if you fail. But if by any chance you succeed, then we have many friends to thank for and many glasses shall be raised up high.
I don’t think starting a business can be taught in school or work, it is acquired one tiny step at a time for as long as you’re in the business. The sluggish progress de-motivates everyone, the frustration leads to distractions in order to escape the harsh reality and makes us shy away from the responsibility we have once agreed upon, it follows by accusations, then chaos which ultimately becomes the dissolving partnership.
So before you start a new venture with a partner or partners, ask yourself this: Can you do this all by yourself? If yes, then congratulations. You’re half way there.