Making a startup successful ain’t easy. The climb is really hard and long. You loose on multiple occasions by making dumb mistakes. But failures often help you to learn and grow. Here are few tips for those just starting out, which would help you in avoiding mistakes which most first time entrepreneurs commit.
1.Your college degree may be a liability
Most of the people often end up in a branch which they are not interested or may not find interesting at a later point of time. So what now? The best thing to do would be is to explore various things. This often helps you find your passion. You may not be good at even ONE thing. But having exposure to many different things would surely give an extra edge as an entrepreneur. The best entrepreneurs in most of the cases happened to be admirers of self-education. Don’t waste your time in getting a perfect GPA. Instead, embrace the idea of a generalist education. As Steve Jobs said “If I had never dropped in on that single course in college, the Mac would have never had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts. And since Windows just copied the Mac, it’s likely that no personal computer would have them.”
You can’t connect the dots looking forward; only backwards. It may appear in future that everything you choose to study played a key role in your life and entrepreneurship journey. It’s the power of generalist education that helps you to pull together disparate areas of knowledge to build a business. Your college degree is not what matters; your college experience is what matters. Don’t waste it trying to pursue a high GPA at the expense of giving up everything college life has to offer.
2.Don’t leave your day job early
Quitting one’s day job is one of the dumbest mistakes that most of the early stage entrepreneurs make. You’re going to need cash flow to survive, travel, to buy web services and you won’t know how long it will take to get funding or generate cashflow. The real problem happens when you start worrying about money and you get defocussed from the work and start worrying about paying bills. Don’t quit your day job because it provides security and cash flow till you can break even or get funding. The early stage between conceiving your idea and generating cash flow is the most crucial stage. Screw this up and you’re again back to where you’ve started.
Its a very common saying, if you are not sure enough about your business to quite your job, why will anyone else trust you or fund you. This is very true. The last thing a VC would like to hear when you go present your business plan is that you are waiting for funding and some securities before joining your own company full time.
The right time to quit your job is when you have a concrete plan in mind and not just some vague notion in your head of making bank. Also another thing to keep in mind is that you have at least 6 months of working capital before quitting. Even if you are the next Billion dollar idea, it generally takes a couple of months to get funded as well. So make sure to account for this as well.