“In theory there’s no difference between theory and practice. But, in practice, there is — Jan L.A. van de Snepscheut”
This is not for you.
Risk it all or forget it.
Have big pockets or give it a rest.
Find a rich “uncle” (investor).
No money no honey.
Every day you hear such quick answers. If you want to build your startup it seems like these are your options.
But when you think about them, are there indeed all the available options?
When you start believing that these are the only choices, what effect have on you?
They just put your dream away.
But the question is, Is there an alternative route?
Many people (to be honest I was one of them), when start thinking about building their own startup always have to ask and convince themselves that they have the answer to one simple but critical question.
How on earth I will support myself while pursuing this dream?
I was thinking about this obstacle, from the 1st day I decided to pursue an entrepreneurship path.
Given that building a startup in general can take from 3 to 12 months (it can take much longer depending on the business concept but is not recommended; development phase should not take more than 6 months), a solution need to be found how to find an alternative income stream and cover your living expenses while you’re making your dream come true.
Is vital importance to tackle this barrier because you might have all what is needed for having a successful startup and great potentials but without addressing this constraint you can’t move on and later might become never.
Fortunately there is a solution, and as you can’t imagine I didn’t invented it. It’s there, been applied, its working and make the financial nightmare not relevant for us.
First things first, this solution doesn’t have as precondition any myths that often accompany the decision of start building your own startup. You don’t have either to quit your job, or stop your studies.
Is a solution that address the main problem of finding this alternative income stream and minimize the risk of the decision of going on your own and become your own boss.
Here it is, it’s super simple (but not easy) and is how millions of young aspiring entrepreneurs make things happen and achieve to build their startup without any need to neither undertake the huge risk of playing the all or nothing game, nor to be financial independent.
What it is?
Build your startup as a side-project!!!!
In simple words, what is been recommended by almost all the top startup experts is to gradually develop your startup while been in either your daily job or studying in a university and make the leap only when you validate your business assumptions and be confident that your business concept has good possibilities of viability.
Don’t worry for now about how to validate your business model, a future post will address this point thoroughly and comprehensibly. The aim of this blog post is to make you understand why this concept works and why is the recommended path.
And you know why?
Because is the only method that even in the worst-case scenario all you’ve lost was some time nothing dramatic or irreversible.
In addition this is one of the reasons why I am strong advocate of setting a passion-based startup because your passion will act as a driving force and make you be willing to go the extra mile and work on your spare time on this project (building your startup). As the ultra-successful entrepreneur Mark Cuban put’s it “Don’t start a company unless it’s an obsession and something you love”.
Our other billionaire magnate that will use as reference Richard Branson points out “It’s true that entrepreneurs have to take a leap of faith at some point. While it may seem daunting, the key is to make sure you’ve got a parachute. You need to work out as many of the bugs in your plan as you can ahead of time while keeping an eye on the clock. If you take too long, the circumstances might change, altering markets so that you could miss your opening”.
Namely, is what was been described above about the business validation and the importance of having a quick tempo in the development phase, don’t get overwhelmed with the paralysis by the analysis phenomenon.
If you are not willing to take this risk, and devote some of your free time towards that direction, it either mean that you picked the wrong passion, or that you need to select a different model that might work for you. Nonetheless, having said that to be honest I perceive the side-project model as by far the best choice for youngsters like us.
Nevertheless, we have to go back to a determinant factor of your startup success;
How bad do you want it?
And let’s clear things up, all those experts they are speaking about building and not operating your startup business as a side-project. As soon as you validate your business hypotheses and create a successful MVP (minimum viable product; a product with the least possible features that nonetheless can make customers buy), you will go with full engines and attention to your startup plan execution.
Is it as easy as just building your startup as side-project?
No, of course this decision has implications as every decision we are making in our life. The main ones are the following:
1st: Will take longer to build your startup (not much longer if you use your time wisely and targeted)
2nd: It implies that you have to devote some of your free time towards that objective
Both implications can be lessen with some very specific time management principles that will be explained in our next blog post.
If we could summarize what is been described in our today post, the prescription is clear “guys”: Get prepared, put the hard work, start considering seriously how to build your startup as a side-project, do your homework how this can be applied for your specific business concept and personal state and join the club of individuals pursuing their dreams initially as a side-project. I am confident that you’ll do whatever it takes so as to materialize your dream regardless the difficulties and the hurdles.[Contributed by Andreas Aravis, founder of No More Startup Myths. He is a 25-year old junior startup development specialist, blogger and aspiring entrepreneur.]