“We don’t see things as they are. We see things as we are — Anaïs Nin”
Think for a moment of how you imagine yourself being your own boss. How you will spend the most of your time?
How about your main responsibilities?
Or even the life-style that will derive being an entrepreneur?
Ok did you think about them? If yes, please answer one very straightforward question….
What triggered that “images” in your mind?
Namely, what make you believe that this will be the case when you’ll become your own boss?
Is it just how you dream things will evolve? Is it based on something more concrete, for example you have close friends been in similar position with your dream path (being an entrepreneur)? Is it based on some discussions that you had with individuals actually leaving your dream?
I believe you understand where this discussion is going.
“We don’t see things as they are, we see things as we are”.
You might say, ok what is your point?
As the quote implies, as human beings the most of us we often interpret the events in our life with a purely subjective lens regardless our attempt to be objective.
Nonetheless, few of us can realize that what is been perceived by us as a fact/reality, in the real word is just an inaccurate interpretation. In other words it’s simply either not the real truth or in the best scenario just the half -truth. I am sure you can relate with this idea….
Ok now that we establish properly the framework (at least I wish….) let’s discuss how this concept can interject with our entrepreneurship path and what we can practically do to avoid a critical decision that might have devastating effect for our career life in the near future.
The Ross-colored glasses phenomenon
Aspiring entrepreneurs face the dilemma of deciding what kind of startup want to create. As I argued in our free step by step foundation Guide this startup is highly recommended to be passion-based.
However, even if the aspiring entrepreneurs decide to pursue this path another crucial action needs to be taken by them. They have to validate that the picture that they have in their mind is actually what that role dictates in reality.
As the expert Josh Kaufman put’s it
There’s a big difference between liking the idea of being/doing something and liking the actual being/doing. It’s easy to like the idea of being the CEO of a Fortune 50 company. It’s harder to like the hours, the responsibility, and the pressure that comes with the top job.
Namely, even though that you intend to convert your passion into a startup business, you have to assure that you have a clear picture about your future entrepreneurship responsibilities and tasks.
The rose-colored glasses phenomenon makes things be more appealing/rosy in your eyes that they actually are.
Action Plan for avoiding this phenomenon
In order to avoid developing a startup, that in the end of the day you will not enjoy and will ruin your future plans please do the following.
a) Carry out a brief research and find several individuals that they actually live your dream (entrepreneurs that have a business in similar field with your dream startup)
P.S. It doesn’t mean that these people have to be exactly in the same field but in the same context
E.g. let’s say you want to become a professional life-style blogger you could make a list with other bloggers in other fields (the context is the same). For instance their life-style, work responsibilities, work obligations, tasks are similar regardless their field.
P.P.S. Each entrepreneur can adjust their work-style based on their preferences. Nevertheless this tactic will allow you to have a more objective picture about these elements and understand in general what you have to anticipate from that kind of startup)
b) Create a list with at least 5 of them (preferably this list must be composed by individuals that you consider as more approachable; this can be the case due they might be close to your age, or from the same city, or you might have some common friends or acquaintances)
c) Write down 3 important questions that you wish to be answered by them
d) Write a well-written, personal and short email (max. 3 paragraphs) to them (to be composed by the following elements):
1st paragraph: Introduce yourself and explain your situation (the transitional and turning point that you are currently are and what kind of startup you want to create).
2nd paragraph: Point out why you believe that person can assist you in clearing things up (it could be due to his/her expertise, common walk of lives, close age, similar kind of startup and so on).
3rd paragraph: Write down the 3 questions that you wish to be answered by them. Finish by proposing them how you can turn the favor (figure out something that will be perceived by them as helpful) and in the end mention what else can I do for you
e) Tailor each email (the 2nd and 3rd paragraph) to each of the 5 people that are in your list.
f) Try through social networks to find out if you have any common acquaintance (a person that knows personally that individual)
g) If yes, ask if he/she could send him/her a message and mention that one person really need their help and will not take them more than 5 minutes.
h) If the previous step is attained successfully send the email to the end- person (the individual that you wish to be assisted by-answer your questions) and mention in the subject headline that you are a friend of your common acquaintance
The reason why I suggest that route; is because it is proofed that is far better than just sending a cold-email; (is been used by all the big corporations for networking reasons).
In the case that you don’t have any common acquaintance with them send them an email directly and mentioned in the end that you will follow up with a phone call in 3-4 days from that date (follow up is critical for cold-emails)
For the follow-up create a script (namely what you want to say, be brief and comprehend; don’t ask them anything except to let them know that you send an email with some questions and you would kindly request to have a look)
Follow this approach with all of them and in the end you will have your questions answered…
This process is critical; is better to be proactive and spend some of your time assuring that, what you dream about is actually what it is, than building a startup and after some months realize that it’s not what either you dream or you wish to have as a business career.
So….. What do you think, is it time to get rid of our rose-colored glasses?
“It isn’t what you don’t know that hurts you. It’s what you know that isn’t so” -Will Rogers[Contributed by Andreas Aravis, founder of No More Startup Myths. He is a 25-year old junior startup development specialist, blogger and aspiring entrepreneur.]