In this episode of Spill The Tea with THG, we invite partners of Start Something Studios, Elliot and Jon to share what it means to work towards sustaining a business built on a dream.
This idea of being a market disruptor, coupled with the advancement of technology has led to the rise of many interesting companies that have made a global impact in a few years. With companies marketing an amazing work culture that denounces corporate structure and promotes “fun” while bringing more choices to consumers, it’s easy to see why startup culture is incredibly attractive. As much as it seems exciting to start something with the intention of sharing your passion with the world, it is far from easy.
It starts out with a grand idea, something that, “You feel in your soul and you want to express it”. In many cases, businesses prioritise profitability, however, getting wrapped up in the finances and letting the important vision take a backseat can hinder growth. More than making money, believing in the dream and communicating that intensity to your audience is the backbone of any business, in other words, you have to sell the dream, not the product.
Take it from Elliot, who credits his ability to sustain the business on having “a can-do attitude to work on your passions.” On top of the operations, finances and administrative aspects of running a business, one’s determination and willpower is ultimately what drives the business. It’s tough because things do not always turn out as expected and by hyper-focusing all your energy on your passion project, it can potentially drain more than inspire you.
Incredible mental tenacity is necessary to either to see the process through, wrestle with the emotions that come with letting something go and dealing with negativity from those closest to you. It is fair to note that “Sometimes, you need to step away from the passion in order to reinvigorate it”. More often than not, it’s about perspective and mindset. Take what others say with a pinch of salt, consider why they are concerned and whether they want the best for you. As much as confidence is key, having the humility and courage to put your idea up for judgement can help you see certain gaps in your proposal.
Having all these thoughts at the back of your head may be overwhelming, so to break down the intention and know-how about starting a business, here are a few tips to guide your thought process.
- 1. Know what you stand for
You need to know your intention behind the business, what is the fundamental reason for the creation of this particular product or service? For some, it’s addressing a gap in the market, for others, it’s to spread the joy of gaming together. It really is up to you.
- 2. Consult people you trust
This ties in with the earlier point of building a support system and getting constructive feedback. It is hard to have your ideas shot down, but if you know that these people have your best interest at heart and believe in your vision, listen to them and make improvements along the way
- 3. Materialise your plan
Now that you’ve thought about what you want to do, you have to put pen to paper. Coming up with a business proposal, working out the finances and administrative processes all come into play when thinking about feasibility. There are tons of resources online to help you get started, here’s one.
Steve Jobs had a vision and it was when he succeeded that he understood why certain failures had to take place to further push him forward, he believed that “You can only connect the dots looking backwards”. The road less travelled is never easy, but knowing that you’d touch a few lives along the way makes the journey worth it.
Listen to the full discussion here.