I now realize why startups are, in one way or another, associated with coffee.
Literally, sleepless nights and brain drain. Brain drain, peeps. Brain drain.
I and two friends have decided to go on a venture to work for an advocacy that caters to a segment of the Philippine population. Certainly a big segment, but one that’s relatively specific. But, the thing is, we’re really short on funds and we’re trying to raise enough capital to get this thing running.
What I’ve learned
Fly! But you need to stretch your wings first… so you don’t pull a muscle
When you’re starting out, you, ideally, need money. I thought, maybe we can start this out real small – like, you know, we make videos that make sense and are funny. Just like how a lot of people in the Internet started. But hey, it takes a little investing to get good gains.
You can just shell out REALLY good content for people to consume. But hey, even that takes a little spending. And the Math is just… The Math! But hey, these “sacrifices” are needed when you’re planning on going big.
Besides, if this was your passion and you’re really committed to it, you’d agree that it will entail a little sacrifice. And I understand that fully now that we’re launching something potentially huge and it’ll take a little “stepping out of your comfort zone” to make it happen.
Keep your mind wide open
There’s this song I know of that an ex-squeeze (someone I dated in college, she and I are friends now, no bad blood or anything) introduced to me. It’s Anna Sophia Robb’s “Keep Your Mind Wide Open“. In a nutshell, the song is about not giving up on obstacles and keep your mind open to anything that can happen.
Just a few days ago, we talked about how the whole project would work. One of our “fellows” (because “business partner” is freaking mainstream”) mentioned that we’ll need some ads for revenue. From there, something inside me freaked out – “Ads?! We’re not putting ads on this site!” So from there, I realized I was a lot like the protagonist in the Social Network movie – willing to cross swords with people just to get what I wanted.
I mean, given my knowledge of ads, they really get in the way of the content. As much as possible, I want our audience totally focused on what we’re doing for them. That is what I want. “What I Want”. And from there, the fellowship made me realize a blind side of mine: Am I really doing this for the community we’re catering to? Or do I just want to be rich and famous ala Mark Zuckerberg?
Honestly, I want both.
And I want to be honest to myself because I want people to know that I can be trusted. And in business, besides the fact that there could be conflicting ideas, honesty is an absolute must – honesty in the context of if you want to voice out your thoughts, voice it out now lest we want to encounter anything bad in the future.
So I aired out my side, and the fellowship convinced me that we get the ads – we get them in such a way that it’s still relevant and doesn’t send out the impression that we’re selling out to some big company AND, more importantly, it doesn’t compromise our advocacy. My side was heard and was heeded – that’s good. AND we still manage to get the revenue we needed.
It also made me realize the value of win-win more. I mean, why do we need to have conflicting ideas when we can put it together and create a better and beautiful idea? We don’t need to fight over something we don’t agree on. Let’s put it on the table, discuss it like the relatively wise and experienced professionals that we are, agree and then go get some coffee… or beer, depending on what night we went out to meet.
When you dream, don’t be scared. Dream BIG.
(scared, pronounced scuh-rd, refer to this video)
So, ideally, I wanted us to start out small. You know, just making really good videos here and there that are relevant to the startup we have in mind. While on our meeting, ideas began flying and I was overwhelmed. I was like: “Wo-wo-wo-wow! Slow down. My brain feels like it’s being battered.”
Because there really were a lot of ideas flying. And these were ideas that are still achievable. Maybe I got overwhelmed because I felt the actions necessary to get this idea flying is outside of my comfort zone.
And it’s just now that I realize what the fellowship was talking about:
So yeah. If you’re going to dream, don’t be scared. Dream big and aim for the stars.
So far, I’m very excited for this startup. I’m happy that I’m an individual who has work and gigs at the same time. I’m very thankful I have clients and people I work with to make enough money. I’m happy, also, being a social media manager and consultant. And now, I’m very excited to use what I’ve learned for another business I’m going into with my friends – the fellowship of the Ping (don’t ask, we’re essentially all partners here).
Have you ever planned on getting a startup? What’s stopping you? Can we help? Let us know in the comments section below!
Special thanks to the Angry Joe Show for inspiring me to take up this advocacy.