So, you are passionate about something and have identified an area needing a significant amount of improvement in there; what better time to take the leap and have a startup of your own? I mean, isn’t it the best when you can turn your passion into profession?
Absolutely right, now is the time to plunge into that entrepreneurial venture, perhaps better than ever, just as countless people around the globe. But I also happen to personally see and know many people taking the bait, biting off much more than they could possibly chew and biting the dust eventually.
Now, does it mean you shouldn’t think of initiating a startup? Absolutely not; all I am saying is to know exactly what you are about to jump into. Whether you like it or not, a magnificent idea will only get you so far. Isn’t it just plain common sense to bring along an umbrella if you see clouds covering the skies?
If you are certain it’s about time to start your own company, I am just here to assist you in getting some absolute basics totally right, so that your odds of actualizing your dream get better.
Here are three basic steps to breathe life into your startup:
1. It takes two to tango – assemble a reliable founding team
Why? I mean you can very much raise your eyebrows to the idea of assembling a founding team, but before you do so, just come up with a few of the most successful business ventures of our times.
Most of you will start the list by Apple, of course. What about Google? Did I forget to mention Twitter? What about Yahoo and Microsoft? In case you are wondering what’s the point of mentioning all these names, all of them had two cofounders when they started.
So, what do I want to establish? Well, nothing more than the fact that the odds of success of a startup enhance manifold when it is cofounded by two individuals. Does it also mean that a single person or a team comprising of more than two has no chances of success? Surely not, there’s no single formula to a startup success, but stats support the notion that it takes two to tango!
There is a twist to the tale though, the idea of cofounding with your closest friends and family. Apparently, there’s no harm in it. Just make sure their skills are a right fit for your entrepreneurial undertaking. Also, make sure you two are bonded strongly, because the highs and lows of a startup will definitely test the strength of the bond between the two of you.
Moreover, take due time in finding the best person as your cofounder, because it’s the keystone to the whole bridge you are looking to put together. And the chances of this happening overnight are almost close to none. It’s better that you don’t rush into this.
“Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence wins championships.” – Michael Jordan
2. Have a solid plan
So, with the most awesome idea and an even more awesome founding team, you are all set to inspire the whole world with your startup? It won’t be possible without a great plan in place.
You don’t necessarily have to write a 1000 page long document, but you must have a model for growth in addition to a pitch to play with investors (even if you have no immediate plans for raising money).
There are some serious questions to be answered before you go hitchhiking the treacherous domains of entrepreneurship. How big is the market that you are looking to target? How much of it do you think will you be able to cover surely and easily? How much time would it take? How many people would you need to hire initially? What would you be charging to lead your business to a profitable place?
It’s imperative to think about how to capitalize on any potential growth opportunities as they surface, and how you will execute the plan when it’s needed. There’s no end to the open questions you come across as a startup, but having a better understanding of the most critical aspects is the least bit you need to move forward with.
3. Run through your finances like never before
It’s almost certain to live without a paycheck for a while when you give your startup a go. So, you better take a good look at a number of things related to your finances before you kiss your day job goodbye forever.
Get a realistic estimate of how long you can survive without getting paid. One of the best ways to do so is by comparing it to when you plan to raise money (this also includes generating income from your business). In most cases, the time consumed in fundraising prolongs to 6 months or even more. So, be ready to divert some of your savings towards company expenses in the meantime.
Sounds intimidating? It can be, but there’s always a way around. Luckily, there are a few very good financing options nowadays for budding startups, like Y Combinator or TechStars. They offer help in covering early expenses while you come up with your prototype. Or, you might consider working nights and weekends on your business to minimize the time you have to survive without a salary. Also, not to mention, the age old technique of cutting back on unnecessary expenses to make some much needed savings.
“Well, I think that there’s a very thin dividing line between success and failure. And I think if you start a business without financial backing, you’re likely to go the wrong side of that dividing line.” – Richard Branson
What would be my next advice once you have assembled your dream founding team, come up with a feasible plan and sorted out your financial viability? I will suggest you halt everything else and get set go!
Share your personal experience/opinion in regard to your startup in the comment section below.
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5 Hacks to Improve Your Writing Skills in English for ESL Learners
Studying in college is hard for everyone, but ESL learners arguably suffer the most. Moving to a foreign country, learning a new language, and keeping pace with the rest of the class may seem like an unbearable burden. It’s okay to feel overwhelmed, but you have to pull through and not give up.
In moments like this, it’s always a good idea to seek help. Whether you go to WriteMyPaper to order an essay or just talk to a friend, admitting vulnerability is an important step towards improvement. In this article, you will find some tips on how to get better at essay writing, even if English is not your native language.
Control Your Environment
Improving your language skills is all about constant practice. Living in an English-speaking community is the first thing you should do to start your practice. It might be tempting to surround yourself with people who already speak a familiar language. However, this way, you won’t be practicing English on a daily basis.
You need to make those lessons almost intuitive in a way that you don’t have to do anything to learn the language. If you live in an English-speaking community, for example, if your roommate speaks English, you will have to practice the language, whether you want it or not.
Still, make sure you don’t take it too far. Taking care of yourself is still as important as ever. Feeling like an alien for the sake of education is not worth it. Remember to keep in touch with your friends and family, talk to them as often as necessary.
Practicing language is not just about doing your homework. You can make practicing English a normal part of your daily routine by watching TV, listening to music, and reading books in this language.
Yet, this is a bit tricky. When being surrounded by white noise, people tend to learn not to notice it. You need to ensure this doesn’t happen. As you watch movies or read books, maintain your attention on what you’re doing. If you hear or see a word that you don’t understand – translate it and write it down. Be mindful and remember what you’re doing this for.
Writing Is The Answer
If you want to specifically learn to write, you need to do one thing, and that is to write. Continuous practice will help you understand what mistakes you often make and, in time, eliminate them. Focus on your goal, and don’t get discouraged when something’s not working. After all, even Rome wasn’t built in a day!
Get a journal and write in it daily. Pick a new topic every time and note everything you can think of. It’s also important that you write by hand, a spelling checker in your computer is tempting, but it will not help you remember how to spell words correctly.
Besides, journaling as a habit has multiple health benefits, and it can be therapeutic. It can help you get in touch with yourself and process your emotions better.
Learn In a Group
It’s proven that learning in a group is more efficient due to the sense of competition. Find a bunch of like-minded people who want to study with you or join an already existing one, like a speaking club.
The benefit of such activities is that you get all these people from entirely different backgrounds who are all good at various things. This will help you exchange experiences, which is impossible if you’re alone.
Schedule regular meetings, come up with topics to discuss and activities to do. You could watch videos or movies together, or talk about common things. Having assignments like describing an event can also be beneficial for the entire group. This way, while one person speaks, the rest think about how they would say the same things differently.
This will help you feel more confident in your skills and, consequently, speak and write better.
The most important thing about learning a language is not to be afraid of making mistakes. It’s inevitable; you just have to take it as a natural part of a learning process.
A child that is learning how to walk doesn’t give up after falling once, and you shouldn’t either. It’s most likely that your friends understand that you’re just learning a language, and they won’t laugh at you for misusing a word or a few.
Get over that fear of error and make as many mistakes as it will take. Treat it lightly, and don’t beat yourself up for it. On the other hand, try to attend as many events as you can that will expose you to the foreign language. Not only will it boost your English skills, but also improve your social confidence!
Learning a language is hard; there’s no arguing about that. However, it’s going to get easier with time. Take every hard thing that life throws at you and turn it into a lesson.
Watch your favorite movies in English, converse with native speakers, and you’ll see the improvement very soon!
Remember to be patient about it. Don’t give up, and don’t beat yourself up over something that you have so little control of. Good luck!
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