Almost 14% of the United States working-age population – some of 27 million citizens – is working on a startup (1). If you are one of them, you must know that optimism is one of the elements that push people to take the first step in this process. If you don’t believe in your project, then don’t do it because if you are the first one to doubt yourself and to put obstacles, you got that battle lost.
As I read a few days ago, according to studies registered in the logs of National Academy of Sciences, there is a possible genetic basis for optimism, self-esteem, and self-control, but you can intervene to revert this trend.
In the mentioned paper, Doctor Shelly E. Taylor, PhD., Psychology professor at UCLA, confirms the research performed by her former alumnus Shimon Sapphire-Berstein who pinpointed the brain’s region where this optimistic gen is, and claims that the combination affects the way we see the world and our role in it, but it’s not just because of this that a person is destined to be happy or sad. “Genes predict behavior but they are not all, the end of all. There is a huge amount of space for environmental variations, how the individual was raised and the life experiences he had” (2), he points out.
A well-known example of optimism and tenacity is Walt Disney, who grew up on a farm where he made drawings that he took to the college newspaper “The Village Voice” becoming a legend with a character named “Oswald the Lucky Rabbit” – who then became the famous Mickey Mouse – creating a whole empire.
At the beginning of a startup, you feel a drive, an interior force that pushes you forward and carries you. In all my years as an entrepreneur I have seen many others left behind and I wonder what happened to them. Why did they fail? Which factor was left outside when they opened for business?
It is not easy to be responsible for keeping a company afloat and knowing that the salary of many depends on you. That is why today I want to share part of my experience and advises, so if you are thinking on a startup, don’t get carried away by emotions only and sit with a pen and paper. Let’s see:
- It is time to capture that idea on paper and run some numbers, make a SWOT analysis to turn it into a business project.
- Review how well prepared you are from a professional point, for the challenge you have set, and evaluate the market, look who your competition will be, how many competitors you will have and of what kind.
- Define the legal form you want for your project, evaluate the financial part and decide if you are going to ask for a loan, for how much, what kind and for how long.
- Look for a place where to settle, the place where you will operate and manage everything concerning the business.
These are times for entrepreneurs, some global stats confirm this:
- 47% of the working-age population in the United States said there is a big opportunity to start your own business.
- Chile ranks as the world’s most entrepreneurial country.
- 37% of the European population are entrepreneurs vs a 58% employment-based job.
As you can see, entrepreneurship as a career option has been gaining space in today’s economy. Every day we see new startups but we also see others closing down. It is about reaching the precise moment with the right product, but also about researching and analyzing the biggest amount of possible variables.
If you are considering a startup, it is very important to stay firm and motivate your team. The process requires a lot of planning and not giving up. Make a storytelling of your initiative, from the conception of the idea to the set up of your company; this can be an incentive to other entrepreneurs. Move forward and good luck!
- Donna Kelley, Slavica Singer, Mike Herrington and the Global Entrepreneurship Research Asociation (GERA). Global Report. EE.UU & UK : Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM), 2015/2016.
- Tayloor, Shelley E. WebMD. WebMD. [En línea] 2011. http://www.webmd.com/balance/news/20110916/optimism-partly-in-your-genes?page=2.