Lately I’ve been doing this thing where I take a running leap outside my comfort zone just to see what happens. These leaps I’ve been taking aren’t spontaneous, but they aren’t exactly calculated either. I tend to have a higher risk-tolerance than others, but I also know that when you lose a game you get stronger, and that’s what counts in the long run. It just so happens that this type of resilience is a prized virtue in Startupland.
As I’m discovering lately, many of the lessons from Startupland can also apply to success factors in other areas. Here are a few:
Lesson 1: Write Your Story and Start Talking About It
When my travel-loving family starts planning our next adventure, I can never fully visualize it without grabbing a pen and paper (even if its a cluster of sticky notes) and mapping it out. In my experience, having your story on paper will help you analyze the details, visualize the results, and polish your pitch.
A great pitch turns into a great conversation, and a great conversation turns into investment interest. – Maxim Wheatley, Associate Producer of Startupland, a documentary series
No one is going to know who you are, what you are doing, or where you want to be if you don’t start sharing the good news. Who knows – your neighbor might like your travel ideas and ask you to plan their next adventure…for a small consulting fee, of course.
We can control our own destiny, but if we don’t work to define and pursue it, somebody else will do it for us.
Lesson 2: Validate Your Idea and Be Ready to Pivot
As you start talking about your idea, pay close attention to the feedback you receive. This is really important if you have something you are trying to sell, even if its just an idea.
In one of my jobs, I had a great deal of responsibility when it came to customer service projects. I knew there was something more that we could do to increase customer engagement, and thought a video tutorial series might help. Before I asked for a mic, lighting kit, and better video editing software, I did a concept piece using my webcam and uploaded it to Vimeo to be shared with a few customers. The feedback was astoundingly positive (not just from the customers, but internally as well.) That alone validated my idea, and got me a great production kit to keep the cameras rolling.