In the run up to our huge Elevator Conference 2015 you can expect a wealth of fantastic advice from our 9 inspiring speakers on the topic of #MakingItHappen.
Today we are joined by David Kellock of Trtl, the travel pillow - reinvented.
If nothing else in this blog post, the above Henry Ford quote could well change your life if you really take it on board.
This post is focussed on key things to think bout when you are starting or have started a business. It is essentially a ramble of really important stuff.
1) Firstly, don’t worry. Take little steps.
“Nothing is impossible if you break it down into small enough steps”, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step” - Chinese Proverb.
A cool thing to think about when you take your first step is that you are probably one of the few who has the guts to take it.
Many people seem to be able to convince themselves that it’s too much hassle. Whereas if they just took that first little step, they’d want to take the next, and the next and so on, until eventually they are on the way to success. AND! Guess what! You’re learning all the time doing it so even if you “fail” you’ve expanded your mind and made yourself a lot more employable.
2) The process of starting a business is essentially about being prepared to learn hard and work really hard under self-motivation.
You need to build good habits in order to transform the small idea of a business more and more into a thing that’s producing meaning and benefits for customers, your team, and you.
3) Read books.
Find reading lists of smart people you admire and read what they’ve read. How do you think they became great and who they are today? People they met, experiences they had and THE BOOKS THEY READ.
4) People will say to you “what’s your vision?!”. (And lots of buzz words like this will be flung around, just to warn you).
Essentially 'your vision' is your dream of what the company will look like and be doing in the future. A bit of advice when taking advice- if it helps you towards that vision, take it on board. If it does not help you towards your vision, politely bin it.
For example, plenty of wise people have advised us to licence our technology in theTrtl Pillow to other companies and we’ve had very very good offers to do this, but it’s not our vision. We want to be THE way to sleep on the go.
5) Be lean. Test stuff. Fire bullets (worth not too much) at a target before firing a missile (worth millions).
I stole that idea from Great by Choice – by Jim Collins. See if something works by testing it cheaply. We learned this early on (the hard way) by spending £3,000 on a terrible prototype. A year later we were making 3 prototypes a week for £20 each, plus my time.
6) Make your decisions out of love, not fear. Think about this one.
Let’s look at an example; Someone has dropped some money. You are scared to approach them and let them know because you don’t feel like talking to anyone and it’s a bit uncomfortable for you.
Scenario 1) you leave it and feel a sense of guilt, and you feel a bit empty for a time after.
Scenario 2) you push out of your comfort zone, approach them and pick up their money and give it to them. They probably have a big smile, thank you and you walk away feeling like a superhero.
Scenario 1) decision made out of fear, Scenario 2) decision made out of love.