It truly is the generation of startups, with new names popping up all over not just Singapore, but Malaysia as well.
One of the latest to hit Vulcan Post headlines was Uncle Saba’s Poppadoms, whose delightfully crunchy, yet healthy, chips are winning hearts over left and right.
These are the people who had an aspiration in their hearts, and did not stop until they had fulfilled it. We hear success stories like that and let’s be honest, it is difficult to not feel envy. Especially when we see the beaming faces who are now spanning article covers.
So what’s stopping us from pursuing our own entrepreneurial dreams?
It goes without saying that founding a startup is far from easy. It takes an astounding amount of devotion, commitment and hard work. But similarly, the rewards reaped at each milestone will also be incomparable.
So what’s behind the scene of “Starting up a Startup”?
Taking Baby Steps
- Getting Your A-Team
While it’s easier to start with friends, they simply might not make the best partners. Their commitment might be based on friendship and the reality is that, you might not even have that by the end of the day.
Go out and meet people. Talk to them, learn what their own aspirations are, and perhaps you might even discover how they can achieve them together with you. In a startup, people might have to juggle multiple tasks, so it’s not just about knowing how something works.
It’s about believing in what you’re doing.
Don’t forget your lawyer and accountant for the technical bits while you focus on making magic!
- Put On Your Thinking Caps
Unfortunately, the first idea is almost never the best idea. Of the entire startup creation process, this step would have to be the hardest one. It’s all about refining your dream, ironing out the creases, till it’s clearly defined into something everyone will be able to understand and relate to.
Learn to reject ideas. Feelings might be hurt, but it is simply part-and-parcel of this remarkable journey you are on.
- Mapping Realistic Goals
Nothing kills a dream faster than not seeing results. It’s the same with diets, people need to know their efforts have not been futile, otherwise it can be a blow to the gut. Rome was not built in a day.
Success will not come in the first month, maybe not the first half year. Bombastic goals do not work either, so don’t even try unless you are extremely confident that you can walk the walk.
- Taking Steps Back
As much as AI is taking over the world, our bodies remain human and fallible. Learn to relax, even if every fibre in your being protests against it.
Your mind will answer most questions if you learn to relax and wait for the answer. – William S. Burroughs, American writer
Sometimes it is when you are stressing it that your brain chooses not to function. Delegate time for relaxation, organize team bonding activities. It will recharge everybody while building camaraderie at the same time.
Starting Up In Singapore
Singapore’s environment is extremely conducive for the young entrepreneur. Healthy competition begets healthy growth and JTC LaunchPad@one-north, our Silicon Valley, is where startups are nurtured. With all the support there is, safe to say that you will not be left in the lurch when it comes to the financial aspect.
The Early Stage Venture Fund (ESVF) and SPRING SEEDS matches third party investments dollar-to-dollar, with the latter capping it at S$1million. Smart Nation Singapore provides plenty of platforms for young entrepreneurs to network with veterans, as well as spaces for them to explore with FinTech (Looking Glass @ MAS).
Learning To Be Game Changers
Not all of us are born entrepreneurs.
We might have an idea of what we want to do, but this does not translate to knowing how to start. If you recall the article on how to ensure career stability, you would also know that the government provides plenty of opportunities for people to learn.
Yes, this includes classes on Entrepreneurship 101.
NUS and NTU students might be familiar with this platform, with the universities offering online elective modules in lieu of physical class time.
Other learning platforms such as Udacity are even more direct in telling you what they offer with courses such as these.
In doing anything, timeliness is extremely important.
Once you have missed the boat, it is difficult to tell when opportunity will come around again. It is only when you stop procrastinating that things will start happening. Who knows, maybe you’d end up becoming our very own Uncle Saba!
Feature Image Credit: braintreepayments.com