Being a realistic dream chaser.
Starting a business large or small is a huge undertaking. I by no means have all the answers to starting a successful business, I've barely gotten my own off the ground. But I did want to pass along a few tidbits of wisdom that I have learned in starting my very young career as a filmmaker.
1.) Everyone follows a different path.
I'm admittedly a very prideful person, I refuse to ask for very much help. With that being said, after undergrad I had the hardest time finding a job. I was watching friends move on with their lives but it seemed like I was stuck in a stand still. Mentally I was going through a slight depression, I wouldn't dare show it physically. In order to stay mentally healthy I had to stop comparing myself to other people, you never know what someone else is going through or the help they received along the way. Just like I put on a really good happy face, you never know who else is doing the same. I read this article a while back on the psychological cost of being an entrepreneur. I forget where I found it but it had the best analogy:
Being a successful start up is a lot like riding a lion. People are watching you like, "Wow he/she is brave, they must really have it together." Meanwhile you're sitting up there terrified trying to figure out; "How the heck did I get on top of a lion?!"
2.) Build a team and ask questions.
Piggybacking off of the last point, I tend to put on this super-human persona. I can handle anything. I have a analogy for that that as well:
"Even Superman needs the Justice League."
If you don't know the answer to a question the only way to figure it out is by asking. Don't fake like you know, get off your pride before you get something important wrong. I watch so many young people try to take on the world by themselves. It makes your life so much more difficult than it needs to be. It's one of the first lessons that I learned, the industry of filmmaking is a team sport. I don't have all the answers. For example, when I first started this venture one of my main concerns was keeping track of my money. I'm not an accountant, so I sought council from one. I was having trouble writing contracts, I'm not a lawyer so I sought council from one. The best way to fix a problem in business is to deal with it before it ever comes walking up to your doorstep. It's just economically sound. Speak to people you trust, there are loads of forums online full of people asking the exact same questions you are, it's really nothing to be ashamed of. One youtube channel that I frequent for business advise is Marie Forleo (when you visit tell her Trev sent yuh).
3.) Move with a plan.
Every step you take on your venture should be strategic. Don't just throw money at your start up, create a business plan. It starts you on a foundation. If you ever fall off track its something for you to go back and look at. It makes you ask yourself "What do I want?" and "How do I get it?" There are no excuses for skipping this step. We live in a digital age, everything you need to know about anything is on the internet. Here let me save you a google search. That link leads you to the SBA website where they take you step by step through the process of beginning your business. Take your time, think about the long-haul as opposed to the short-term. Take it from one of the most competitive people you will ever meet...you're not in half the hurry you think you are. Don't rush and make mistakes. Now we're getting on to my last tidbit of advise...
4.) Don't be an ass.
No one likes working with or for that guy in any venture you pursue. Build trust, strive for it, constantly do the right thing, and be flexible. Again you never know what someone else is going through and honestly it just feels good to be the nice guy.
Until next time,