Topic: Initial Finalized Idea Part 1
Truth be told, there is no structured or formatted method to build an idea or a startup. Even at a young age, I noticed the error in people’s tactics that incorporated stalking and studying other entrepreneurs to a tee. Also, constantly attending expensive seminars, purchasing startup related books, or harassing successful business people in order to discover their ‘Golden Secret For Success’. As if there is a big conspiracy shared among people with a multi-millionaire net worth about one fundamental secret to riches.
Now, I agree in performing dynamic research on the industry and learning about the best players that are involved. Due diligence serves the purpose of relevancy and being informed; however, not stalking or hero worship. It is a waste of time trying to emulate someone else and their success. Not everyone will have the same resources and opportunities; every successful person will have their own path to success. Focus on how you can make the best of your situation while taking helpful notes from others. Make your own success story!
“There is no elevator to success you have to take the stairs”-Anonymous
Over the next few years until I was a college junior, my idea remained a simple translucent idea about college searching/recruiting. I spent most of my immediate time focusing on college research and developing the best major in school for entrepreneurship. I believed that Accounting/Finance was the best major to build a business; incidentally, I was exceptionally good at it.
It is a common and logical fact that many successful entrepreneurs come from a finance/accounting background. As pretentious as this may sound, I could understand and visualize the benefits of having an accounting understanding from the beginning. This fact served as a constant reminder of all the ignorant people who would fail to see the connection between a major in accounting and an aspiration to be an entrepreneur. Unfortunately, sometimes it seems that people nowadays are more negative than ever in history. I cannot even count the number of pessimistic people that have tried to convince me that I am wasting time trying to build a business or pursue an accounting master’s degree. Here was my answer to those beloved people:
People will try to trample over innovative or different people for many reasons. Nonetheless, having thick skin is essential to a growing entrepreneur; whether their feedback is genuine or not it can present an opportunity to improve your product. I look at negative feedback in one of two ways: an opportunity to increase my idea pitching skills by winning them over on the merits of my idea or a golden opportunity to make my product better. Regardless of how you wish to manage negative feedback from people, sooner or later you will have to confront it as it is inevitable. Look at it this way…if you cannot convince a skeptical person on the usefulness of your product then how do you expect to convince investors or bring in customers. Society labels them as ‘haters’ but for now let’s call them ‘motivators’. Just don’t let them steal your entrepreneurial spirit just because they don’t have any.
“Embrace the constructive comments and ignore the rest”
At that time I was constantly having an internal battle with myself, trying to figure out an answer for the big entrepreneurial question: “Should I work full-time or try to build my business?” To be honest, I simply delayed answering that question until I graduated and had more concrete facts to work from. I am a meticulous person that likes to calculate and plan every detail of my life and work. However, there is nothing wrong with reserving judgment or a conclusion until you have all the facts. Therefore, within those few years I spent my time making myself as prepared as possible. I even took a programming class and ensured that I was well networked to make sure that I had resources ready for use.
As for my independent research, I could not have found a better place and position to investigate and learn about the dynamics of college recruiting. The first issue that I discovered was the waging war between schools fighting for top-notch students. Therein lies an even bigger problem that needs to be solved which would give a bigger demand for my developed solution. The next challenge was to gather intel on the methods used to recruit students and critique them.
Consequently, I spent most of my time with the recruiters studying their every move and action to understand their interaction with prospective students. Furthermore, it was vital to find necessary tools to increase communication between schools and students. I was in a great position to learn about the students that apply to college versus the students that are accepted. More importantly, I understood the lack in communication between colleges and students that goes beyond recruiting strategies but within college life as a whole. Even though I didn’t know it, I was validating my idea. I was checking to see if there is any space in the market and a target audience for my idea.
“Validating your idea is confirming that people are interested in using your product”
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