Having worked with multiple startups. Having listened to the goals and dreams of founders. And most importantly, having tried starting up several times and finally getting something to work to a point where it can sustain me, I have realized one thing.
You have to be crazy, stupid, brave, and lucky at the same time to build a successful business. Being crazy means being unbelievable. For someone from the outside, the decisions that entrepreneurs take might look crazy. It’s like quitting a well-paying job to chase a pipe dream.
With a little bit of time passing, crazy becomes stupid. Someone who leaves a good job to start something, and doesn’t see much results for the next 5 years is seen as stupid by everyone else. Whether he is actually stupid or not can be determined because it is relative and based on perceptions.
To continue doing something that has not worked for years, and only starting to show early signs of life – is brave. If you are not brave and you buckle under pressure and give up too soon, that’s when you are really stupid and worse yet, a failure. Most entrepreneurs cannot go back to a job once they get bitten by the bug of entrepreneurship.
It has been 15 years since I started doing digital marketing, and I am not a billionaire yet. But it doesn’t matter because I love what I do. I was crazy to start with and became stupid in other people’s eyes because of my life decisions, and what keeps me going is my bravery. What’s the worst that could happen? I know I won’t end up in the streets.
I am ready to give up something assured in return for something that’s not assured, but if it works out, it will be all worth it. But there is a high chance it might not work, and that’s what makes this entire journey crazy and stupid.
And if all is in place, you might get lucky. And when that happens, things go parabolic. Luck is definitely a factor in startup success, but the good part about it is that it is not equally distributed among all the startups like a lottery. Instead, the odds are stacked against the people who are crazy, stupid, and brave.
The more you do things with courage, the higher the chances that luck will find you. A lot of things have to fall in place before we see a hockey stick growth, but the good part about this kinda luck is that there are several chances. Many startups lose opportunities because they didn’t get lucky at that time but if they stay in the game long enough, they will get lucky just by pure probability.
You don’t need to be lucky all the time.
You just have to be smart enough to know when you are getting lucky.