The Truth Behind Starting Up a Start-up

For five years, I have known (for the most part) the business that I would like to start up.

I have tried and tested it on a small scale. I have walked away from it several times to try other opportunities. I have planned it all out on a hundred sheets of A3 paper and pictured my grand vision so clearly from idea through to global enterprise – and I have absolutely no doubt in my mind that I will get there. There are layers and layers to my business, and I am determined to bring each of them to life – knowing that some will be more successful than others and accepting that I will only find out which work best through trying them out!

However, right now I’m not even a start-up. I’m starting up a start-up and my god it’s frustrating.

I’m used to making decisions, acting instinctively and quickly putting into action what I have come up with or decided upon. Using momentum to keep driving forward, absorbing new ideas and suggestions and working on projects with enthusiasm and drive with a ‘whatever it takes’ mentality.

So the pain of sitting on the button and waiting to press ‘go’ is proving far more difficult than I had ever imagined.

You see, this time I’m so determined to grow this business into its full potential that I’m frightened of starting ‘small’. Don’t get me wrong – I know that small is where we all start, but I also know that starting with a small mentality can present hurdles along the way to growth. Starting small is necessary but it is important for me to keep in mind where I’m going – the big picture – so I don’t get stuck ‘in’ my business for too long and am free to work ‘on’ my business instead.

What’s hard for me at the minute is getting any momentum at all. I’m in a personal bubble of ‘starting up’ where I feel like the only person who actually knows what the hell I’m doing and what I’m aiming for, and despite sharing my ambitions with others successfully, the actual bringing to life of this business is down to me alone.

Today I am waiting on my start-up loan to be approved and while this is clearly going to be a big help in getting the ball rolling, I can’t help but accept that it is something of an excuse too. The loan will enable me to put processes into place and begin taking action, but I’m fully aware that there is a lot that can be done in the planning without the need for financial support.

The thing is, when you’re a start-up there are a hundred things that need to be done every day and so your purpose and mission for the most part is clear (if not a bit manic!). When you’re starting up a start-up, the path is clear but getting onto the track feels like a battle in itself.

I think the biggest frustration is not being able to have anything physical to show for all of the hard work I’ve been dedicating to my business yet. I can talk the talk and despite my confidence in my ability to walk the walk I feel like an eager child desperate to play with the grown-ups but without anything to bring to the party. And there’s the conundrum.

Patience. The hardest thing about starting up a start up, is having the bloody patience to accept that some things can be achieved with effort, hard work, dedication, skills and knowledge – but some things simply take time.

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