As the first of my series of contributions to Startup Canada’s Blog in 2012, I felt it fitting to start with a call to action not to government or industry – rather a call to action to Canadian entrepreneurs to take responsibility for making their start-ups a success – to believe and to be confident – so that others will want to follow.
It may seem paradoxical but some entrepreneurs seem to expect more from others than they do of themselves.
Starting a company is not like starting a new job. It’s not something most of us can do part-time while doing something else full time (like a day-job you’ll quit if this really takes off). It’s not something that you can do on weekends and evenings. And it’s certainly not something someone else will pay you to do.
All guts – no glory. That’s what you should expect. And that’s what you should be prepared to commit. Your days, night and weekends. Your savings. Your security. Your pride and ego. Your heart, mind and soul.
Is this idea good enough for me to risk it all? You must answer this question first. The first person you need to convince is yourself.
As a world renowned CEO (that I had the good fortune to work for early in my career) once asked me when I presented a new business plan: “Are you willing to fall on your sword for that
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If the answer in reference to your business is “No” or rather if it’s anything less than an unyielding, yell-at-the-top-of-your-lungs, heart-stopping, exclamatory “YES”… sharpen up your resume and start taking job interviews because you aren’t ready to launch.
Your business needs your complete devotion, your complete commitment. You need to think about it in the shower, on the bus, while you are eating… even while you sleep. You are the alpha dog.
All the key stakeholders that will ultimately contribute to your success (suppliers, investors and employees) will be taking their cues from you.
So dig deep before you start taking those meetings with angels and prospective partners. Because anyone you really want to work with will be looking at you first and will gauge your likelihood to succeed first and foremost on your level of commitment and conviction.
There’s no such thing as a part-time founder; at least not a successful one. Canadian entrepreneurs from coast to coast – commit with confidence and take responsibility for your success. That is how we can START UP CANADA.
Yona Shtern is the co-founder and CEO of Beyond the Rack – named the fastest growing E-tailer in the USA for 2011