By Lindsey Guest (Founder & CEO, Beauty Army)
Entrepreneurs are like Frogger, navigating hazards from every direction and occasionally getting smushed. Luckily, they tend to stick together and have many things in common.
They are inquisitive, constantly challenge the status quo and are at least minimally eccentric. They are people who have trouble following directions, responding to authority and exhibit incredible strengths and equally incredible weaknesses. They are passionate, emotional and sympathetic.
Entrepreneurs must develop a thick skin and posses the ability to be good at all aspects of running a business from design to HR.
If you’re not tough now, you will be. Success and criticism are positively correlated. Keep an inquisitive eye out for solutions to problems rather than ideas to, “start a business.” All successful companies provide a solution to a problem.
The tricky part is there are problems that aren’t obvious. Connectivity and social interaction weren’t a “problem” before Facebook came around. Amazon was motoring along unfettered before Fab.com recently cropped up and gave us a more interesting alternative for unique products. Comparing them both makes the former look outdated and clunky.
Chances are you’ll come up with many ideas for a company and only one or two would actually work. The bad news is that the idea is not even .1% of the difficulty of being an entrepreneur. Great teams can make a bad idea work and bad teams couldn’t make a paper plane fly. Building a great time is essential.
Start with your favorite idea and go from there. Bounce it off your friends and family. Don’t be cagey, talk to as many people with different backgrounds as possible. Listen to feedback but go with your gut. Always go with your gut. Every time I ignore that little voice in my head, I make an error. Trust yourself.
Choose your idea but don’t necessarily stick with it. Be flexible. You will get thrown in different directions constantly, just like our Frogger friends. Remain calm and flexible while keeping your long-term goals in place. If you are an entrepreneur, you won’t listen to any of this and you’ll learn it all the hard way. Good luck and enjoy the journey.
Women 2.0 readers: How did you come up with your startup idea? Let us know in the comments.
About the guest blogger: Lindsey Guest is Founder and CEO of Beauty Army, a consumer internet company. Lindsey created Beauty Army to help women save time and money while shopping for beauty and wellness products. Lindsey fell in love with marketing and branding while working at Pepsi Co. She is originally from Vancouver, BC and spends her free time on warm lakes wakeboarding when she can find the time. Follow her on Twitter at @lindseyguest.