New York City is one of the most exciting places on earth, and its concrete jungle has a way of inspiring young wide-eyed newcomers to jump into the unknown tangle of its vines and shoot for the stars.
Well, those are the startups that never work out. Why? Because for as charming as NYC can get, the city is also a machine that feeds on the souls of naive entrepreneurs. That may seem like a harsh claim, but simply look at the restaurant business in this city and you’ll realize just how cut-throat NYC business really is: 80% of restaurants close within their first 5 years.
National start-up failure rates are also not too encouraging. So why would anybody in their right mind decide to invest all their time, money, energy, and hopes into a brand-new venture without any certainty of its success? Well, I think you partly need to be able to shut down that voice inside your head that keeps telling you that you need health insurance, a savings account, and that gorgeous apartment on the UWS.
Once you’ve accepted the risks, and once you have truly made your peace with potentially losing everything you have and are willing to start life from scratch a couple of years form now, well- then, my friend, you’ll be ready to start your own company.
Whatever your field of choice, the first months of your new creation will involve a lot of crisis management, figuring things out, and discovering that your initial business plan is basically garbage. The funny thing is, you’ll be happy about it – because every single day you will learn something new about your business and yourself.
Chaos will reign supreme – from an overwhelming amount of emails to tend to, to governmental agencies and permits you have to figure out, to uneven business hours, to discovering that you have no time for personal life.
You’ll be exhausted, but it won’t matter – because you know that every extra hour, every working weekend, every night-out you missed it’s getting you closer to achieving your goal and making your dreams come true.
If all of the above has not discouraged you yet, then you are about to enter the stage of startup life where you are actually able to reap some benefits. And no, I am not talking about taking vacation whenever you want, because when you have your own business that’s not a thing.
Nothing can quite describe the feeling of seeing something that you originally though of in your head as part of someone’s life, a tangible reminder of your brilliance and perseverance.
Granted, the blissful satisfaction of seeing your startup gain initial traction will be followed by an endless number of subsequent crises, with more stuff that needs to be figured out, and even longer nights at the office. But none of that will be able to break the momentum you have built for your creation, nothing will be able to crush your spirit – because the beautiful thing about ideas is that once they are out there and people interact with them, they keep growing, and morphing, and improving – until you have evolved with them from a wide-eyed dreamer into a successful entrepreneur, and they have gone from just a dream to your everyday reality.