Startup Secrets: My Top 7 Tips for Entrepreneurs to Launch a Successful Business (The Hustle Is Real!) by Katy Lynch
Entrepreneurship changes your life, but it’s so rewarding! If you're considering starting a business or are already knee-deep in your startup, here are my top tips for success (pulled from a #30Seconds Live video interview I did with 30Seconds founder Elisa All Schmitz):
- Know What You’re Not Good At: The biggest thing that determines your success as an entrepreneur is not having a good understanding of what you’re good at, but having a great understanding of the things you’re not good at. For me, my background is marketing, I’m great at marketing, but the things that I didn’t understand were the things that I needed to learn in order to start a business in the first place.
- Don’t Be Afraid to Take Risks: The biggest lesson you learn being an entrepreneur is that you cannot be afraid of taking risks, calculated risks. There’s so many times that I’ve been in very uncomfortable situations, but those situations are the ones that allowed me and the team to blossom.
- Don’t Be Afraid to Fail: The greatest lessons that you learn in entrepreneurship comes from those mistakes, comes from those failures, so it’s important to make mistakes, make them fast and make them often, learn from them and swiftly move on.
- Write Down Your Mission: When you’re starting a company it’s really important to write down your mission, your vision and what your values are. Those three things serve as your guide for everything that you do in your company. I look at our mission statement for Codeverse and it’s "teach a billion kids to code." That’s a lofty goal, but it’s a manageable goal when you know that we’re going to be doing it for the next 30 years.
- Get Market Feedback: We were doing myriad things over the past year and a half. And that was everything from building out KidScript, building out the technology and the curriculum, and actually testing it with children. We tested KidScript with about 450 children before we actually opened the studio, which was great because it allowed us to get so much feedback from parents, so much feedback from the children that we incorporated it into continuing to build out the product. Aside from defining what your mission, vision and values are, doing a ton of research on the market, the competitors, who your target audience is going to be, where the Codeverse studios are going be located, all of that matters.
- Keep Your Job Until It’s Time to Quit: My advice to anyone who has their 9-to-5 job and also has an idea, I would honestly say this: stay in your 9-to-5 job and then after work you are essentially working on your startup. It’s a tough pill to swallow, but you may be working every day until midnight, but if you’re that passionate about your idea and you’re proving that your idea works. You need to prove that your idea generates revenue, because if your idea doesn’t, it’s just a hobby, it’s not a business. Once you’ve proved your idea is working and generating revenue and there is demand for it, that’s when you can start to think about taking that next step, and that next step for you may be quitting your job and doing your startup full time.
- Keep Going: Keep putting one foot in front of the other. One of my favorite quotes is by Winston Churchill: "Success is going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm." That quote just resonates with me so much and even at the beginning of my career … that statement could not be more true. You experience the roller coaster of being an entrepreneur. The ups, the downs, the lefts and the rights. And my biggest piece of advice, truly, is you just have to keep going. You have to keep picking yourself up and just charge forward and hustle. The hustle is real!
Editor's Note: Katy Lynch and Codeverse recently won the "Emerging Startup" Award at the Women In Tech Awards created by Women Tech Founders (WTF). Watch the full interview with female founders Katy and Elisa!