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“The urge to create something is huge” - Tips from a Self Starter
by Startacus Admin
We love Tribewanted - the social project that builds a ‘tribe’ of local communities, partners and members (from all over the World) to co-create a new and sustainable village, somewhere in the world.
So when we read Eimer Peters' blog about leaving her consultancy job for IBM to do some volunteering work for Tribewanted Sierra Leone, we were keen to get Eimer to write a piece for Startacus - on her post-Sierra Leone plans, and her tips on taking an idea and making it into something (she is now in the midst of that!)
"The urge to create something is huge, for as long as I can remember my friends and I would come up with harebrained ideas. I remember one summer we collected all the odds and ends lying around the house and went door to door to sell these random items that had been resurrected from under the bed or the bottom of the closet and dusted off. Let’s just say we didn’t make many sales but we did have a lot of fun and got a lot of strange looks. My nickname from a young age was Eimer the Schemer, what can I say; my grandfather hit the nail on the head.
I thoroughly enjoy thinking through the pillars of a business, so much so that I do it automatically pretty much everywhere I go. For instance, standing in a queue in the post office the other day, by the time I made it to the counter I had quite a substantial list of improvements/changes that could be made to boost business.
However, to give everything else up and pursue the realization of an idea is a whole other ball game. For me, this commitment has opened up a can of worms that sometimes sees my confidence in my idea peak and plummet multiple times in one day.
I’ve read a great deal of business books, some better than others and more again just regurgitating the same ideas. The best have got to be Jack Canfield – The Success Principles and Richard Branson’s entire collection. These books have been a great inspiration, along with a video I recently watched - John Cleese on Creativity.
At the end of the day action is the only ingredient that will take an idea and turn it into something and this decision needs both confidence and daring. There are a million things you can do to take you to that place where you are ready to give it a go – here are a few that have been working well for me so far:
Surround yourself with successful go-getters: Luckily, many of my friends are out there running their own businesses. Some have given it a shot and been successful straight from the word go and others have had to adapt and pivot ideas until their idea begins to work. I gave up my secure job in consulting and travelled to Sierra Leone, West Africa to volunteer for 6 months and learn from the founders of Tribewanted, a socially conscious, eco-tourism project. What all the entrepreneurs I’ve met have in common is that they are giving it their all, no half-hearted attempts to be seen…
Utilize your network: From work colleagues to friends and university contacts, not to mention online platform such as Startacus, Escape The City and LinkedIn, there is a world of support and expertise out there waiting for you. As head of the Alumni of my University in Germany I have a great network of people only delighted to help me refine my business plan and pitch – this support has been invaluable.
Believe in yourself: Probably the most crucial element. To help push myself over the edge, each time I’m in a restaurant, a training, a shop or on a website, I find myself looking around at the people and the set-up and asking myself – What have they got, that allowed them to open up their business, that I have not got? And the answer is nothing…
Calculate what it is you will lose if you try and fail: For me the results of this calculation are pretty conclusive, as a young single woman with little in the way of responsibility that ties me to one place. To commit one year of my life and x amount of savings to starting my own business seems to be the only rational thing to do. Even if it were not as successful as I would hope, the experience I would gain would be priceless.
To-do lists – do 5 things every day that get you closer to your goal: This one is straight from a Jack Canfield book and works a charm. No matter how big or small the feeling of accomplishment and getting closer to your goal is very encouraging.
At the end of the day, business should solve a problem and a good way to assess your business ideas is by asking what problem will I be solving? And will people pay for this? If you have positive answers to these questions you are on the right road. Lastly don’t forget to enjoy each step of the way (I remind myself as I prepare to meet a potential partner for dinner).
Cheers Eimer for your great tips and good luck on your own journey whatever direction it takes you.
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