If you’re contemplating starting up, take notes from Josh Allan Dykstra, who shares three lessons he’s glad he learned along the way.
Starting a business starts with knowing yourself.
Building a career—instead of just simply finding a job—must start with knowing yourself on a deeper level. You are guaranteed to face many setbacks, challenges and difficulties on the entrepreneurial road ahead. It will be hard, and if you are not absolutely convinced that “this” (whatever the “this” is that you’re working on) is the reason you were put on the planet at this particular moment in time, you will quit. But if you know yourself well and feel a resonant sense of purpose in what you’re doing, you will have the strength to power
You will need a great business partner.
I never had any intentions of having a partner in my business. Years ago, when I saw glimpses of my future, it always included just me: the lone ranger, the solo-preneur, out on the frontier, changing the world—alone. But my current business partner knew better, and thankfully, I had the good sense to open up my worldview.
Choosing the right person to work with is everything. They should have relatively the same end goals and mission as you, but entirely different strengths. This way, you’ll continually balance and sharpen each other, and help each other see the other’s blind spots. People cross paths with their eventual business partners in various ways, so keep your eyes open for yours. Trust me—it is SO worth it when you do.
Starting a business is going to take much longer than you think it will. “The Dip” happens to everyone.
All startups can be slow starters, because everything requires relationships, and those take time to simmer. But the buildup for a service-based business like ours felt particularly extended. The time it takes to differentiate and build a brand is long, and the sales cycle for our kind of work is stretched far into the horizon. Furthermore, all startups will almost certainly be hit with The Dip, a period of intense difficulty that must be powered through. But if you’re on the right road (lesson #1) and have good people in your camp (lesson #2), you’ll make it through!
Josh Allan Dykstra is a work revolutionary, author and speaker. He is a founder of the consulting firm Strengths Doctors where he helps leaders design work environments that don’t suck.
The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only nonprofit organisation comprised of the country’s most promising young entrepreneurs. The YEC promotes entrepreneurship as a solution to unemployment and underemployment and provides its members with access to tools, mentorship, and resources that support each stage of a business’s development and growth.
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