The past few months, I’ve been working on my latest venture.
It will solve a big problem I have been confronted with since I started RunAddicts.net, and by scratching my itch, I am sure I will also be able to scratch others’. I believe my business will become the next best thing since the invention of the occupation called: “writer”.
I have been to multiple meetings, events and people in the industry to present my idea and ask for some feedback. Everywhere I went, I received great comments and replies; The overall message is that those individuals and businesses I met, want to become my clients when I launch my project. They all loved it.
Recently, on a nice Sunday afternoon, I read a small tweet addressed to me, about a business that received millions of dollars in funding. This happens everyday, you might say, but what made this single event a dark point in my day, is the fact that this specific business is doing something similar as what I’m developing. Even worse is that I am only 2 weeks away from launching.
“The critical issue is to have a mentor, period. You want a mentor who has clout and who can be helpful to you.”
I immediately panicked and sent a mail to a person, who I consider to be one of my mentors, asking if I should “quit” working on the project. Discovering that my newborn competition received multiple millions of funding, while I am on a shoe-string budget, was kind of terrifying and it made me shiver down to the back of my spine.
My mentor sent me the following reply. Simple, down to earth and absolute common-sense, which I could have easily thought of myself. However, I didn’t because I panicked, thus this short email meant the world to me. It calmed me down and reassured me that I should stick to what I’m doing:
The world is big enough for two similar services – and yours has a
better name of the two :) Besides the big world, there are always specific
niches – geographical, linguistic, content-related, etc. – you can go after
and “own” rather profitably regardless of the competition in the big world.
And – last but not least – if they become huge and your service becomes
“just” significant, you can always sell it to them :) Also not a bad deal.
So, I’d suggest to keep at it
My conclusion of this article is the following: YOU NEED A MENTOR; If I couldn’t send out this panic-bomb to someone, most likely, I would have turned to friends and family, of whom most had said to me to quit. Why? Because people who aren’t entrepreneurs have a different take on the idea of creating a business with absolutely no assurance that it will succeed. It would simply be just another reason for them to tell me to stop.
After some reflection and comparing my project with the “competition”, I discovered that my new business has a lot of key differences which will make it a much better service.
When you’re a young starter in the big world of entrepreneurs, having a mentor will definitely be to your advantage!
If you liked this article, or learnt something from it in any way, let me know. It’s great to hear about your experience.
( Ps: Leo, you rock! )