Starting Your First Startup – Challenges And Strategies


Often it takes a lot of courage, insight, and determination to start up your first venture. You are supposed to cross many hurdles, overcome challenges, consider your parents’ and other people’s opinions before starting the actual journey into a start-up. Psychologists have tracked some of the most important studies in the space of starting something new and sticking to it. We sometimes lose track of things when we want to take the leap and we depend upon inspirational and motivational speakers to help us get back on track.

There is a great research work conducted by Angela Duckworth in her best-seller book “Grit”, where she illustrates the idea of grit- comprising a person’s perseverance and passion—is among the most important predictors of success. Grit is the ability to continue working when things are not in the best state and suggests that you need to preserve through dark times. Grit is also that valuable life-skill that translates into everything from home, life and career.

Angela tested this theory out with interviews from people and followed their journeys 10-20 years from when they tested it initially. The students with the highest scores on the “Grit-test” were the most successful. Grit is a major skill that the youth need in order to succeed eventually in life and the tenacity and will to proceed is what differentiates the failures from the successes.

Another important factor in becoming successful is tenacity. Taking rejection on the chin and yet going on is very important. Failures do not mean you cannot do it, but it is all about starting afresh with new ideas, zeal and vigor. Alibaba’s Jack Ma was rejected by everyone he approached and now he’s the CEO of one of the largest companies in the world.

A key factor to be mindful of is what science calls -“imposter syndrome”. One characteristic of this syndrome is- you have a persistent low feeling that whatever you’re doing isn’t the right thing and you’re a failure. Some of the greatest CEOs have admitted that they have gone through this. Dr. Tara Swart, neuroscientist and leadership coach, has dealt with many CEOs who have faced the similar issue. Her approach is to face it head on and keep doing what you’re doing to get past this constant doubt in your mind.

Finding an idea- big or different, is the first step that an entrepreneur needs to take. While transitioning from employee to entrepreneur, some of the biggest challenges will be related to legal registration (LLP PVT LTD OPC, etc), GST, documentation, renting an office space and getting clients. You can easily register your company using any popular online portal or even do it yourself if you have time to read through the necessary guidelines. It can cost you under INR 12,000 to register your company name and setup the necessities to get you going for a private limited company. You can go for a co-working space that starts from as little as INR 300 a day to a more comprehensive space, which resembles an incubator, for around INR 30,000-40,000 a month.

Client acquisition will be your next big hurdle, for which you need a website and a portfolio, exhibiting what you do. You can opt for SquareSpace, as it is the simplest way to get off the ground, or you can get yourself a basic understanding of the WordPress platform. It is easy, quick and needs a little understanding of booking domain names, buying server space, and entering content that is SEO and marketing friendly.

After you’ve developed your website, you should look at channels that are relevant to your client’s industry. Technology, HR, marketing, auto, finance, etc – they all have regular conferences, meetups and local groups that encourage new members to explore the arena. Leverage LinkedIn and directly approach potential leads and try to close them as quickly as possible to get some basic work in your portfolio.


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