Even if you’re in the second half of your life and worried about getting your business started quickly, we’ll tell you why taking it slow is your best bet.
6 min read
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Doesn’t creating a new enterprise mean that everything’s going to happen quickly and with great difficulty? Aren’t new enterprises built around hard choices, hard work and endless hours? These are myths, and you don’t have to buy into them if you want to be successful.
Consider the word hard. The word often implies something onerous and difficult. Something that we think is hard is something we typically don’t want to do. If something is new to us, it’s usually something we don’t know how to do.
Now, let’s put that in context. A new enterprise should be something you want to do. You’ve been doing new things most of your life, so you can put your skill set to work to help overcome the hard/new challenges. If your new enterprise is something you want to do, the hardness will fall away as you learn more.
That said, how do you rectify the need to learn with the typical rush of scaling a startup? Those stories of manic young entrepreneurs sprinting to stay ahead of their own predictions, investors, and cash flow meltdowns are great for TV. This is often referred to as “building the airplane in-flight.” But there are far smarter startup paths available, especially suited to ageless entrepreneurial launches — the slow startup is one such path.
Slow startups are new organizations that are typically self-funded that don’t need to meet rapid financial goals. They’re enterprises designed their founders’ personal goals and aspirations for success. Certainly, there’s a need for consistent revenue so the entity’s sustainable, but slow startups can be created, planned, and executed in ways that develop slowly over time to match a founder’s resources and available time.
How do slow startups affect their intended markets? These organizations benefit the greater goals of the communities they serve as well as the goals of the entrepreneur in several ways. By starting slow, ageless entrepreneurs can:
These kinds of contributions require the opposite of rushing. They require that the entrepreneur be prepared with sustainable solutions and, more importantly, to have taken the time to understand the problems being addressed and the impact their new enterprise can have on those already in the fray.
If you approach your new startup as a marathon, not a sprint, you can put in place the ideas and attitudes that will help you succeed in the long run. Ignore the rush-to-market hype. You can give birth to your enterprise at your speed. You can grow it on your timetable with the time you have available. If you live by someone else’s clock, you’ll be accepting other people’s definitions of what you should do, not what your own planning and work has inspired you to launch.
Fine-Tune Your Initial Idea
As you start slow, take the time to research what you love as the first step. Let the research take you into challenging new directions, not the same old same old. What’s emerging? What’s exciting? Ask yourself questions like these:
You can be a thought leader, no matter your age, by supplying effective services to these markets. Learn from all the things that many in the retirement cohort may be inclined to run from: technology, digital tools and social networks. Take the opportunity to slow down and make changes that utilize the new digital and cultural tools that are appearing. Then hurry up and try them out.
Are you going to get rich with your launch? It happens, but the strongest likelihood is that if you plan it right, you’ll have a sustainable job for yourself going forward.
It doesn’t take a lot of money to start most new enterprises. It takes the kind of skills and knowledge that most people have but often don’t value: time, patience, deep understanding of a specific subject and the ability to take a longer view. Done right, your own small enterprise may be the best security you can create for yourself in this economy. More importantly, you can help create a new, better, and more secure economy that benefits everyone in society.
It’s not hard; it’s just new. So start slow.