Preparing to launch your first startup can be extremely intimidating and stressful, especially if you don’t have a lot of life experience from which to draw lessons that can be applied to business endeavours later on. While there are some teenagers and young twenty somethings who have come right out of the gate making millions as entrepreneurs, in most cases they’ve at least had a solid education and home upbringing to put them in an ideal position.
At A Forever Recovery we see a lot of life battles surrounding the war against drug addiction, and we’ve also seen many success cases who have used their experiences to learn skills that have helped them become better business owners.
Most of us have been through at least one of the following life battles. Whether you have or not, we’re sure you can all agree that some of the traits and attributes learned from these struggles can help you become a better entrepreneur:
1. Attending college
Even if you didn’t graduate, merely attending college and living university life is a challenge, albeit a potentially fun one. The discipline and sense of schedule you get from operating with the academic environment can carry over into your business management practices. We’re not just referring to taking classes in business management or entrepreneurship either; any type of collegiate level education is excellent preparation for the startup arena.
2. Breaking an addiction
If you’ve ever been addicted to anything, you know that it requires tapping into a certain amount of resolve and willpower to come out a winner. A Forever Recovery’s founder, Per Wickstrom, says that addiction comes in many forms, not just drug addiction. “If you’re able to overcome any kind of addiction, whether it be gaming, cigarettes, or even a hobby turned into an obsession, you probably have the willpower needed to start your own business, if you can divert those addictive tendencies towards managing a startup.”
3. Working in the service industry or as a labourer
If you think that working in the service industry isn’t a “life battle,” try working a 14-hour double shift as a server in a restaurant, and then do that every day for about 5 years. If you’ve never had to work a difficult job in the service industry, there’s nothing that can really prepare you for good old fashioned hard work. A rough job will change a person for the better because it really motivates you to transition into an entrepreneurial mindset in order to escape the everyday grind.
4. Raising children
Obviously, every entrepreneur does not have children, and in fact most people aspire to be successful financially before reproducing. However, if you have children and know what it’s like to be continually responsible for another human being, that type of nurturing experience can be beneficial if you learn to nurture your startup in the same way.
You don’t have to do any of the above to launch a startup
None of the above life battles are required experiences for launching your own business. Still, whether you’ve been through these challenges before is irrelevant, because you can use your imagination to see the point of these analogies.
In conclusion, a great startup founder needs to employ hard work (also needed in a service industry or labouring job), responsibility (also needed to raise children), discipline (also needed to attend college), and will power (also needed to conquer addiction).