Hello, you probably know how tough being an entrepreneur can be. While what everyone else sees are your mini-vacations and the word founder on your bio, they don’t know what it has taken you to get where you are. In fact, unless they’re entrepreneurs themselves, they will never get a taste of all the trouble you go through.
As a person running a start-up the Lunkuse Label, I find myself consistently wondering what step I am supposed to take next or how I am supposed to make any sales. Even before I conceived the idea, I was struggling to get a breakthrough. It was one thing to recognize the fact that I needed to come out of my financial loophole and thus start making effort to come up with ideas and act upon them, and it’s now another struggle to get my idea off the ground. If your initial purpose is especially to get a financial breakthrough, it becomes even harder. Understand that you need to come up with solutions to existing problems. Make an impact and the money will start coming. The depth to which you want this to happen will depend on your individual ambition or motivation. Don’t forget the patience too. It’s all going to take some time.
When I was eighteen, my motivation in life was to be rich and famous. Yes, I was creative but it had nothing to do with impact. Now I am twenty-three and still struggling but at least, now I know better. The first time I came to accept the fact that everything you want is on the other side of service was also the first time I listened to Lisa Nicole’s life story. There is that bit in the GoalCast video where she says, “Everything you want is on the other side of service.” What an eye-opener!
I told myself I wish I had known. Yes, some people make it
The Lunkuse Label is still a baby start-up. To even come up with the first steps, I had to discuss a lot with my friend Max, who founded a company in Germany. He had to emphasize that if he could make it, I would make it too despite the fact that he is of the first world while mine is in a developing country. You need entrepreneurs like that in your life; people who believe in you, people who see your potential no matter the odds stacked against you.
Plus that, I was already reading Chris Guillebeau’s $100 startup before I conceived the idea. I still do now, but today’s lessons are coming from 50 LESSONS’ SPARKING INNOVATION, a mini-book published by HAVARD BUSINESS PRESS. These posts on entrepreneurship are still coming because it’s not only important that you get a few insights as an entrepreneur, but you also need to know that there are other people who might be going through the same struggle as you are.
That said, let’s start.
1. The secret to finding innovation lies in uncovering an unmet consumer need and then filling that need in a new and creative way.
Often, the most innovative solutions come from brilliant solutions to the obvious problem.
By finding out what trade-offs consumers are making between two categories, it’s possible to innovate entirely new categories.
(- Robert Malcom,President: Global Marketing, Sales and Innovation, Diageo.)
2. If you’re going to enter a new market, you must have a strong brand name, because the public has to recognize the brand. [The public needs to] recognize you as an individual because this is a government- dominated area of business where the government can make rules and changes, and you have to lobby on your behalf and on the consumer’s behalf.
To move a brand to a new market, start with a strong brand and provide a level of service that the competition can’t match.
In addition, keep the product or service simple and understandable, and provide strong value for money.
(Will Whitehorn, president, Virgin Galactic)
3. To innovate successfully, you have to get closer to the customer; and the closer you get to the customer, the easier it becomes to participate in the idea of innovation.
Innovation is about growth, differentiation, and the ability to anticipate what the customer is looking for as opposed to what is easy to do.
Drive Innovation from outside, where multiple sources contribute ideas about customer needs and how to make those ideas possible.
(Ivan Seidenberg, CEO, Verizon)
4. After identifying a demand for a product that’s satisfies a niche market, develop the best product you can.
Collaborate directly with customers and suppliers to get a broadened frame of reference.
Get into stores and research other market categories to observe consumer trends.
(Neville Isdell, Chairman and CEO, The Coca-Cola Company.)
5. If you want to see the future, look at what the kids are doing now. If you want to innovate, don’t try and think of something new that could be done. Look at what’s already happening, and find a way to make it faster, easier and cheaper.
The best innovation comes from finding new solutions to existing behaviours, not from predicting the future behaviours.
Andrew Robertson, President
andCEO, BBDO Worldwide
Thank you! The book has over fifty lessons but I can only share these in this one post.
Please stay on the lookout for the next post on entrepreneurship next Monday. This Wednesday, do pass by and read the post on community development and again on Friday, our on-going series on THE THING BETWEEN OUR LEGS. Have you subscribed yet? If not, scroll up on this post and on your right; fill your email address in the subscription box. In case of any queries, collaboration, or whatever, do endeavor to contact me. Check menu. You can also leave your comments below, on this post. A-bientont!