The struggle of starting my first venture from scratch
By Rinkesh Gorasia An Engineer by degree, a Developer by chance and an Entrepreneur by choice. Founder and CEO @Savior.
Two years back when I started my first venture — Savior, I had no clue about the world of startups and entrepreneurship. Hardly six months into the college, I thought, I don’t want to end up like everyone else and made up my mind to do something. Entering into college I had no technical or business background but one thing I surely had was the desire to learn, seek new things and experiment.
During those days with no experience, I had no clue about how to get money, how to run a company, how to talk to clients or manage them. Things were pretty rough. The thing about business is that there isn’t any formulated way of doing things. You learn business by doing one. The more you share, explore, sell and experiment the better you get. That’s the beauty of business. But it’s way more easy to say rather than doing and actually getting results in your favor.
Everyone talks about ‘this’ or ‘that’ Entrepreneur has built and become a billionaire but when I look around and talk to people, most people are afraid of starting out. Many of them have ideas but don’t know where to start, how to start, whom to approach. The fear of failure and rejection eats them up. Even I struggled with those questions and scenario. The more you get experienced it’s just the level of questions changes. This is just an attempt to clear some clouds over those questions.
Ideas are cheap. Everyone have them, what matters is what you do with it, how well you are able to execute it and make a business out of it and serve people.
If you are in search of a unique idea, you might have to wait for an entire lifetime and still not have one.
When I had the idea of Savior it was nowhere the product we are today. Starting out as an emergency forms for accidents and then moving to a patient-oriented appointment app to eventually be an AI-backed software for helping doctors with the diagnosis. We came really far from what we were and that’s what made us who we are today. I know it was not a unique idea but more importantly, it was solving a problem and capable of making money.
It’s never about getting out first in the market or having a unique idea.
In the real world, you don’t win by getting there first or having the best idea. You win by continuously solving the problem better. When you build a feature that is extremely popular or successful.
Don’t hesitate. Just put ideas into actions and see what wonders it does.
Your Billion Dollar Idea Ain’t Worth A Damn Cent.
Unless you work on it.
Lack Of Experience?
In my early days while working on Savior, I used to meet people and talk about my idea and how I am planning to scale, One thing I remember always telling people or mentors is that : ‘I am a college student and don’t have much expertise and experience in this background. How do I learn Business? How do I sell? ‘
Everyone use to empathize with me and give me some advice on how to do certain stuff. Later on, I realized I was just giving excuses for not knowing something using my age as the shield to defend.
When kept aside the barrier of the age and mentality, anything and everything can be learned and practiced. There are many prisons we carry with us: Our minds, our attitudes, our upbringing, our hopes and I realized this was one of them.
Entrepreneurship sets us FREE from all of them. Most of the people when starting out at a young age especially when in college or just after that have of lack of experience and doubt their capabilities. The reason that you don’t know many things is that you haven’t tasted, tried or learned enough things.
College is the best place to experiment, explore, fail and learn from your mistakes. It is that time you don’t have any responsibility of any family or stabilizing your life. You get to do whatever you want and try as many things as possible.
Networking is key here. Meet new people, share your ideas and problems with entrepreneurs in similar lines. Join communities and get maximum out of people. Tell the world that you have got something.
Read, write and speak as much as you can. You can’t meet every expert in every field, that’s where books and blogs play an important role. You can’t keep everything in mind, write to articulate your thoughts and give yourself a direction. Speak to tell the world about you. What are you doing it for them and why? Be the master of the art of storytelling.
The only thing you need to do is start. There would rejections and failures, a time where you don’t know what to do and how to do, time where you don’t know whom to talk and what to talk but all of this is just like a small sandstorm that keeps changing directions. And once the storm is over you won’t remember how you made it through. When you come out of the storm you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm is all about.
Planning is useful, but returns tend to diminish. Start before you are ready.
Explore. Dream. Discover but Don’t stop
8 Months into Savior, I started doubting myself and the idea we were working on. I thought there was no chance we would make it to the market ever. I almost decided to quit because people kept telling me that I should be not doing it at this age. I should focus on my college and not these things but somehow I managed to cling on and continue and that’s where it all turned around.
There will be always people who will say that your idea isn’t good, that you aren’t good enough. They will make you doubt your decisions and influence them. They will always induce that fear and self-doubt in you constantly.
When this happens, ask yourself, “What would you do, if you weren’t afraid?”
We live in a world where other people are so scared of our failure that they don’t allow us to take risks. Don’t borrow their fear. Do whatever the fuck you want to do. If you need to borrow, borrow courage.
I fail quite often. And succeed sometimes. Those sometimes are enough to pay off the failures.
What are you scared of?
Your fear of losing, being wrong, or getting laughed at is holding you back!
Slow down, take a breath and deploy patience. This is just the beginning.
Perfectionism isn’t about you. It’s about an unhealthy need for approval. It’s about a fear of failure and looking incompetent. It’s the opposite of courage. And it’s the opposite of mastery.
Fear has led to more procrastination than laziness ever will.
Often when we hear the top CEO’s and Founders telling their amazing story and somewhere everyone refer to some forms of inspiration which gave them a kick or a start or a pump to get them going.
For Entrepreneurs, Problems are the inspiration. Problems which they tend to solve and work endless hours to bring a change and make life better.
If you are really looking for motivation, just step out of your room and start meeting some really hungry entrepreneurs. They are hungry human beings with special and unique attitude and mentality. They are hungry for the success, they are hungry for their work, they are hungry for the self-respect, they are the one, who has real hunger of turning their dream into reality, they never get afraid of taking action. The best part of an entrepreneur’s journey is to take action and have a “just do it now” attitude.
Your dream will never turn into reality until you get out of your tiny virtual world. Thinking and not taking action will not give you anything except frustration
Don’t leave inspiration to chance.
Well, this is the most common reason for people not giving a shot to their dreams. But what most people do is just crib about it and complain about not having enough capital rather than actually doing something about it.
Being in college, to get even bare minimum capital for the startup was damn difficult. I couldn’t go to my parents because even I was not sure what I am gonna to do and how I am gonna do, so didn’t make any sense of thinking they would back me on this. I tried to work around ways and started thinking of earning money from whereever I can.
At that time I was good enough to get internships/freelancing as an Android developer or a content writer. I started looking out for opportunities but one or two internships hardly helped but that was the only option I had. So I took multiple projects at once. At one point I remember I was doing 13 internships all together and I was hardly sleeping as I would get only half of the day to work due to college and amidst all this, I had to work on Savior too. I somehow managed it. When I see back I don’t know how I pulled it off.
But that’s the beauty of the storm. Once you get out of it you are a totally different person. Those internships taught me a lot about time management, prioritizing things, sticking to the schedule, being professional and most importantly the bitter truth of earning money and it’s value.
It also taught me that most of the times we are wrong in the estimate of how much money we will need. Most of the times we over-estimate it too much which leads to many problems. Also being a student gives you the advantage to access to useful software and app which are necessary, for free or at a very cheap price.
There would be always ways that can be worked around. Find where you are good at and earn that money. It would take time but it would make your life. You just need to hang in there for some time and figure it out what is best for you.
As published in The Ascent