I recently read an interesting statistic in a study related to Social Media Networks. It stated that only 1% of the users on these platforms are actually creating content. Then there's a bigger group of bystanders that engages with contents (i.e. likes, share, comments) but does not create themselves. And then there's a vast majority of around 80% of users that are purely passive without any sort of interaction. They just look at what others are doing.
I find that fascinating. Why? Because, I think these relations probably translate to life in general. Similarly, in many other areas, the number of creators is very small compared to the passive majority. Although, I didn't really know it when I co-founded a company: Being able to create is a major driver for me.
Fortunately, when you start a business, there are many things to create. You start from scratch with nothing more than white paper. You really cannot afford to be a bystander.
You have no existing resources that you can rely on. Almost every day, you do something for the first time and have to come up with a way to do it. Naturally, this can be exhausting at times. There are lots of days, where you really want to be able to just open the drawer and pick out a template from a previous project. Well, there is none. In fact: My desk does not even have drawers.
It's very much a rollercoaster. Sometimes you move up super steep with very high excitement and anticipation. You almost feel invincible. And other times, there's lots of frustration, doubt and everything looks kind of impossible. These two states quite often are not too far away from each other as life in such a business moves very quickly. In other words: If it is your own business, successes feel incredible. The downside is that rejections can definitely hurt a lot more compared to you being an employee in someone else's business. As an entrepreneur, there's no buffer between you and what you are doing. You are in many ways what you are doing, which is why the feedback to what you have created gets to you very directly. This means that what I said above is not entirely true: You never start at zero - you always have yourself. The paper is never really white. The fact that you can rely on your skills, your experience and your network generally means that you begin from a pretty good starting point!
Fortunately for us at HeadStarterz, things have been going up a lot more than they have been going downwards. And this is where the similarities end. Unlike in a rollercoaster, as a business owner and creator, you never end up in the same place. All the work you put into your project is an investment. An investment in the project, in your skills, experience and your brand. Even if some of the steps feel small, they are all moving the rock further up the hill. The feeling of achieving something through your own creation is absolutely worth the effort!
When you create, you put yourself on the spot. That's true if you post something on LinkedIn or Facebook. But it is also true for when you start a business. You are exposed. You begin to tell stories and explain why your product or service is what people need. Some believe it and some don't. Some like your website, some don't. Some think you're too expensive and some see the value in what you do. You fail, you learn, you improve, you succeed. But it is you!
Personally, I have never liked rollercoasters very much. If I am on one, I usually wish I was dead. What we are doing at HeadStarterz is the opposite. The nature of our work, the interaction with co-workers, partners and clients, the things we build, the learnings we have every day and even the immediate feedback. It all makes me feel very much alive!
I am very lucky that I am part of a team that shares this passion. We are united in the drive to build, develop and inspire. For us, the thought of looking back at some point in our lives and regret that we have not tried it, is a very sad one. So, we're doing it.
Don't get me wrong: I don't think everyone needs to start a company to be able to create. But if creating things is important to you, entrepreneurship is definitely a path with many opportunities to do so. You will have to build the whole bloody thing.
At the very least: Ensure you are not mere bystanders in your own creative space!
Let me end with this question: Why leave all the floor and all the fun to the 1%? I am sure that there are many more in the passive majority that have interesting things to contribute!
Voilà. Enough of the romantic chit-chatting. There's work to be done!