It’s the time of year when we can look back on everything that has happened, and think about lessons learned. We can observe global trends in business and politics, and see how issues such as climate change are now becoming more pressing than ever. It’s been a strange year in many ways, but perhaps people have always made that observation, whatever century they were living in!
I am very serious about helping startup businesses succeed, and this year has seen further developments that I’m proud to have been part of, and I’m happy to have been involved with several outstanding new projects. These include a startup in Florida, created by a young and enthusiastic guy who has gathered a great team around him, and – I believe – is going to make a significant market entry in the coming year. Watch out for Briefcard.
Then there’s a US-based blockchain-enabled investment club called Bitdollar that I have been advising, which brings unique new thinking to a traditional form of managed investment – in the cryptosphere. Over in Europe, I’m working with Screenist, a startup which is going to turn product placement in movies and TV shows completely on its head. For the first time ever, viewers will control and direct the process of advertising, using an ingenious platform that is gaining huge attention within the movie and advertising industries.
Those are just three examples of the breadth and ingenuity of some of the startups that it’s been my privilege to work with over this last year. They are shooting stars, and our work together will go forward into the new year. I’m also excited about new businesses that I’m currently in talks with. And in addition I continue with my 6 Steps Coaching Program, both online and in person.
It’s fair to say that I provide many materials and processes to get people progressing along their path. However there’s one vital ingredient that anyone who takes the journey with me must have: Commitment. Although my steps are logical and seem simple, they require continuous application. Another way of saying this is that you have to be serious if you want to come on the journey.
Most Founders and startup entrepreneurs immediately reply to this, “But of course I’m serious! Of course I’m committed!” To some extent this is true: they have come up with a unique idea, a killer app, and they have gathered a team of enthusiasts around them. Chances are that they already have some form of prototype or beta version in development, and everyone is psyched about the future. Except what is that future? How much of it is planned out, and how much of it lies in the area of what I call, ‘Hope Marketing’?
Hope Marketing is where your plan relies on luck, and a lot of ‘maybes’, to somehow magically transport your business to the place where the world is banging on your door, eager to give you tons of money.
Sorry folks, that’s not the way it works, but in fact the vast majority of startups operate in Hope Marketing territory. It’s also true that the vast majority of startups fail to… well, actually start. All those hours of work, of excitement, of development… all just wasted. Why? Because the startup didn’t get to first base – of raising the money needed to go on to second base, and beyond.
The equation is brutally simple: No audience = no investors = no money = no business. End of. You can be ultra-talented, super-smart, and have the best product idea in the world. Without investment support, your business will sooner or later wither and die. That may seem like a tough fact to deal with at what I trust is this happy, seasonal time of year, but it’s a fact nevertheless.
So if you’re starting to think about the year-end that is coming up, when perhaps you can kick back for a few days, then congratulations! I’m sure you’ve put in the hours over the last year, working towards future success.
Now, in the coming days, I’m also sure you’ll be thinking of the year ahead, and dreaming of the success to come. I want to believe that you are truly serious about success – I know I am – so I suggest that now is not the time to dream, but to do.
Season’s greetings to you all!
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