Here are the main three things that helped me turn my business idea into a real, living thing:
Be Open About Your Goals And Passions
Don’t be afraid to talk about your passion projects. The benefit of feedback and connections I received from sharing my vision with friends, family, and classmates at business school far outweighed the risk that someone would take my idea and run with it. This is how I met my awesome co-founder Steph. After meeting and talking about our passion for food and travel at a business school orientation barbecue, we realized that we shared a similar vision for a food company. She wanted to learn how to cook from locals, and I just wanted to eat in local people’s homes. So we decided to work on it together and see where we could take it. We would have never connected if we had been afraid to speak up about our passions, and Traveling Spoon would still be an idea in our heads.
The other benefit to sharing your goals out loud is that it makes you feel accountable. This incentivizes you to follow through and and motivates you to achieve your goals.
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Surround Yourself With A Trusted Community
It’s important to surround yourself with people who have a positive influence on you, whether it’s friends, family members, or colleagues. Hang out with those that make you feel happy and confident and that inspire you to achieve your goals, whether you’re trying to start a business or write a novel.
Having a great community is especially important for business because while we all have our strengths and skills, all of us have knowledge and skill areas that need work. Seek advice from people you trust and respect in those fields to help round out your weak points. For example, when Steph and I started the company, we realized that we had a skills gap in technology. Neither of us had a computer science background so we sought out talented engineers and people in technology we truly respected to help build a great web experience. We ended up bringing on Nick Grandy, the very first engineer at Airbnb as our tech advisor. We rely on his and our other advisors’ expertise and experience when there is a challenge we are not able to overcome on our own. (Kick-start your new, healthy routine with Women’s Health’s 12-Week Total-Body Routine!)
Pay It Forward
Lastly, help others in your community achieve their goals. As a student starting Traveling Spoon, I reached out to friends and other entrepreneurs to connect me with me with investors and potential partners. Now when students reach out to me to give them advice as they embark on their start-up, I am happy to pay it forward by helping them out or connecting them to the right people. Helping others makes us feel good. Besides, there is great power in reciprocity.