For those of you who remember “Chapter 1: Life in a startup. Be gentle this is my first post”, it may be hard to believe that I first published that 6 months ago and with the exception of a couple of weeks, I have posted every week since then. I’m now tapping myself on my back because I said to myself I would do it for a year, so I am halfway there. Has it been worth it so far? I’ll let you decide...
Before I start, I have to say that prior to this blog I had no experience writing anything more than a few paragraphs of text for mostly business-related things like websites, literature and Christmas cards. Christmas Cards you say!? — yep I spend a bit of time each year writing something small to my team reflecting on the year and a few nice words to thank them. They also do the same and it’s a great reminder of the great team we have become since we started working together years ago.
Why Start a Blog?
When building a startup, time is something that is not plentiful. It’s a constant juggle of tasks, intense hours and lots of focus on ideas and generally eating, breathing and sleeping your startup. Who has time to write about the journey? I didn’t think that I did have the time to be honest BUT I thought it was really important to do it and I had to find the time somehow. Not because I want to improve my writing skills or because I have a huge ego but because I felt there is not enough material out there for startups who are actually going through the journey. There’s a host of blogs, interviews and books about startup founders who built huge empires but not so many of those resources written by startup founders working from the ground up, telling the tale of their experiences as they are happening. Not any that I have found previously anyway. It’s obvious I’m a trendsetter (not) and there are probably loads of them around now!
I’ve often heard the advice given to founders looking to startup something, to “just start”. It’s advice that I would always give to anyone too. If you don’t start, then you will never know and it’s the not knowing that will kill you. So, I took my own advice and started the blog. Sure, I was concerned about the type and amount of content and whether I could produce something that others would find interesting. Much the same as we read inspirational stories about success, I wanted to offer some inspiration to would-be founders that it’s worth a shot and here it is unfolding each week for all to see.
I have surprised myself with the amount of content that comes to my mind when I think about writing something. For instance, today’s topic came to me last night, I am currently on the train to London and it should be done by the time I get there. Granted, not all posts are the same as this and sometimes finding images that are suitable for the post can take time.
One of the biggest benefits about writing is it clears my mind. It’s a good way to get it out and it can make for some interesting and sometimes comical reading. I often look back at some of my earlier posts and appreciate how far we have come in the last 12 months. It’s not as far as we would have liked, but is it ever far enough? It’s not for me or the team yet. We are highly driven and have a grand plan that we need to execute.
It’s unusual for businesses to be so open, normally it’s lots of cloak-and-dagger stuff that is not meant to be said out loud. I’ve thrown caution to the wind and spoken of our challenges and what we are going through. I’ve mentioned as many people as I can too in the hope others may benefit from their services in some way…that can’t be a bad thing, can it?
As nice as it is to tell people how it is going, it’s also not so nice to write about the bad stuff and can often bring you down a bit. There are times during writing these blogs I have wondered what the whole thing is about, but thankfully after a night’s rest and some perspective I’m back on it. It’s also not nice when I’ve written about exciting meetings that we are looking forward to progressing further with and then nothing happens. But as with everything I write here, we have to be transparent and take the rough with the smooth. It can’t always be positive, I guess.
Who Reads It?
I have found this part really interesting. Sometimes I post and I get very little or no comments, I do wonder if it is even worth clogging up the internet with more data, but the stats do say they are being read. When I meet people, I do talk about the blog and I’m always happy to hear when they say they have read some posts and quote some specific chapters. Since I have began writing I have also tried to comment on as many posts that I have read because I think it’s important for writers to know they are getting noticed.
I’ve also been approached by other startup founders off the back of the blogs looking for advice which is the ultimate satisfaction for me and the team. We hope to able to do more of this in the future as we start to progress with our own venture and meet more aspiring entrepreneurs. Finding help out there especially with no cost can be a challenge so if we can help just a few then that would be fantastic.
Well I’m not far from London Bridge now and on the way to a meeting with a group of restaurants who are interested in our App so I will update you in the future on the progress if it does gather any momentum.
Until next time…