Calling All Student Entrepreneurs: Tell Us About Your Startup

Why it is so hard to start your first venture?

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Mar 28, 2012

"Go and do" is a cliche advice. Nobody should buy it, at least at the first place. Do what you love to do is much easier said but done. However, with prudent judgement this "Go & do idea" can be a very good idea to go forward.

I have a real life experience to share with you here. Let's strat. Besides Future StartUp we have been working on a for profit Social project on dry fish aimed at empowering rural dry fish producers located in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh. Till yesterday we were on a warming-up phase, we were doing things like- collecting information, fetching different things together, talking with potential buyers, making connections and other preliminary tasks that we call pre-required jobs before starting a business.

In doing all those tasks I was a front runner with one of my elder brothers cum partners and a friend cum partners. Then suddenly, few days back we found that, all related warming up things have done, now it is time to begin the real show. In the mean time, the elder bro, who was with me, got a job and planning to cut out from the scene after few days which ache my stomach with something hard. Suddenly, like before last moment of life (death) a lot of thing flash back in-front of my eyes. My newly finished BBA, going to start MBA, my most beautiful classmate I was staring throughout the last semesters, and my Mom telling me that "you after having a BBA degree from DU going to sell "Sutki (Bangali for dry fish)", and my friends tight suites with corporate look.

After that a sense of responsibility caught me that at Future StartUp we have been preaching this Go and Start mantra for quite 8 months and now I am feeling blue that's not fair.  Then I sit down for a while as usual, when things don't work I sit tight for a while and observe what went wrong, and started to think that what actually causing me to feel like this with this "Starting up thing". And then I found some common and some uncommon reasons why I am afraid of starting-up as a young man. Let me share some of those with you.

The uncertainty complexity: The path is dark and you can't see or forecast a thing. And we hate uncertainty more than anything.

I don't certainly know what will happen. I don't know whether it's going to be a pass or fail. I know if I don't start nothing will happen but fear does not leave me. I don't know how to deal with it. However I got over it but don't ask me how!

The comfort zone complexity: Now I have a part time job, I'm running a small organization, doing my BBA and then going to start MBA after few days. These all things do not seek much out of me. I do all the job in a mood that in Ophra's language "la-di-da" times means semi-working mood. Then suddenly when I got that my all these days are over and I'm going to enter into another phase of life, it scared me. And suddenly I felt for my existing colleagues in half day office, face of classmates and bla bla things. That's what, comfort zone, the experts are talking about relentlessly for years after years.

The goal/dream complexity: I don't have a definition for this, so I call it the goal or dream complexity. It suggests that deep in our heart we don't want our dream to come true instead we love to chasing it, it's a lot like stock of reserved food that we never want to finish, because we often don't know what we will do if they get there. So, this is what getting over me nowadays. I feel like I'm going to make it and thus ruining it.

It's not the right time: Till yesterday, I always said that, experience, time, situation are not matter if you want to start. Still I believe so. But from yesterday I am feeling exactly like this is not right time for me to start. I'm feeling like I am not ready yet, although I have been preparing myself for this for a long time. So, I know what my mind or brain or whoever is whispering to my ear is not true and I'm going to start it any way.

These are just my feelings and experiences. It can be different for anybody else. But most of the time what stop us is fear and ignorance and uncertainty. And most people cannot make it  because they give up early.


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Ruhul Kader is a technology and business analyst based in Dhaka, Bangladesh. He is also the co-founder and CEO of Future Startup and author of Rethinking Failure: A short guide to living an entrepreneurial life. He writes about internet business, strategy, technology, technology policy, and society. He can be reached at ruhul@futurestartup.com

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