We recently came across an article about how starting a business is like The Hunger Games. We hope that is not the experience most people have. That book is pretty brutal.
At Artisan Creative, we think a lot about entrepreneurship and we think starting a business is more like The Hobbit. At least when it works. Further in and further up…
You start out on an adventure, on your own at first (don’t forget your pocket handkerchief), but soon forming a team with a single, clear mission. You don’t know each other very well and it takes a while to assess everyone’s strengths and weaknesses. You run into obstacles (trolls) pretty early on and could easily decide to give up and go home right there (the kettle is on the hob). It turns out that having a mentor is incredibly important (Gandalf).
As you progress, your team breaks off into smaller groups with specific tasks to achieve, each of which can make its own discoveries–maybe not a magic ring, but creativity breeds innovation and innovation can be magical indeed. You will need to be clever and brave and take risks.
You will have to do battle with the entrepreneur’s worst enemy: fear of failure (that fire-breathing dragon). Surround yourself with talent who will support and encourage you, as well as have the skills to swoop in and solve problems.
Leadership can come from the most unlikely sources and you never know who will be the hero of your journey, but keep your wits about you and the rewards could last the rest of your life.
Starting a business isn’t quite an Unexpected Journey, but the path you will take is unpredictable. Put the right people on your team, practice active listening with them and your mentors, take the surprising opportunities that come along and you, too, might go There and Back Again and maybe even come home with a little chest of gold.
Wendy Stackhouse, for Artisan Creative