Do You Have What It Takes to Run a Startup?


Because startups like Airbnb and Dropbox are becoming very successful and making their founders millions, everybody wants to form a startup these days. But what most people don’t realize is that startups involve a lot of time, energy and sometimes even money.

Download this handy cheat sheet about 5 questions you need to answer to run a startup.

Although it may seem rewarding to start up a company, it can be painful. So, do you think you are up for the task? Well, if you are unsure, you should have your answer after you read this…

Can you work with a partner?

When it comes to starting a business, you ideally want between two and four founders. Why? One is no good because there is too much work for one person. And you will be working a lot!

But if you add any more than four founders, then it becomes impossible to make quick decisions.

Another reason you don’t want to do it alone is that you have no one to hold you accountable for results. Two founders can feed off of each other’s energy. Some of the most successful startups were led by two people.

Yes, there are great examples of companies succeeding well with only one founder. Evan Williams became the solo founder of Blogger when his partner split, yet he was able to sell it to Google. And in some cases even with more than one founder, people believe that there is The One who makes it work. Everyone in the Valley talks about Aaron Patzer at as The One who made that company work.

But there is no getting around the fact that operating a startup will squeeze you. Having somebody around for emotional and creative support is important.

Are you old enough? Young enough?

This might sound like a strange question, and it might even sound like I’m discriminating, but the truth is age does really matter when it comes to launching a startup.

The people who are really good candidates for a startup tend to be between the ages of 23 and 38. Any younger than that, and most people probably won’t take you seriously. Any older, and you probably won’t have the time or energy to work until 3 a.m. every night.

This is not to say that someone who is younger than 23 can’t form a startup. Fifteen-year-old Daniil Kulchenko sold his cloud-computing startup to a Vancouver, BC, based company.

And a 2009 study by the Kaufman Foundation, called “The Anatomy of an Entrepreneur,” showed that the average age of founders was 40 years old.

The bottom line is forming a startup means you decide to squeeze your entire work life into four years or so. You won’t have time to do anything else but work. Starting a company isn’t for everyone.

Can you secure early funding?

Even if you can work with a partner and are the right age, not having enough money to operate your new business will hurt your chances for success. Before I tell you ways to secure early funding, it helps to know the causes behind undercapitalization so you can avoid it.

  • Wrong industry – Never pursue a startup in an area you don’t have any experience in. This can lead to underestimating the costs it will take to operate your company.
  • Bad Business plan or no plan at all – Investors will want to see a business plan, but the other reason you need one is so you can realistically evaluate whether your business will make it. Your plan should tell you whether your startup is viable and how you’ll overcome worst-case scenarios.
  • No accountability – One of the reasons it’s so important to work with a partner is that he or she can hold you accountable to ensure success. Besides, business owners with coaches or mentors outperform the competition.
  • Lack of difference – Entering a saturated market without any sense of how you are different from competition will result in low sales. Give customers something better or faster or you won’t survive.
  • Failure to retain – It costs more to close new leads than it does to retain prior customers. And happy customers are paying customers. Companies that fail to work on customer service and retention will slow the cash flow.

Once you know you’re not making any of the above mistakes, you need to figure out how much money you’ll need and where that money will come from.

There are two schools of thought on this: raise as much money as possible or raise enough money to last a short period of time. The second is the most common, so I’m going to focus on that.

The idea is to estimate what it will cost you to get established and operate for one or two years, and then raise enough money for that period. When you’re about six months away from running out of cash, raise more.

Now that you’ve figured out how much you’ll need, add another 40%. This 40% is known as “Augustine’s Law”, named after a project manager in the 80s who discovered that 40% was the average cost overrun for his projects. And if you know anything about startups, you’ll know they never go the way you expect.

So, where do you get this funding?

  • Angels – These investors usually invest $10,000-100,000 to cover expenses while the company gets on its feet.
  • Venture capitalistsInvestors who come in with the big money, but they also take a bit more of your company.
  • Friends and families – If you have a wealthy family or friends, ask them if they’d be willing to help you out.
  • Bank loans – If you’ve got a strong business plan, a bank could lend you the funds you need.
  • Bootstrap – You decide to fund it yourself because you can keep expenses low. No dilution of your shares with bootstrapping, but not a lot of cash to work with.

Can you limit your spending?

Like I mentioned above, startups usually fail because they run out of money. If you can’t secure the money, you won’t get anywhere. But if you get the money, you need to spend as little as possible. Here are some money saving tips.

  • Avoid hiring people. Use temps or contract workers.
  • Resist paying yourself lavishly.
  • Live well below your means.
  • Save money and pour it back into the company.
  • If you do have to hire, don’t hire expensive people.
  • Avoid buying lavish office furniture. If you need office furniture, buy it cheap, used or simply borrow it. Ask friends and family if they have furniture in storage you could use.
  • Operate out of an apartment in a good neighborhood. Renting commercial space is expensive.

You don’t have to get big fast, you just have to have enough money to keep going. I’ve learned that the best companies take time to mature. It takes time to reach sustainable profitability. So, be patient.

Do you want to make a lot of money?

Those who form startups aren’t greedy. Some even live well below their means when they can easily afford much more. They just know they’ll eventually be rich.

The reason they want to be rich varies. Here are four:

  1. Poverty – Some grew up in poverty and want to get out of that and help their parents get out of it too.
  2. Generous – Some entrepreneurs just want to be rich so they can help causes they believe in. Bill and Melinda Gates are famous for the causes they support.
  3. Control – Some people want to be rich so they can have independence and live their lives the way they want to.
  4. Royal – Other people like the idea of owning yachts and multiple homes and traveling around the world.

In some cases, entrepreneurs want to be rich and keep control, but as Harvard Business School assistant professor Noam Wasserman says, “Very few entrepreneurs can achieve both.”

In his 2006 paper Rich versus King: The Entrepreneur’s Dilemma, he says:

The Larry Ellisons of the business world are few and far between. In fact, there is a fundamental tension between the money side and the control side—getting rich often means selling control to investors; keeping control reduces the payday.

That means you need to decide what’s most important to you. It’s not easy making money, and there are ways to live comfortably without working very hard, but if you want to go down the entrepreneurial path, go for it! I’d love to help you any way I can.


Being an entrepreneur is a very demanding way to live. It requires a lot from you as a person, and it will challenge you in many ways. Trust me, I may be young, but I’ve been through a lot of ups and downs as an entrepreneur.

Of course, it’s not for everyone. And it’s a good idea to evaluate if you have what it takes to start a company. If you think you do, then what are you waiting for? There’s never been a better time to start!

What do you think it takes to run a startup?

P.S. Do you have a startup that needs help growing? click here.


  1. Eric Siegfried - TangoSource :

    My first startup failed due to a small market combined with relying on influencers who were motivated to not spread the word. My second startup failed due to not operating quickly. My third startup has become profitable recently. The number of pivots you can perform until becoming profitable truly is your runway. So how fast and cheaply can you test vital assumptions?

    • Sounds like you have learned a lot from your experiences so far. That’s correct. Which is why you need to be building minimal viable products. It’s all about the lean startup. 😉

      • Eric Siegfried - TangoSource :

        It’s definitely been a ride. I would say that MVP for MVP’s sake isn’t where it’s at. MVP for a pharma company could run in 10’s of millions. A software MVP might not require a single line of code. Running a lean startup definitely involves iterating to profit.

    • I like the fact the you didn’t gave up although you had two missed startups. Patience and perseverance is what it takes in order to get successful and be able to get your business on the top.

      • Thank you, it definitely took patience and focus to continue on.

      • Eric Siegfried - TangoSource :

        I’d add self honesty to that. If you don’t understand why things are happening, or even worse, are deceiving yourself, then failure has no redeeming learning value.

        • Interesting point of view. I definitely see where you are coming from with this. If you don’t face up to the truth you are bound to repeat the failure.

        • Self honesty is important, but being honest with your customers is also very important. If they realize you are lying to them they will eventually look for someone else.

      • Many entrepreneurs fail at there first business. The good ones take what they learned and build a successful business.

        • Very true, you have to grow from experience.

          • its important to depart with love, instead beating it to death, as ur 1st venture is like ur 1st love. whn u depart with love u learn frm ur mistakes frm the 1st venture. I get inspired by entrepreneurs like Eric Siegfried – TangoSource who have a never say die attitude…cheers n all the best

  2. Reiki Bedfordshire :

    I think you need totally focussed single-mindedness. Sure, money, backing, whatever you want to call it is important, but if you´re not 100% focussed on your start up it will go down the pan.

    • Definitely, there are many important things needed for success. Staying focused is a main one or like you said your business may go down.

    • When you start a business you need to have one focus, and that is to make that business work and get on top. If you loose the focus you also loose what you are aiming for so that is why you need to stay focused all the time.

  3. Aarti | Seo Company :

    I too feel that you need a support from someone so that you both remain focused towards your goal. Usually it’s really hard to manage each and everything, due to overload pressure you feel really exhausted and tired. So you definitely need at least one partner who has same zeal as you to achieve your goal only then you both can support each other. I got few ideas but I’m working with my friends lets see how things shape up.

    • Good luck to you and your friends. It is always a good idea to have someone there to help you out and keep you focused.

  4. Being passionate about what your doing helps too.

    • I agree, passion is a great motivator and really can drive you to success.

    • If you don’t like what you are doing you will end up giving up. There is no point in starting a business if is something you don’t like or you don’t know anything about.

      • Very true, you must have a drive or passion for what you are doing. If you don’t, you won’t be motivated enough to get very far.

        • Passion is required, but also knowledge is required. You can’t run a business if you don’t have both of them. If you are just knowledgeable about something but you don’t have the passion to do it you will have enough at one point. If you have the passion but you don’t have the knowledge you will not be able to sell.

  5. Riya | Promo Codes :

    There is cut-throat competition in every field online or offline, So it’s really essential to create your own strategy before starting your business and arrange everything which you find that are necessary for your start-up process. I know you can’t predict and analyse everything but at-least you can prepare yourself for odds.

    Having a partner is must, specially for motivation as you and your partner can motivate each other in difficult time and work together to find out the solution of any problem.

    • It can be very cut- throat indeed. Good suggestion, it is ideal to be prepared for the worst, while working towards success. Yep, a partner is great to have when you both want the same things and can work together towards whatever it is you both want.

    • In a competitive market you have to come up with something that your competition isn’t offering or to know to offer it better. A partner is also very important for taking important decisions and also for investing when necessary.

      • Yep, that is a great way to get ahead of them. It is about being creative. True, partners are there to help make the decisions and give a second opinion/perspective on the matter.

        • A partner is there to complete your ideas or make you put them in action. There are sometimes when we need other peoples advices no matter how much we trust ourselves. A second opinion is required in many cases.

  6. I agree with all the recent comments. Have started on my own going on month No. 4 now. The challenge I face is balancing my time into the critical business roles from admin, sales, installations and training to managing suppliers correctly. A balancing act of note. The best solution I have thus far is to use blocks of time efficiently and most effectively then take a break and back again etc…..multi tasking not as effective. Startup business teaches one to work smater with resources and funds alike. Don’t forget to have fun. 🙂

    • Thanks for sharing your personal experience. Some good points and thoughts. Fell free to come back and share more whenever you want. 🙂

  7. Great article. I would add that it is possible to grow a services business with little or no outside investor capital. That way the partners can have control and reap the rewards when they have to exit. So start with the exist strategy in the business plan. For a service business to make it they don’t necessarily need to be unique just excellent service at a fair price.

  8. TheWorldOrBust :

    Great topic. I’m 24 now and started an online language solutions service at 22, and two years ago, things were tough. It’s amazing how even just two years of being in the “real world” post college has helped me grow so much as an entrepreneur and I think your time frame for the best age of starting up a company is spot on. Too young and you’re….too young, and too old you can’t take the risk/have the stamina to do what you need to do.

    • It can take time to get results, you have to keep at it and remain patient. Glad you agree on that, age can make a large difference.

  9. Dilanka Wettewa :

    Regarding : Business Plans — I thought Business Plans were useless since it’s essentially a poor attempt at one being psychic. Isn’t the best way to figure out whether a product/company is viable is to show that you have real paying customers?

    Great overview Neil.

    • Most people only have some aspects of a business mastered. Filling in the other blanks in a business plan accurately, and precisely FORCES you to THINK about aspects you would not normally think about…like a real business. That alone is worth the trouble of the exercise. The banks have a statistic in Canada: a company that has gone through a “formal” business planing and development process is FIVE times more likely to succeed. Having said that, testing and vetting your concept before doing all this is GREAT, and getting a no frills beta is even better! But I still root for BPs.

      • Dilanka Wettewa :

        I see, I totally get what your saying. The only downside is that I see a lot of people who focus more time on the “plan” part than the “business” (ie: execution). 🙂

        • I see what you are saying. People can get caught up on what their plan is and how it should look, rather then going for it and producing real results. In some cases that may happen, but it is always smart to have something written out so that you and others can see where the business should to be heading.

      • Thank you for your opinion on the matter. Your input is appreciated and you have made some fine points.

    • Thanks for you question Dilanka. I would say that having paying customers is the greatest way of proving your business works. However you have to have a plan on how to get those customers in the first place and then how to expand and where to go from there. Think of the plan as guidelines.

  10. I like the reasons why you want to be rich, Poverty is one of the greatest factor. I always follow your old saying” Don’t fly alone”.

  11. This is an awesome article Neil. Nice work. If anyone in the comments has a minute, I’d love feedback on an idea that’s aimed at helping non-technical founders get started online by learning basic technical skills. Splash page is @ and the first tutorials are almost complete. Will definitely be referencing this article when I launch!!

    • Love the name and basic concept and niche focus! I’d think about using you if you provided more info on what kinds of aps you’re talking about–the rest you can get anywhere. And perhaps a bit more info about the MBA aspect, as in how you will concretely deliver this piece to the client. Hope it helps and makes sense. 🙂

      • Thanks Chetan! Initially the focus of is helping non-technical founders with basic technical skills such as registering a domain, setting up basic web hosting, installing WordPress and putting up a landing page. I will definitely be expanding into other topics (and hope the direction is community driven based on requests/feedback). The ‘mba’ part is really about learning how to evaluate your idea, test it, tweak it, re-evaluate, etc. It’s all about learning how to move forward intelligently (heavy influence from the Lean Startup/Running Lean/etc.). Plus the usual banter about how other startups are tackling the same problem, analyzing what’s working, highlighting what doesn’t work, etc.

        • Chetan Rajani :

          I like that. Perhaps find a way to put it a sentence or two about that. I like the biz gym dot com approach–step by step work-outs for the biz. Perhaps you’ll get some inspiration there as well. But it sounds good. I think there’s a market there–just have to locate it! 🙂

        • Sounds like a good service. I hope you stick with it and are receiving good feedback.
          Best of luck.

      • Thank you for giving your advice on the matter.

    • Hey Jason, I think it is a great idea. I am in the process of launching a new business with a partner and we just do not have the time and experience to spend in the world of digital media. I have been meeting with several providers to find one we can afford, but the best offer I have had so far is a developer who sees potential in our product and has offered to do the website, logo, and video marketing for a percentage of the profits. But the thing I have heard from several website designers is that wordpress at its roots is basically for blogging and is not really the best choice for ecommerce. Your thoughts? Bottom line, a guy like me would love your mbacoder product.

    • Thank you, glad you enjoyed it.

  12. Madhav Tripathi :

    I do not know if a blog comes under umbrella of an startup. But it presents a mini model of something similar. Finding a partner is not easy because you can not trust specially in small business. This post is a nice presentation of the problems I will face if have plans for an startup.

    • I’ve “blown” partnerships in so many ways, (not responding fast enough, being ripped off, not recognizing the gem of a partner, not recognizing the devil of a partner until it was too late…etc.) . Today I think it’s some kind of spontaneous combustion that happens to blessed people. I have never been able to figure it, and so am, well, resigned to going it solo and cheaply outsourcing key aspects. Something to consider.

    • It can be difficult finding someone trustworthy to do business with. I would recommend having signed legal documents on the partnership and business. That way you don’t have to worry to much about trust because even if you do find someone you think you trust, it may backfire.

  13. Codrut Turcanu :

    hi Neil, great article, I would love to hear more on the start-up topic. I am located in Romania, do you have any ideas if these angels require a start-up in the same country as they reside in?

    I mean, will we need to meet face to face to settle the deal?

    What kind of percentage off of a company would they be comfortable to invest in?


    • Angeles usually invest in companies who are located in the same region that they are located in. You probably will have to meet them face to face and get to know them before they invest. They can take anywhere from a few percentage points to 30% of your company.

  14. Meaty post, Neil! Covers all the bases!
    I agree with your view on partners–with the caveat that they all bring different but complementary foundational skills and experience (or silent investors).
    I’m not convinced about the age range as it rules me out! 🙂 And I’ve seen many people over fifty make it. The way I see it, what I lack in stamina, I make up for in smarts and experience.
    In terms of funding, out of lack and necessity, I have developed what I call the “Umbrella Start-up Model” where you only develop business ideas you can start on a show string, and where you insert yourself into a market place dirt cheap, and then open up the umbrella. If things go well, you’re always covered by outsourced help; if things don’t, the rain doesn’t fall on you. Plus you get to control and manage growth.
    Re. motivation: I have a tested, vetted pre-pitched venture blue-print hat could make me really rich, (on a shoe string) but I couldn’t care less about the industry. So I only THREATEN to launch it when life gets tough from time to time. I prefer extreme passion and experience over money-motivation. (though I’ve seen some spectacular success based on greed from “pure” entrepreneurs who will do anything.
    As one of the partners of Ben and Jerry always ask people looking for venture capital: “Why for.” If the answer is money, you’re out!
    Sorry for all these long posts–I just (sincerely) like your platform! This is NOT a hostile take-over of your blog! Hey, maybe I should start one up of my own….:)

    • Maybe you should start one :). You seem to have a lot of experience accumulated over the years. You probably have tons of valuable advice to share.

  15. angelinvestor8 :

    Running a startup can seem to be glamorous to some, even fun…on the surface. But just on the surface. It takes a lot of passion, a great deal of stamina and determination to get on the entrepreneurial road and not careen off of it. Nice breakdown Neil.

  16. Aliosha Kasin :

    I had a my first startup when I was 17. I did online product delivery. It was going well until I got competition and my plans to start employing and expand went out of the window. I couldn’t put much time into it as I started university and two month later closed the business. But I learned a lot and Im glad I had that experience. I started my online blog and social media consultancy this year. Hopefully it will go well for me. I graduated this year so have a lot of time to put into my startup.

    • Thank you for talking about what you experienced. I am happy you were able to learn from it and hopefully now you will be able to move forward with that knowledge and more to a greater success.

  17. David | The Growth Company :

    Hi Neil,

    This a great post, many of the things you mention here are learned ‘on the job’. The glamour of starting a company is there until its not, when you discover how much time and effort you need to put in, even when you are ill.

    Certainly not everyone is cut out for entrepreneurship.


    • I agree, not everyone is. It can take a lot out of you and can be hard on your health as well. It has to be something you really want and are ready to go after.

  18. Hi Neil,
    WOW, this gives a person a lot to think about.
    Wore me out just reading.
    With that said, it was a Superb article in that you ALWAYS give your followers the Real Picture!
    Thanks for your insight and advice.

  19. Thanks for your insight.

    I think it is very important to work on something you have experience and more importantly you are passionate about.

  20. Hey Neil,

    I started on this path about 18 months ago and I have never loved my work (?) more….but there is no doubt that it is monstrously hard! What is tough is figuring out where to start coz’ it feels like I am catching the wave somewhere in the middle and there is soooo much to learn about internet marketing. Also everyone is going content crazy so that really doesn’t help with sorting through the clutter :-).
    Ultimately you really gotta own it and work at it like you are going to make it coz’ doubt only kills the opportunity to truly succeed. Great post as usual, dude.

    • Thanks Shrad for sharing your thoughts. There is a lot to learn and a ton to do. So make sure you are ready for it.

  21. Carlos Cooper :

    Being an entrepreneur really is a way of life. You stay up nights just hoping and praying that the latest idea will hit just right. There’s a lot of faith involved. Faith in yourself. Faith in your product. Faith in your partners. And even a higher Faith if you’re one to believe.

    I also totally agree with you and Chetan about having partners. As long as you pick the right ones, they help challenge and motivate you when times get tough. It reminds me of being back in the Marines. Only the guy next to you was gonna save your butt if times got tough.

    Thanks for another good one!

    • Definitely, you have to be willing to dedicate yourself to it. Interesting point of view, I guess faith is one way of staying in good spirits. No problem, hope you found it helpful.

  22. Hi Neil

    Great Sharing. Thanks you for all the tips and ideas. One things which I would like to emphasize is to adapt to the dynamics of the business. The world is so fast changing and the market need not be the same all the time. Most start-ups fail because they are not flexible to change or do not upgrade themselves in time.
    Another point which strike my mind is that every goal has 1000 ways to achieve it. Most of them fail because they are tiered after the 10th.
    All the best! and Thanks again!

  23. Online examination system :

    once you decided to start business, you can ask ideas to the experience person that field and not to the friend, the next is you should ready to invest enough money which needs for growth of the business, I always don’t recommend the partnership in business

    • All good suggestions. Having a partner isn’t for everyone, you have to do what works best for you and your business.

  24. Web Design Resource :

    Give start up to a new company is painful, but if you tolerate that pain and keep focus on your work, then that pain converts into money in future.

    • I see what you mean. I agree give into hard work and the “pain” that comes with it and in the end you will be better off for it.

  25. For sure being an entrepreneur is demanding, but every time you fail on something, it makes you that extra bit better, as you will learn from experience, and also be that extra wiser. We all make mistakes, but we can learn from them, that should be one of the qualities of an entrepreneur.
    Also having the guts to try, everyone wants to start a business, but can they really handle it? Do they give up easily. Even if you fail, at least you tried, and that’s what makes you different from others.
    Thanks for the post Neil. 🙂

  26. Sebastien Flury :

    Great and interesting post that make me wonder about the one guy start-up… As well as I totally agree with Neil, minimum of 2 founders is necessary. But in matter of accountability, if you’re married but single founder start-up, I can assure you that you have to be accountable to your wife in making progress ;-)! But that’s tougher, because she also had to be really comprehensive… You can lie to yourself, but not to your wife because she’s the one who know you best. So you have to keep going and show her some progress!
    Thx for the post (I also have to look actively for a cofounder to also be accountable to a business partner ;-)!)!

    • Interesting take on the matter. I would agree that if you were married your wife may be there to voice her opinions. Hopefully she will be at least a great motivator to you if anything.

  27. Hi Neil,

    Great post, we are a start-up in online puzzles, for online marketing purposes. We would like to add our own ‘Nero rule’ in response to your Augustine’s Law.

    Make your budget and assumptions and than add 150% ;-). Never stop bootstrapping!


  28. great article… there are some countries were you can start doing business at 18, and so on… but still there are not many the times they succeed

    • It is hard to become successful in general. Let alone when you are young and have not yet learned much about business.

  29. Oliver Wright :

    Coming from the world of private equity, I probably don’t bring great insight compared to your target entrepreneurial audience. But I do know that having a partner who is strong where you are weak, and vice versa, is essential. If I didn’t have someone keeping me on task I’d spend all my time abstracting and theorizing. As to funding, necessity, as they say is the mother of invention, and I truly feel that having short capital creates better companies most fo the time. It forces parts of your brain to work that simply wouldn’t engage otherwise.

    • Thank you for sharing, I agree having a partner who has strengths where you have weakness and vice versa can be very beneficial.

  30. Cathy Presland :

    I know – don’t we all wish we had started dropbox, hey?!

    You don’t mention gender but I’ve seen research from the UK indicating this group also tends to be made up of more men than women…


    • Interesting, I guess I do tend to see more males then females in this particular group. It would be nice to see more women join.

  31. I was reading this, then I got to the question — Can you secure early funding? I quickly answered “NO”. I was about not to read everything else but I know if I have the will I have the way. But not only for me, I could share this to those who I know who wants to start up. Thanks again.

  32. Nora McDougall-Collins :

    Besides a business plan, if your startup is based on a piece of software, make sure that there is a software plan. One software plan that I have seen fail is the “we are behind schedule, get it up quick and don’t allow any testing time, plan.”

  33. It takes time and effort but the rewards are worth it. However if you grow too big you can keep both the $$$$ and the control.

  34. You pretty much nailed this, minus one crucial issues that happens to probably 75%+ of startups, that is “can you handle failure”?

    In 2010 My friend who is a genius programmer decided to create a business based around the affiliate market – After about 8 months of development we had the “MVP” – We launched, the initial phases went way above our original expectations, and we gained a nice market share.

    Everything was going good, and then it wasn’t. I could get into a lot of specifics on what happened, but when it comes down to it, some was within our control, and some wasn’t.

    About 4 months ago we decided we need to cut our losses and move on. So we have a failed startup – the rough part was not just realizing you made mistakes, but the hit to your confidence. Thankfully, I’m just cocky enough to understand our mistakes, learn from them, and push forward. But my partner is still having a rough time.

    Oh and I should mention, I left a 6 figure corporate job to do the startup thing. LOL 🙂

    Great stuff as always Neil

    • Taking a risk and not succeeding can be tough. It is a hard hit to one’s confidence, but you have to be able to get pass it and learn and move forward. If you let each failure and mistake tear you down you will never reach your goals.

  35. Reiki Bedfordshire :

    Judging by what Felt Media (above) said, I think the main factor in people not actually starting up is that overwhelming fear of ´what do I do if it all goes wrong´.
    I suppose having a get out plan is as important as your start up one.

    • Having a backup plan is a good idea not only to ease your fear but also to be able to move forward if it doesn’t work out. I believe fear is the biggest contributor to failures, because people hold back do to it.

  36. David Kasteler :

    One other thing I would add and it has to do with both willpower and funding is Staying Power. Often businesses even if they are great ideas/businesses take time to develop and having the ability to stay with the idea/business can prove crucial as competition arises.
    Entrepreneurs need to understand that even good businesses fail or can take longer to get going than planned. Uncertainty and risk is inherent in any startup venture.

    • I agree, thanks for sharing your thoughts. People often give up to easily. Instead of re-assesting the failure and planning something new to fix the problem(s) they drop a potentially profitable idea because it didn’t work the first time.

  37. Alex @ Easy ways to make money :

    Hi Neil,

    In any business venture, it’s really the best option to form 2-4 person as the founder for each business enterprise. Because starting up a business requires a lot of things to do. You really need someone who also have the same level of competence and drive to make your business a success.

    • Very true, you certainly want to make sure you have enough help around that like yourself, everyone is involved and passionate about whatever it is you are all doing.

  38. Website Creating Software Guy :

    Great point about saving money with hiring Temps. I know a lot of folks who have taken this route and it’s been very helpful to their finances.

    • Yep, they are a great way to get busy work done and out of they way so that the business can move forward and your time is dedicated to more important things.

  39. So how can I get some major funding so I can quit my job and work on my projects.

    • You will have to go out and find investors. Possibly online or at conferences. Market yourself as much as you can and connect with everyone. You never know who might be able to help you out.

  40. Hi Neil,

    Once again- Thank you.
    After having one mediocre star up, a failure start up and a successful start up, I feel that the most important aspect is having a big enough WHY for doing it.

    What would it mean for you to succeed?

    If you have a genuine burning desire it would carry you through all the challenges and “force” you to be better everyday until you make it.

    • Definitely, you want to make sure you have a drive for what you are trying to active otherwise you will be less likely to ever make it.

  41. sell textbooks :

    The part where you said you won’t have time for anything else except for work is so true. I remember I used to set my alarm to get up at 3:30am to squeeze more hours into the day. I used to laugh to myself when people would ask me if I had any fun plans for the weekend (“weekend?” “what’s that?” 🙂

    • You really have to be willing to sacrifice a lot of time and energy to become successful. It isn’t easy and if it was everyone would do it.

  42. All good and valid points. We’re on the right track, finalizing our Business Plan. Thanks once again for your insightful information.

  43. Sergio Redondo :

    Thanks for the post! It’s so usefull.

    For people like me who have a developed idea about a new startup, these advices results in guidelines to prevent ourselves from not to make any mistakes, or, at least, the less ass possible.

    Thanks again.

  44. To often you see people start down the path of creating a start-up without taking these points into consideration. This is very useful.

    • Yep, many times you see people start something without any information or tips about it. Sometimes they learn along the way and other times they fail do to their lack of preparation.

  45. Web design New York :

    Nice thought and points you have elaborated before stating any business. Everyone wants to focus on the fifth point “making Money” but does not concentrate on other factor as well which are necessary in start-up at initial level and in future. This post includes all these factors.

  46. PS Discounts Uk :

    Hi Patel,
    As a matter of fact my first two business ventures or start-ups (as you call it) have failed miserably. Though I am brave enough to try for the third time, I was always in a dilemma. Your piece of article seems to be booster.
    Thanks very much!!

  47. marriage registration ghaziabad :

    the ability to stay focused and the ability to see through tough times is also very important if you want your start up to be successful.

  48. AR @ make money online :


    Thanks for this post. When starting a company needs a lot of patience and planning and that includes “You.” Being patient enough and not to pay yourself lavishly, that it would generate over spending on your side.

    • Definitely, you want to make sure before you start to pay yourself that your business is already up and running smoothly and profitably.

  49. Hi Neil

    Is it good to rely on partners who just funds for your efforts and doesn’t work? Also can you tip us on how to make a deal or agreement with a partner? like a things to remember..

    • It is a good idea. There is no standard agreement… it depends on how much money they are giving you, how risky the investment is, what the expected return is…

      It’s all a negotiation.

  50. I was planning to setup a small start-up company in the coming years. The biggest hurdles I see is finding good partners and coming up with a unique idea of products.

    • Those are certainly big ones. If you take the time though in choosing and finding the right ones, in the long run it will be worth the wait.

  51. Duncan - Vetter :

    Another benefit of having co-founder(s) might be that investors trust a pairing with their money more.

  52. Yasir Khan Quantum SEO :

    Nobody actually realizes they they have burnt out till they do and working with insufficient help or with no help at all will definitely do that much quicker.

  53. Hi Neil,

    I’ve been reading your blog for sometime now since I find it very informative and I can really learn a lot from it.

    Hoping to get in touch with you for some tips in the future.

    Anyways my first try fails due to finding the right people to work for you.

    However I’m trying to start again and is in the process of looking for the right partners. Hopefully I can find one which believes in the plan that I have and is committed to join me in this pursuit. (and i know it is not going to be easy)

  54. denver injury attorney :

    To be honest, I love hearing from the ones who have made it BIG in their niche, but I prefer learning from those who failed in path to glory. This is because they can tell you about the glitches and the dead ends they came up against and the mistakes they made while trying. There are many import lessons to learn from losers.

  55. web designing and development :

    It makes to think that hiring a experience people will lead to success in business

  56. Houses for Sale in Chula Vista :

    I used a partner one time and it was a nightmare for my real estate business. It can work but you need to make sure you have the right person no matter what

  57. I find it more feasible to work with a partner rather than a friend of the family. I feel more respect and wisdom. Surely accept criticism unlike the family as a partner. Never get more than three members at the beginning, because bankruptcy is larger and easier. My opinion.

  58. Fantastic article. Thanks Neil.

  59. hey neil,
    nice thoughts u have conveyed. it was good to read this article.
    i think self management is most important part. one must keep this point in his mind.


  60. I too feel that you need a support from someone so that you both remain focused towards your goal. Usually it’s really hard to manage each and everything, due to overload pressure you feel really exhausted and tired. So you definitely need at least one partner. A trustworthy partner.

  61. Hi!,,,,
    Hello!,,I also agree with you, poverty can be the greatest factor or a starting point to build-up your drive. Which you will use to fulfill your dreams.Thank you for sharing!,,,

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