Considerations when starting up
The list below is a gathering of points to consider when starting up a project. These are based on my experience throughout the development of my social business.
Having worked at UNICEF and then rejoining the consultancy business, I missed empowering and helping people. I felt the need to create something that would positively impact the world, but I just did not know how.
One day, I woke up with an idea. Being a creative person and used to do things rapidly, I came up with the name and designed the logo for the idea the same day. That’s when YouTooday was born (or at least when I thought it was).
Create a MVP (Minimum Viable Product)
I know you’ve heard this many times, but are you really considering it when creating your project? I’ve learned to consider it the hard way:
Initially, I wanted to positively impact the world pushing people worldwide to do good deeds. At that time, I considered that because of me being in Barcelona, I needed an amazing community web for people to register worldwide and share their good deeds (and get points out of that). So, I went out to the market searching for the best platform. I found a company in which I trusted who offered to custom-create the platform. I was told that it would be the best solution to create a community based platform, which they had to create from scratch. I blindly believed in them and I finished loosing almost all my capital in a web that was tremendously expensive for what I needed and in an idea that was not ready yet. Why? Because I did not test the idea well enough before spending an excessive chunk of money into it (and I trusted blindly in others before trusting in myself first).
Use a free web builder site or app
For whatever you create, please build it and test it before in a free web building site or app!
Not having had enough with my first experience, I continued my quest with another company that offered me to re-develop the site in a common used development language and with a smaller budget. Again, I did go ahead with it: grass mistake!
Custom-building a project that is not yet fool-proofed isn’t the best option:
Firstly, you are spending money in developing it,
Then, you are spending money in improving it and adapting it to what the project is turning out to be, and
Lastly, you are spending money in maintaining it.
At the end, I finished up creating my own site(s!): First in Wordpress, then in Joomla and finally in Squarespace. The creation of these sites in different builders has been dependent on other factors. But the point here is, that these website builders are amazing tools that don’t cost you any or much money. They are simple enough for you to change its structure and content whenever your project changes. Because as we know: our projects evolve, they are not stagnant (Thanks God!).
Empower yourself as you empower your project
Looking back, my business had many re-births since the first day I created its name and logo. It has been evolving as I’ve been evolving. I believe that our projects are the outcome of who we are.
Commit to yourself, to the development of your skills and to the development of yourself as a human-being.
Take time to grow and evolve spiritually. We are powerful human-beings capable of doing amazing things when we are aligned to our self. Take time to find yourself, get centred and empowered. By doing so, you and your project will get aligned. You’ll start creating what is in you to create.
Value yourself before anyone else
In line with the above, when taking the time to empower yourself, you also will start knowing yourself better and valuing and respecting yourself for who you are and what you do.
This is a very important point when doing business and negotiating. You will not anymore blindly believe what other people say or offer to you, unless you feel it’s inline with your own thoughts, beliefs, values and respect for yourself.
Your project is part of who you are. You’ll value and respect it as you value and respect yourself. Your level of integrity will boost for you and your project. Don’t believe me? Start committing to your Self!
Partner up with like-minded people
I’ve partnered several times throughout the evolution of my project. Twice with partners that were not aligned to my vision and purpose:
First time, I became physically sick: my right shoulder hurt intensively throughout a whole year! I couldn’t almost move up my arm. But I continued with the intense work of explaining to my partner my vision and the why. I worked many more hours than needed, redoing the work and working for someone that was not aligned to me. I got exhausted until I understood that I had to respect and value myself above all. So, I ended this partnership and my shoulder returned to its healthy state!
Second time, I again was selling myself to the devil (not because of the person, but because of the type of partnership). I started selling my ideas, changing my project to fit the other person’s mindset and vision, etc. Luckily, this time I discovered my mistake on time and ended this partnership before it even formally began.
I now have a partner for one of the ongoing campaigns in my business. A person who is like-minded to me, with my same values, passion and principles. And the best is, that we found each other when I least was searching for a business partner!
Collaborate before partnering
I believe in collaboration. I believe in summing up to reinforce the common goal, whilst respecting each individual’s mission.
Before partnering with my business partner, we collaborated for quite a while. Working together gives you the nuance of who you are dealing with. You get to know the person, his/her reactions and values throughout good and difficult times.
Collaboration doesn’t need to lead to a formal partnership. You can continue working together, bringing along your expertise and projects, without having to legalise this relationship. In my case, I did formalise the partnership when we both created a common project, which required a legal registration.
Wait registering your project as a fiscal entity
This is something I want to emphasise: Please, don’t register your project legally until it’s working!
As the person I was, I thought that it was best to register my project legally the soonest possible. I wanted to have everything done so that it would not stop me in the future. I did wrong!
When you register your project as a business, organization, etc, you are stamping a date of birth to your project. If this project is still to evolve (as it usually is), then you are denying yourself future opportunities to apply for grants, funds etc. because your project might be too old to apply for it! Please keep this is mind.
In addition, anything you register legally will carry maintenance costs. If your project is not ripe enough, avoid doing this step.
WAIT and Trust. Know when it is the right time
Don’t rush for things to happen. Throughout the years I’ve understood that nothing occurs, if it doesn't have to happen.
I’ve rushed to create websites for my project when it was not ready yet. I’ve spent money in summits thinking we needed to expose ourselves to be seen. I’ve rushed to partner with people that were not like-minded to me. I’ve registered the project legally when it was not ripe enough…
WAIT. Think things through before you commit to them…
Believe in your gut, empower and value yourself, and TRUST in what’s to come!