It is easy to come up with a great idea. Okay, so maybe not easy, but when compared to the effort it takes to make that same idea come to life, it is. While I was studying abroad in Antibes I wrote an entire business plan for my Entrepreneurship class which essentially outlined a service that was a combination of Wanderu and Grabbd, two very successful companies today. I never ended up seeing my idea through because I thought it would be too difficult to execute. Someone else did. The most valuable tip I can give to entrepreneurs is don't give up. See your idea through to success or failure. Anyone can have a good idea, but not everyone can follow through with it. To me, giving up is the ultimate failure and something that scares me the most. If you give up, you will never know what could have been.
When I first started working on Rippl in June of 2019, I had these crazy unrealistic expectations that I would be able to launch the business within a few months. Looking back, there are so many moving parts to starting something from scratch that I didn’t consider at the time. It takes more than a good idea and interested consumers to launch a business, and that is why it is so crucial to take it one day at a time. When starting a business, set end goals, but focus on small wins, because it is impossible (especially when working full-time) to expect the immediate satisfaction that comes with the completion of end goals. They are called end goals for a reason; they are meant to be worked towards. It isn't easy to juggle a full-time job and start a business, so it is important to feel a sense of accomplishment simply when taking steps in the right direction, even if it is a step as small as sending out an email.
While it can be difficult for entrepreneurs to open up and bounce their business idea off of others, it is essential. An entrepreneur’s tendency is to keep their project a secret and only reveal it to the world once it is finished and perfect. This stems from paranoia of others trying to steal their idea or the fear of them shooting it down. It took me a while to feel comfortable sharing what I had been spending my time doing after work. What I realized is, most business ideas have already been thought of, but most business ideas have not been executed. It’s because starting a business takes an enormous amount of time and resources, to execute on an idea is a serious investment. It takes time, dedication, passion, knowledge, and a million other things. Nobody is going to drop what they are doing to devote themselves to someone else’s idea. Not only that, feedback, even if it can be tough to swallow, is extremely valuable. The people that you talk to are looking at your business with fresh eyes and a new perspective, and they are likely to point out things you would have never even thought of. Comments like "someone already established could easily just take your idea" should go in one ear and out the other, but if you are given actionable feedback or criticism you should not dismiss it. This is how you grow!
Do you ever picture something happening before it does? Whether it is having your name drawn in a raffle or getting a bullseye in darts, it is no coincidence when you visualize and anticipate something happening, it does. I don’t necessarily agree with everything people say about the law of attraction, but I do believe in the power of believing in yourself. By simply thinking something will become a reality, you will subconsciously act differently in a way that will better position yourself to make it happen. Any goal is attainable when assisted by positive thoughts and the newfound confidence that naturally comes from them. In regards to making success a reality, it is extremely important to visualize your goals and use your positive mindset to drive your project. Every day when I walk the streets to work I picture the commuters passing by carrying a Rippl mug instead of their plastic coffee cup. I can only hope one day this will be my reality.
It is surprising how much time we waste doing mindless, unproductive things. All the time you spend scrolling through Instagram, watching re-runs of the Office, or retweeting memes of the 2-hour Bachelor episode you watched last Monday adds up without you realizing it. While everyone deserves to decompress once in a while, it is important to keep yourself in check. The hours you waste could instead be used to do something positive and productive. When you are trying to juggle a side hustle and working full time, every hour is valuable. Taking steps to be self-aware of what you are doing during your hours off is crucial. Be transparent with yourself, set screen time limits and stay true to them.
Staying organized while trying to launch a startup can be difficult. There are so many moving parts that it seems impossible to keep track of it all. That said, staying organized and making a timeline is essential. The easiest way to hold yourself accountable is to set deadlines for yourself. Sometimes to keep myself in check I purposefully announce deadlines to other people or put them on Rippl's social media so I feel some sort of an obligation to follow through with them. Personal task management will keep you more productive, thus putting your business on the path to success. By establishing an organization system early on, you’re essentially laying the foundation that you can build upon later.
Sarah Ganzenmuller works full-time at a boutique marketing agency in downtown Boston by day and by night is creating Rippl, turning the “coffee run” into a sustainable habit. You can check out her product at www.theripplfect.com or watch her journey on instagram @theripplfect.