One of the toughest hurdles as a soon-to-be entrepreneur is getting to the starting line. To make the decision to form your own company takes determination, passion and courage.
We asked Ryan Clott, recent founder of the sustainable travel lifestyle brand, NOM.A.D. (Natural Organic Matter. Anno. Domini.), what advice he would give to people that are thinking about creating their own company, and how to take the leap. Here are some questions he asked himself as he was starting out his brand:
How do I start?
“Doing, not learning to do, is the essence of entrepreneurship.” — Guy Kawasaki, The Art Of The Start
Often times the hardest thing to do is simply to start. The quote above singlehandedly inspired me to stop talking, and start doing. The journey, not the destination, is the true beauty of creating your own brand. It will likely not turn out the way you plan, so just focus your efforts on doing what you love, and the rest tends to work itself out.
How do I make meaning?
Ultimately, any creator wants to create something that will last–and in order to do so, there must be meaning. My advice is to follow your passion. That will give you the drive and focus to develop an idea to fruition; one that will be special because you can fulfill a need in others’ lives. Especially in the beginning, do not be so focused on money. It’s more important to shift your attention towards human beings, and how to make a difference.
How do I translate my ideas to a reality?
Entrepreneurs, especially designers, are usually full of ideas. The hard part is to actualize those ideas into tangible things. Educating yourself is the key to successfully translating those ideas. Get out there, expose yourself to new things, ask questions, research online and in real space, fail… a lot, pick yourself up, learn to be better with each lesson learned. No matter what your brand is, or the industry that it’s in, there is so much to learn. Once you know how things work, you can start to adjust them to the way you want things to be for your company. Starting your own brand is an endless book, and it’s vital to go through each chapter without skipping ahead.
How do I expand the company beyond myself?
Find people who share your passion and complement your skills set, and you will likely be surprised who comes on board. After building your brand, it’s important to get exposure on the market. Turn your attention towards creating and cultivating good relationships with supportive people within the industry. Especially as a new brand, it will take people who believe in your brand to go that extra mile through all the processes involved, including: design, sample-making, production, marketing, press, merchandising and sales. Even in a one-person company, it takes a team of individuals who believe in the brand to be successful.