Pitchrate | Doing a Startup, Are you a Bull or a Bear

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Kwaku Abedi

I am young 20 something blogger/teacher born and raised in Ghana. I blog on travel,entrepreneurship and an interest in the technology and luxury goods market on the African continent. I believe as Africans we have not told our stories enough. I will use this platform to tell the the African story to...

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Business & Finance



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10/13/2014 06:07am
Doing a Startup, Are you a Bull or a Bear

When i was in school, i took a banking and financial markets course where i was taught the concept of bulls and bears when it comes to investing. The bull is the optimistic one who takes chances when it comes to investing because there is hope that stock and bond prices will continue to rise. The risk lover, the risk taker the one who is not afraid to make the bold decisions and that is the bull for you. Whereas the bear is the one who is risk averse and would take a minimum level of risk. Since the bear is quite the pessimist and does not believe stocks and bonds will rise there is 'safe' investment on his part. So i asked my lecturer is it good to be a bull or a bear? He said both has its advantages and disadvantages.

You can easily liken the bull and bear situation to entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurship is about taking risk which lies more on the 'bull' side of the spectrum. But even if you are a 'bear' you can gradually teach yourself to take some calculated level of risk. Because though bulls often crash and burn, they are also the ones who reach icon status. Even if you do not want to be an icon or multi-billionaire or whatever. You still have plans to be a successful entrepreneur who does not have to worry about money anymore and is making a real impact in society. Therefore it is imperative to get your bull instinct right even if you are a bear.

To develop your bull instinct you don't have to discard any crazy/silly idea that comes to mind that you feel can help people. Our minds have been trained to immediately discard certain thoughts as garbage and not right therefore we easily forget it even if it can help people. But guess what, all the great businesses and startups you see all around started as an idea. I imagine how insane the twitter idea was when the founder was telling his friends and family about it. A social media platform that allows you to communicate in 140 characters or less. I know pre-twitter, many people who were pitched the idea would have said it won't work because people need more than 140 characters to have a meaningful conversation. Ideas are very important, never discard any idea that you have as stupid (especially the ones that can help people and solve a societal problem).

Therefore if you have toss certain ideas off your friends and family and you receive comments like. "I don't think it will work" or "Is there something like that? Or "this looks like a waste of time". By all means seriously consider it because the fact that someone is asking 'whether there is something like that' means your idea is genuine and novel. This is a simple way to tell whether your idea is great because you're investing your time, money and energy you could have used for other things into working on the project. Interesting enough, ideas that everybody hales as great and feasible usually don't work.

Here are some ways to protect your bear instincts whiles diving into the bull (risk) pool.

As much as possible try and see whether your idea would solve a social problem. If your idea or startup solves a problem there is a higher chance of sucess
Bears can also decide to have a plan B in case everything does not go as planned. therefore it would be good to specialise in a field or go the other route of being a professional or an expert. An experts opinion will always in demand. I strongly believe you can be an expert in anything as long as you are willing to do the hardwork
You can partner with like minded people if you are afraid to go into a venture alone. I recommend partnerships for first timers. Take a cue from tech entrepreneurs on how they are able to come together and create awesome products. Ask your spouse, boyfriend or girlfriend to help you with some of the mundane task and rally your family and friends around your startup/idea.
Don't give up if the first attempt at a business or a startup fails. Believe it or not a startup that fails is actually normal. If your startup succeeds at the first attempt and becomes a huge success, that is rather abnormal. Worry more about your startup making an impact and find creative ways that your business can help people. With entrepreneurship, you can treat failure as a steep learning curve which will serve you well as you grow.

So here is an idea i thought of, even though i really enjoy travelling, i hate packing for a trip. Is there a business that specializes in packing your suitcase whiles you're getting ready to travel?


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