Starting up a company is challenging. Especially when it’s your first time. I now really understand why serial-entrepreneurs are sought after. There are lots of different details, bureaucracy, forms, rules, regulations and last but not least “unwritten rules” you have to learn in order to succeed. There is no way you would know exactly what to do and in which order if you never have done it before. This has been the situation for us lately. It has been a challenging and at some times very frustrating process, but most of all we are starting to realize the enormous learning outcome we will have from this! Even though we are studying innovation and entrepreneurship, and have had quite a practical approach to it – there’s no way we could have learnt what we do now by only studying! I would not say it is pleasant at all times, but the most important thing at those times is remembering why you do this – your main motivation!
While Iris has been doing some more research and meeting with different suppliers, partners and organizations in Zambia, Merete and myself (Birgit) has been working further with concept, business plan, budgets and research. We have had some though times when we nearly lost our direction not knowing what to do in order to make a move forward. However, we are so lucky to have two business mentors helping us now. Advice from competent people, direction and just getting an objective consideration on our thoughts and work is very valuable.
Looking back, the most valuable thing we have done since getting back – is stepping out there and talking to people. We always hear that network is important, and it sure is! By attending different branch seminars, gatherings and using our former contacts, we have learnt a lot and gotten valuable contacts and links to people that can be very important for us in future collaborations. Thinking of it, talking to people is actually the most fun part! I always come home after such events full of energy, motivation, good feedback and new contacts!
The paradox is that it costs us a lot to do such things. We are humble Norwegians afraid of “boasting” too much of ourselves, and afraid of getting rejected. It’s simple psychology – rejection is feared, confirmation is boosting. It has to do with comfort zones. It’s very safe to stay within, but only staying within doesn’t move anything forward. So, our mission now is to step out and knock on doors! Thats where the magic happens!
“Every single thing you want in life lies outside your comfort zone!”