A tougher few weeks, differences between businesses and the Cold Hard Truth

Hey folks, Josh here with another solopreneur blog post and update. Let’s jump in:

My last week(s) in business

Oh man, what a few weeks it’s been. In my last few updates I was talking about doing a fundraise for my immigration tech company, Visto, and my intrigue around how the tech world works (in terms of investors, etc.).

Especially coming from a more “traditional” solopreneur small business in the services industry, it’s definitely been a ride – and big learning experience.

In full transparency (at the very least, I always try to be completely honest in these updates), the fundraise hasn’t gone well so far. In business, and especially when fundraising, you expect to get a lot of no’s from people. But that doesn’t mean you don’t feel them, at least a little bit.

Putting everything you’ve got into a new business is one thing – and it’s something you sign up for as an entrepreneur. But it’s never fun when you get told by a lot of investors that you’re too early, they’re not interested, etc. etc.

It’s part of the journey, it’s to be expected when you start a small business… but it still sucks. And of course, I’ll keep you posted on how it ends up going.

What I’m thinking about

Now more than ever, in the midst of trying to fundraise for a tech company, do the differences between tech and non-tech businesses shine the brightest.

Having experienced 2 different kinds of businesses now (service-based solopreneur business and tech startup), it’s pretty surprising how different they are. You’d think that if you could build a relatively successful solopreneur business of 1 kind, it would translate easily over to another (going from service to tech, or to e-commerce, or to product, etc.).

And while there is a lot of overlap and transferable skills, I’m definitely surprised at how different they can be. This might be a blog post in-and-of-itself, but the approach to take with tech is fairly different from what I was used to do as an immigration lawyer… even though both companies market to the same target audience.

For example, in business (and this is especially true for service businesses), it’s all about relationships and networking. You go to events, get coffees, exchange emails, have phone calls… do whatever you can to meet people and get your name out there.

But in tech? It seems like the focus is almost entirely on the product. And while networking and relationships are still important, it seems like the tech startups that succeed are the ones with the best product… not necessarily the best connections.

This is just one example of how different things can be – and how my expectations have been challenged time and time again in this new business world I’m delving into.

The cold, hard truth

I think this week I’m going to keep it short and sweet. But I do want to leave you with one final thought:

No matter how successful you become as an entrepreneur, learning how to start a business and be a small business owner is always going to be hard. There will always be ups and downs, good times and bad. And if you’re not prepared for that, it will be very difficult to make it as an entrepreneur.

In my experience, the biggest difference between successful entrepreneurs and unsuccessful ones is how they handle adversity. When things get tough, do they give up? Do they quit? Do they crumble under the pressure?

Or do they embrace the challenge? Do they see it as an opportunity to learn and grow? Do they use it as fuel to push themselves harder?

The answer, of course, is the latter. And if you want to be a successful business entrepreneur, that’s what you need to do too.

But I digress… It’s definitely possible to go from one to another, and there is a lot to learn from doing both, and it’s always good to face new challenges too – which keeps things extremely interesting.

What I’m Reading

Finished up 2 books from the last 2 weeks. First was “Cold Hard Truth”, an autobiography by Kevin O’Leary. You may have heard of him from Sharks Tank or Dragon’s Den, and you may like him or not.

But I really, really liked his book. I thought it was the perfect mix of story-telling and also informative, in terms of making his key lessons learned and suggestions clear. Highly recommended for any entrepreneur.

Second, I finished reading The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss. Won’t go into much detail as it’s a fiction/fantasy novel and I don’t think that’s the main reason most of you read these updates, but it was a great read nonetheless. Already about 1/4 through the 2nd book in the series!

That’s it for me, have a great week and keep grinding.

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