“Just gotta keep throwing stones…”
This is something my first-time business partners and I say to each other on a constant basis as motivation.
It’s a metaphor we’ve been using that you can look at two ways. One way is to think that if you throw enough stones at a wall, eventually you will break through. The second way is to imagine that you are throwing stones into a lake. Some of these stones create stronger ripples than others, some just make a small splash, but if you throw enough stones you will eventually pile them on top of each other and breach the water’s surface.
The main premise of this metaphor of throwing stones for an entrepreneur, particularly a first-time entrepreneur, is that you have to keep saying yes and seeing every opportunity through.
Every business opportunity, every meeting and every new idea is a stone and you can never know which stone will be the one to break through and turn your business into a viable success. Therefore you just need to keep throwing them.
Sometimes the opportunities don’t immediately present themselves and the future of your business looks bleak. You may need to throw hundreds of stones to break through the wall or breach the water’s surface! So you need to go searching for more stones to throw.
From my experience and having talked to many different business owners, startups and entrepreneurs are rarely an overnight success. Sometimes, we are not even aware what any success we have really means! Entrepreneurs have almost always thrown lots and lots of stones to get to a place of stability.
For example, we still believe wholeheartedly in our nightclub events marketplace. But we haven’t yet got to the stage where we have an MVP! Yet we have been working on MyClubConnect for 2 years… It’s not as uncommon as you think, but it’s also because we’ve been biding our time.
We’ve taken every opportunity that has come our way, listened to and implemented every bit of pertinent advice, set up meetings with anyone we thought could help us. In other words we have thrown, and continue to throw, stones at every opportunity.
Throwing stones throughout these two years has enabled us to learn a whole lot more about the industry and our customers, to pivot more than once on our entire concept to include and exclude certain features and also to think more about how you turn a mobile app into a successful business and retain users once it is built.
Yes, it has meant holding back on our latest release. Yes, it has meant a lot of head-scratching about how to afford new developments. Yes, it has incited a lot of soul-searching to be honest about what we are lacking in terms of skills. We are climbing an entrepreneurial mountain at the end of the day with lots of dead ends and possible paths to take. But it has also left us in a much stronger position in terms of partnerships and confidence.
Throwing stones through meetings and networking just in the last couple of weeks has left us with two potentially game-changing partnerships here in the UK and in the US. Plus we now have a financial director helping us with R&D recuperation and company set up!
All that’s left for me to say to you as a potential entrepreneur is do not underestimate the potential of throwing stones and seeing where they land, you never know what they will do for you. Partnerships, meetings, new ideas, opportunities — explore them all and the muddy waters of the startup world will begin to clear!
Remember — You Have To Try!