Startups: The Elevator To Success Is Out Of Order

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Startups: The Elevator To Success Is Out Of Order


"The elevator to success is out of order.  You'll have to use the step at a time." ~Joe Girard

As a community, I think entrepreneurs have gotten more knowledeable over the years.  We know the difference between pre-money and post-money valuations.  We've read "The Lean Startup".  We've dug into the details of SaaS economics.  

Despite all of this education, one thing remains relatively unchanged:  The number of entrepreneurs that think that if they just have the right idea and turn into the right product, they will be skyrocketed to success like Facebook, Instagram or Dropbox.  For some reason, this magical leap to success is a persistent delusion.  

The reality is far from this.  Even the super-successful startups that we all know and love did not get that way easily.  Behind every major success story, there is usually a major effort.  It's not enough to be just smart and passionate.  There's real work involved.  And though you may jump and skip a step here or there, for most of the time that you build your startup, you'll be doing it one step at a time.  Take comfort in the knowledge that others are doing the same thing.


stairs onstartups 2

Posted by Dharmesh Shah on Thu, Sep 27, 2012


Rightly said. Short and crisp, I remember a quote from somewhere that goes like, "The heights by great men reached and kept 
Were not attained by sudden flight, 
But they, while their companions slept, 
Were toiling upward in the night." 
Exactly that. One step every night at a time. Spot on.

posted on Thursday, September 27, 2012 at 9:04 AM by Tonmoy Goswami

Well, the point that the enterpreneur should be percistent first of all isn't new, of course. Behind every success is a hard work but many don't see it cause success is public and work is done far from the public's eyes.

posted on Thursday, September 27, 2012 at 9:06 AM by Psycho

This has always been true. What most people forget is that the Beatles were an overnight success, after working in dives in Berlin for 12 years. The media promote 'instant' success stories, but the reality is as you say, years of hard work and skilled effort by very capable professionals 100% dedicated to making the venture succeed.

posted on Thursday, September 27, 2012 at 9:06 AM by Ken Smith

Well said. This natural law, of hard work, can't be avoided. To think it doesn't apply to you and your start up is like thinking that you are "above" the law of gravity. It just doesn't work that way.

posted on Thursday, September 27, 2012 at 9:25 AM by Ben

I hear this a lot. It doesn't jive with my experience.  
A lot of entrepreneurs originate from established companies. Often, it is because work in the corporate setting robs you from seeing the fruits of your labor.  
Ex-corporate entrepreneurs all know the startup will be FAR more work than their 'comfy' corporate gig. Yet, the payoff, the rewards, even if unsuccessful, is far greater! 
Same goes for pre-college and entrepreneurs entering startups in their retirement years.  
New grads are a bit more complicated. Some are best suited to land that sweet corporate job and continue to party like sophomore year. Others join the enterprise and make a fruitful career out of it.  
Some grad, on the other hand, join or create a startup and become frustrated and burned-out by the insane work and commitment.  
The best entrepreneurs have a experience baseline that includes a diverse background. The best find the intense work and commitment joyful and energizing.

posted on Thursday, September 27, 2012 at 10:35 AM by John Maloney

5% inspiration; 95% prespiration!

posted on Thursday, September 27, 2012 at 11:31 AM by Fred Hann

It's taken me thirty years to get to a start-up to which I can and want to make a commitment. Some things just take time.

posted on Thursday, September 27, 2012 at 4:24 PM by Andrew Ellis

After the entrepreneur climb the stairs, one step at a time, reaching the top floor, he meet a big black naked guy who smiles and say: "Hi, I am sess".

posted on Thursday, September 27, 2012 at 7:20 PM by Michael

your site is very interesting and DrewryNewsNetwork invites you to stop on by and check the site out. Your link will be indexed in the DrewryNewsNetwork business directory momentarily. Please feel free if you have any questions to send an e-mail to the e-mail address. and, your images very interesting about "elevator to success is out of order." Many people don't understand that success is all about thinking outside of the box, in addition to being willing to go down the road less traveled. Success is also about going the extra mile in your efforts of accomplishing the transformation of being the best entrepreneur one can be. Looking forward to conversing with you soon :-) 
Always thankful, 

posted on Saturday, September 29, 2012 at 7:50 PM by Drewry

We love that Henry W. Longfellow quote here at the office, Tonmoy! It definitely embodies the "startup hours" regimen which most of us have had some sort of interaction with at one point or another.

posted on Monday, October 01, 2012 at 8:03 PM by ZipRecruiter

This is absolutely spot on! 
I love the quote and I am pushing myself everyday to do a little bit more to grow my business and to move myself closer to my goals. The education and experience that I got along the way has been amazing and I look forward to getting more out of this adventurous journey. 
Keep crushing it, people!

posted on Tuesday, October 02, 2012 at 12:49 AM by Wayne Liew

You had me at the quote!

posted on Tuesday, October 02, 2012 at 12:50 PM by Rick Roberge

theres a g missing in knowleadeable

posted on Thursday, October 04, 2012 at 2:06 PM by darth vader

Behind every major success story, there is usually a major effort. I also like the quote that just when you're about to quit, you're almost there! Great article. Thanks

posted on Thursday, October 04, 2012 at 8:29 PM by Nicholas Redd

I am researching on various dimensions needed for an entrepreneur success in world of Angel and Venture Capitalists 
It would be great if entrepreneurs can fill the questionnaire 

posted on Thursday, October 04, 2012 at 11:18 PM by Prakash Sharma

Simple and true. Many people just don't realize that it's not easy to become successful. They see only the top of the iceberg.  
"Some people dream of success... while others wake up and work hard at it. " - I do like to be among the doers not among the dreamers!

posted on Tuesday, October 09, 2012 at 4:06 AM by Helen

I find that often if you make a mistake you have to go back down the steps and start again, replicating what you did up until your mistake and then changing. 
So really it's like taking the stairs but going back down to the beginning after every new level is reached. 
So much more effort and I can see why people give up!

posted on Tuesday, October 09, 2012 at 4:35 AM by Dovcor Bathrooms

It's like the "there's only one way to eat an elephant, one step at a time" quote. Often people look at successful businesses and see the end result. They do not see the hard steps that were taken to get there.

posted on Friday, October 26, 2012 at 12:20 AM by Steve Deane

Thank you! We have to be prepared for the real work, one step at a time. We need a lot of persistence when launching the new business.

posted on Tuesday, November 13, 2012 at 10:11 AM by Justyna

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