Real Startup Lessons (that others may not tell you)

Reflections from the desk of our fab Co-Founder, Brandy

When I decided to start my own business, I was confident but knew it was going to be tough. Everyone knows it tough and risky. Yet, I felt everything I had done up to this point had prepared me for this moment. I was organized, passionate, experienced, realistic, blah, blah, blah. So far 70% of it, is what I expected. For the other 30%, I woke up or, more appropriately, I was shaken awake. Here are few things that I have learned about the process and myself.

TIP: When you find people who get excited talking about your brand, cherish them. Take care of them.

This applies to both your internal team and outside community. You are probably thinking that this is obvious because they will spread the word, this equates to more sales, they are your early adopters, they will do a better job, etc. This is all true. Yet, one reason you probably have not thought is that you need them on a much deeper, personal reason. In this process, you are told constantly “no”. I usually like to use the rejection as motivation but everyone needs a shot of positive energy. This support system reminds you that “you are freaking awesome” and what you are trying to do is important.

TIP: Get a co-founder now.

Seriously, if you are starting something alone – STOP and find your

match. I am lucky enough to have found my perfect partner. When thinking about who it should

be, ask yourself:

  • Do they challenge you (in a good way)?

  • Do you like to have a drink with them?

  • Do they have a different expertise than you do, but know enough of what you know to be dangerous?

  • If someone said something negative about you, would they be the first person to defend you? Not just defend you but make them sorry for what they said.

  • Can you both laugh at yourselves?

If you answered “yes”, congratulations you have found your candidate for co-founder. Now ask

yourself, are you better than that person? If you answered “yes”, start over. You cannot have

egos in this game. You have to believe that you are equals, appreciate and learn from each

other. If anything, feel lucky you have them.

TIP: You will never get to everything.

I do not care how organized, efficient or dedicated you are. It does not matter if you are single, married, social, have kids or do not. You cannot beat the clock.

There will always be 24 hours in a day and you will have to sleep at some point. Focus and

prioritize what is important. That is what always gets worked on and then, as time permits, work

on the your second and third most important things. If you know this up front and plan for it, it will save you so much frustration and


You are welcome.

TIP: Hear everything, but only listen to what is important.

We were in a meeting going over Volition and how we empower women to co-create their own products with us. A male attendee proceeded to ask us “do women know what they want?” and then followed it up with “or do they just want to be told what to buy”.

At first I wanted to try to prove “well of course” and tried to answer the questions. Yet, if he asked that kind of question was he worth our very limited time?

On a different note, we kept getting the same question about how Volition works. We thought it was so clear on our site but we were too close to it. It was important to listen to what people were asking us. We had to address on site and, when we clarified, those questions stop coming. You get so much feedback and you should welcome it. Yet, you cannot incorporate everything.

Look for trends and listen when you need to, discard what you want and stay firm on what is

close to you.

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