Beware: BYOH, a condition to be avoided…
Running your own business requires many skills, not least bravery, persistence and endless amounts of passion. It is obviously very tough, hence why so few people take the plunge and instead choose to stay close to the shore, protected by the regular monthly salary and the corporate pension.
However, this boundless optimism can sometimes lead you to be infected by the dreaded BYOH (Believe your own hype) bug. If infected, this is a condition that can go on for sometime and in some cases can prove fatal (business-wise). There is no medical cure for this illness, apart from a heavy dose of ‘reality’ and a heavy swallowing of ‘ones pride’ – in some cases, numerous doses have to be consumed of both before the condition is cured.
However, as a sufferer of this condition in the past, I can easily see how it can be picked up and can fester over time.
Please find below, some early signs to watch out for:
You start to glaze over the facts
The more you get into your business plan, the more you picture success, the more you start to shut out anyone or anything that disagrees with your vision. You find yourself only accepting people and facts that support your view. Yes, it is good to do your own thing and yes, it is good not to follow the crowd, however, always be open to other views, and other facts.
You start to have multiple target audiences
An old favourite of mine, the bigger your plan, the bigger your market and potentially the more target audiences you start to identify. This may seem good, but at the start of your journey it is essential that you identify and stick to one target audience – if you try and be everything to everyone, you end up being nothing to anyone. Be warned, this is a big sign that BYOH is quickly setting in!
You start to believe that Investment equals Revenue
I appreciate that gaining investment is crucial to a small business, however, contrary to popular belief, investment doesn’t mean guaranteed business and revenue in the future. However, countless start-ups ignore this fact and will stress their investment achievements when presenting to a brand. Unfortunately, 99% of brands don’t care what investment you have or what investors think of your product , they (brands) are just concerned with what your tech can do for their brand – full stop.
You start to bluff yourself
Finally, as start-ups start to believe their own hype, their expectations rise and rise until what the market can offer isn’t good enough and compromise is a word long forgotten. Start-ups start to believe that the cards that they are holding are stronger than they really are. In a way, you start to bluff yourself, you start to turn down ‘reasonably paid’ brand opportunities because you want the big deal. Unfortunately, you may have a very long wait ahead
So all in all, the BYOH condition can be treated. We all suffer from every now and then and in a way it is a natural consequence of being a driven, passionate entrepreneur. However, the secret is to see the signs early and to change direction accordingly. The BYOH bug is always in the air, every day, everywhere – BEWARE!