How do you start a project, which sounds crazy and, in the beginning, makes sense only to you? How do you even start anything? I personally have faced all of these questions in the last several years – and I am sure everybody who set up to start anything on their own, be it a business, a music band, a political movement or whatever, has been facing the same type of questions.
What I’ve learnt so far is that one of the key answers to this is creating a community. Community of like-minded people who are ready to discuss your ideas with you, challenge you, and eventually pull on the same strings you are pulling on. Community, who will be eventually ready to start this journey with you, with the same fire and energy which is driving you forward.
Obvious as it sounds, it is not that obvious when you are actually in the situation, having just had a first idea of the bright future you want to build. Why is it not obvious? Because in order to create a community you will need to pick up the phone. You will need to make your fantasies real. You will need to be dead serious about it. You will need to call people. You will need to talk to them about your idea. This is uncomfortable. This is scary. You will need to be transparent. You will need to be ready to open up. You will need to be ready for people to challenge your idea, to be ready to maybe admit that your idea is not that brilliant. You need to be ready to look stupid, not to care about it and to perceive everything with the cold head. This is difficult, this takes you out of your comfort zone.
But this is a necessary first step of anything. You cannot do anything alone and at the same time you cannot build a community without exposing yourself to people and being vulnerable and assailable.
So, going back to our nascent restaurant business. Once I had an idea of what I wanted to do I firstly called 2 people: 1) a former client of mine from the consulting times and 2) one of my best friends.
The former client of mine said something like: “I see how this has potential. Let’s research on it more together and think how we can take your idea forward – to just see what we do with it”.
My best friend said: “This is the stupidest and the craziest thing I’ve ever heard. You know how tough restaurant business is? Everybody of your former colleagues is doing crypto/blockchain stuff these days, cannot you better do something like that? Cannot you better do an app or something? Anyway, let’s research on it more together and think how we can take your idea forward – to just see what we do with it”.
And so, the first little community for our future business was born :)