I have a theory. That every budding entrepreneur has a SMOT:
A Startup Moment Of Truth.
The exact point in time where they finally pluck up the courage to start their startups.
Those fleeting (yet pivotal) moments that take them from wondering whether they’re cut out for the world of business to becoming an entrepreneur.
Whenever I read an interview with someone who’s taken the leap it’s the bit I immediately skip to. There’s so much in the simplest of decisions. Fear, bravery, excitement… a dawning realisation.
I’d love to either:
To do that, here are some of our best SMOTs from the many interviews we’ve conducted here at Informi:
"I came up with the idea for Geo Heaven on a long drive up the M1 early last year. I had wanted to set up a jewellery business for a long time but I just couldn’t think of an original idea. On this drive I was thinking about a large geometric sculpture I’d seen at the modern art gallery in Krakow and that’s when Geo Heaven popped into my head!"
"We had gone away for David's stag do and the Best Man had organised for us to do a couple of [escape] rooms out there. We were so impressed with the concept that we spent a good portion of that evening – and indeed the rest of the trip – talking about how exciting it must be to dream up puzzles and scenarios like the ones we had just done. At the time of discussion, Brighton didn't have any rooms, so we just made the decision to create one ourselves, and the rest is history!"
"Well, to be honest, I was furious my husband had given me a clapped-out ice cream van for Christmas. We all thought he’d gone a bit mad. I was just thinking to myself ‘what am I going to do with it?’ It was a real heap… but then Kevin explained that he thought it’d be the perfect project and business for me and that it meant I didn’t have to go back to my nursing job. I started to warm up to the idea. And that was that!”
The term 'small business' doesn't do it justice. Dedicating every fibre of your being to making something you created on your own a success? There's nothing small about that.
"Grilled cheese is my favourite thing in the world to eat. I love cheese! The business idea didn't immediately come to me though. I always wanted my own restaurant. I started writing and cooking menu ideas for friends and family who all agreed my Grilled Cheese was epic and I should just focus on this. After successfully running milkshake bars this seemed like a logical next move!"
"The starting point was a childhood memory of the silky and refreshing drink, which is called a ‘living water’ locally. The lightbulb moment came at one of the sporting events where I still struggle to find a healthy and hydrating drink for my son. I have always found it astonishing to see the abundance of artificial and sugary drinks being sold and marketed to the public and especially the young generation, so TreeVitalise was born!"
"When my father-in-law died and I discovered the existence of celebrants and how they could create highly personalised, tailor-made funerals (and, it transpired, other ceremonies too) my interest was piqued. Here was the job I’d so fancied but not had the required belief system for previously. When a friend asked me whether I’d think about conducting her wedding, I considered it a ‘sign’ and went for it!"
Have these stories made you envious? Trust me, if you want to be your own boss, your SMOT will come. Already in business? Take a moment today to reflect on where you started and where it’s taken you so far.
And finally, we’d love to celebrate your Startup Moments of Truth – share them with us on Facebook.
Jen Smith is our resident email blogger.
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