Are You a Startup Addict?

Entering StartupI have a confession to make.

I am addicted to starting up business.

Not a bad thing, really, but there are things that every addict have to do to control their addiction :)

What is the symptoms of starting up addiction?

Sweaty hands, anxious…

Just kidding! :) The symptoms of a startup addict might include the following:

  • High interest in business opportunities
  • Can’t stay away from creative or revolutionary ideas
  • Love the excitement and the unknowns of starting out phase of a business
  • Enjoy seeking venture capital, wheeling and dealing for securing investors
  • Can’t manage to sit back and reminiscence on a successful moment – ready to pursue opportunities right away

While all of the above seem good qualities that every entrepreneur should have, focusing on starting up too much has one major drawback:

Enjoying the start up phase doesn’t make an entrepreneur enjoying the growth management phase, such as improving business’ performance.

And, indeed, the drawback has huge negative effect – In result, a startup addict can’t grow a business to go beyond the roof.

A startup addict is different from a serial entrepreneur – A startup addict focuses on the startup phase of a business, while a serial entrepreneurs focuses on cashing-in his/her business. A serial entrepreneurs could be a startup addict, but not the other way around.

My addiction to starting up businesses: a case study

Nothing can explain this better than using my experience as a case study :)

Just like what I stated in the beginning of this blog post, I am addicted to starting up business.

I enjoy fresh, new ideas, and love to ‘daydream’ to find a way to implement the ideas into my very own business, on a small scale.

I view my ‘problem’ as a startup addict is on capital. Therefore, I find ideas to bootstrap and/or increase the speed of return on my investment and break event point.

Where do I find business ideas? My favourite sources for ideas are and I also read occasionally for a more ‘laid-back’ approach to starting up ideas..

I started dozens of businesses, being successful in some, and failing in some others.

Like many personal development gurus said, you should not learn from your success, but from your failures. So I did.

Why am I failing? I fail because of one reason, and no, it’s not involving recession.

I fail because I lack the ability to grow the business beyond startup phase, just like what I mentioned above.

From my failures I learn that being a startup addict, you always need others to complement your weaknesses. Here’s what I’ve learnt…

How to be a proper startup addict

If you are a startup addict, the number one advice I can offer you is to partner with someone who is a good business developer.

You are excellent at translating idea into a business with huge potential, and partnering with an excellent business developer can bring the business from a mere ‘potential’ into ‘profit’.

You can be great starting up businesses and sell them as potential, not established business. However, the real money is on the established business, where profit is visible, and predictable.

If you feel you can’t team up with others (some entrepreneurs are lone-rangers) and can’t develop enough business development skills, I think it’s better for you to sell the business when it passes the startup phase. Just rinse and repeat.

Any success stories to share?

Are you a startup addict that is thriving, even in today’s economic crisis? Please share your story by commenting on this blog post :)

Ivan Widjaya
Startup addict

Image by dierken.