Image: TechCrunch

Below is an account by a successful first time entrepreneur:

I started my first company when I was 19. I literally started with a Google search of how to start a company.

I had the idea to create the first leather watch strap without holes. It’d work like a zip-tie and allow for twice as many sizing options.

All I had was this idea. Most people would stop there. I didn’t. Instead my first step was to get a sample made.

I used to live in China and speak Mandrin so that’s what I did. I found a factory that could produce this product.

At the time, I didn’t really know what I was doing. So I contracted Andy Laats, the founder of Nixon watches. They’re a $400 million dollar watch company.

I thought this meeting would give me all the answers. It took me six months to land this meeting.

When we met, I felt like an idiot.

Looking back on it, I was asking him the most basic questions about ecommerce. I really had no clue what I was doing.

He probably left thinking my company would remain an idea. (We met before I had my first sample).

Flash forward a year and my company was doing just over six figures in sales. I then heard of a talk Andy was giving.

I went to the talk and stayed after, eager to catch up with him. As I approached, he said, man you look familiar!

He was stoked that I had actually turned my idea into my own business.

Andy gets requests to meet with hundreds of entrepreneurs a year. Most don’t go forward with the next steps of starting a company.

Most first time entrepreneurs get caught up and don’t actually grow. They expect a mentor or coach to do the work for them.

First time entrepreneurs need to know that there isn’t a magic box or person with all the answers.

Your path to success will be different than someone else’s. Finding your own way is part of the journey.

Though having a great mentor can help, you can’t expect them to do the work for you.

Author: Yemi Olarinre