This is the third in our three-part series revealing 42 Powerful Startup Laws You Need To Know. Thanks for making it this far. You must be motivated!

If you’ve jumped straight to this article, don’t forget to read Part 1 and Part 2 as well.

Why 42 Laws? You’ll have to read through to the end to find out. You’re almost there!

Law #29: Being too early to a market is better than being too late

It’s ok to chase a hot space but recognise every other startup amateur is too.

The problem with hot spaces and markets is:

  • By the time you identify them, so have others with deep domain experience and deep pockets.
  • Your competition has probably been working in them for years, and are far ahead of you.
  • Like surfing, you must be paddling ahead of the wave as it rises. Chasing the wave from behind is doomed to end in failure.

Law #30: Never let your head overrule your gut

Ever heard someone say: “I can only work with you if I trust you.”

If a connection, relationship, partnership, investment or hire feels wrong, it probably is.

There’s a reason we have an intuition. Intuition has kept humans alive throughout history by stopping us from making fatal mistakes.

And this is also true in the pursuit of your vision. Our subconscious knows and sees things long before we can consciously recognise or describe them. So, ignore that still, small voice at your peril.

Our capacity to succeed lies in our ability to engage with others in a cause. Do you demonstrate trust in those exchanges? Is trust part of who you are?

Law #31: This is this

Recognising that which is is an important part of the process of  changing it.

We love people who can imagine a grand vision of changing the world. We want to see more, better, grander visions of the future. But turning back the tide is not a mission you want to engage your life on.

The reality is we all start with where we are and what we have. It doesn’t have to remain this way. Wishing it was different won’t change things. Only action will.

By all means, imagine the future. Also accept we live only in the moment of now, despite knowing the future is coming whether we like it or not.

S0, what we choose to become is entirely up to us.

Law #32: Your audience is more important than your product

Always frame your message for the needs of your audience.

The moment you take your eyes off the customer and focus on the product, you are setting yourself up for failure.

For any audience, the most important person in the world is them. Your audience always want to know what’s in it for them.

By focussing on customer needs first, you are reframing the conversation away from your needs.

If your offering is properly aligned with their real needs, the outcome should also achieve yours. 

Law #33: Your last question in a conversation should always be your first question

Which brings us to the first question most people think about in a conversation. What’s in it for me?

So before you finish a conversation, you should always ask: “What else do you want to know in order to proceed?”

Asking for permission to proceed is the same as asking for the sale. if you don’t ask, all you have had is a chat.

Is that how you create shared value? Asking that way focuses the conversation away from your and back on them.

Discover your why.

Law #34: Don’t ask for easier – seek to be better

Which reminds us of the old chestnut quote:

“If success was easy, everybody would be doing it”.

Wise unknown person

Passion, purpose and the pursuit of significance and meaning are not hollow causes. But they are tough ones.

Having pain in your life is not bad in itself. Pain is like a headache. It focuses you on solving a particular problem in your life here and now.

Knowing what problem your startup addresses is half of the opportunity. Recognising few people will ever become the person they need to be in order to succeed, acting on that is the other half of the equation.

“First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, and then you win.”

Mahatma Gandhi

Law #35: A good plan is fine in the absence of a great plan

The great idea you’re seeking has probably been staring you in face for most of your life.

Your challenge is not in the idea – it’s in your own confidence and capacity to deliver on it.

Stop pretending the grass is greener elsewhere. It is no coincidence you’ve arrived at this point in your life with your experiences.

You are where you are because the universe knows this is where you need to be right now. You’ve learned your skills and nurtured your talent. Now is the time to accept the challenges and grab your opportunities.

And deep down, you know you’re ready too. Stop focussing on coming up with clever ideas. Start paying attention to the problems around you that resonate with pe9ople.

Law #36: Always bring your A-game

Which brings us to another of our favourite sayings:

Excellence is not the same as perfection.

Daniel Mumby

Getting things done matters. Getting them done well matters more. Getting the right things done well matters most.

Executing with excellence is how you do things well. Perfection cannot be achieved. Recognising the difference is called maturity.

This Law applies as much to attitude as it does application. So, always bring your best to the table, and allow others to do the same.

Law #37: Always be the first investor in your venture

Few investors like to the first money into a new venture, but most are happy to follow-on from others.

Being the first investor gives others confidence your interests are more aligned with theirs. It also means you can have conversations from a common perspective.

Law #38: The best way to protect your idea is to commercialise it

It may sound tempting to wrap up your idea and protect it from the world. We’ve all heard horror stories about people who have failed to turn their great idea into a successful venture.

But you will ultimately need other people involved, so what are you really trying to protect? Your idea or your fragile psyche?

Who is really going to steal your idea? Most people are too busy doing their own thing. Even if someone does steal your idea, have you got the means to sue them and protect your rights? 

Keeping your idea secret prevents you from seeking the support and perspective you need to build it into a commercial venture. Always learn – from others and the market – if your idea is viable before you pursue it aggressively with potentially disastrous results.

After you share your idea, the faster it is likely to grow.

Pay it forward concept.

Law #39: Paying it forward is the price of good mentoring

The path to success in life is never clear for anyone – least of all in business ventures. And what helps most – whichever way you measure success – is guidance.

Mentoring plays a huge role in the life of entrepreneurs. Along the way, the best receive guidance from many wise mentors. To become successful as a venture entrepreneur, you must pass on what you have learned.

Mentoring helps you share in the breathless moments of others you care about. The power of mentoring only becomes clear by becoming a mentor grandparent. What you learn can be taught – and the people you taught can teach others.

Which is why we think changing the world is not about technology. We believe it’s about:

  • People.
  • Giving people a hand-up – not a hand-out – when they need it.
  • Showing and sharing the moments that take our breath away.

Law #40: Winning isn’t always winning – often its failing to fail

The reality of success is that there is no such thing as failure – only learning about why something didn’t work.

The faster you learn, apply and build on your learning, the faster you will succeed in this venture or the next.

Law #41: Rules were meant to be broken but laws and ethics aren’t

“You can only change the world if you the break the rules of how the world  operates now .”

Daniel Mumby

What benefit is it to build a castle on a foundation of sand? All that matters, in the end, is your integrity.  Your integrity is the legacy you leave behind – and your legacy is built by the example you show while you’re here.

“He who dies with the most toys- still dies”.

Daniel Mumby
The purpose of life is a liffe of purpose.

Law #42: It’ll all work out in the end. It’s not the end yet if it’s not alright

My father was a man of great intelligence, good cheer and few words. If he was writing this, he would simply say: “Stay the course.”

“The purpose of your life is to discover your life’s purpose, and then spend the rest of your life living it.”

Neville Christie

You’ve made it. Congratulations! You now know all our 42 Powerful Laws You Need To Know.

Feel free to refer back to Part 1 and Part 2 whenever you need inspiration or reinforcement. After all, it’s our free resource to help keep you focused on achieving what matters most too you.

So, why 42? Being techies at heart The Hitch-hiker’s Guide to The Galaxy is one of our favourite books. In it, 42 was the answer to “the question of life, the universe, and everything”. 

We hope we’ve shone some light where darkness once loomed in your life.

Good luck on your “journey towards purpose”. Although, after reading this, you shouldn’t believe that luck will have anything to do with it.

Here’s one final quote for you to ponder.

“Ultimately, man should not ask what the meaning of his life is, but rather must recognize that it is he who is asked. In a word, each man is questioned by life; and he can only answer to life by answering for his own life; to life he can only respond by being responsible.”

Viktor Frankl – Man’s search For Meaning

Before you go, why not join our tribe? Becoming a member of The Starting Block is the next step in turning your vision into a reality. We’re itching to help.