What’s the secret to start up success?

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Now that’s a loaded question isn’t it? Kind of like, “What’s the secret to finding my soul mate, living my vision and getting my teenagers to like me…?”

Sitting face to face with a life time career person, new entrepreneur I thought carefully before answering the question , “What’s the secret, how do I know if my idea will be a good business?”

Well can we verify the market? Is the idea easily monetized? Scalable? Everyone is interested in knowing if their idea will turn into a great business model and better yet a profitable business.

Then I pulled out this visual ( click on it to view) This is the sequence of startup as I’ve painfully learned by NOT following it…

And then I shared a little of what I’ve learned these last 20 or so years as an entrepreneur. First validate there is a market for the attributes, competitive elements you plan to bring to market, next confirm the financial assumptions and take a hard look at reality. To deliver the said differentiation, value what will costs be and can you profit? Is it scalable? Then and only then consider;

Timing is everything. Is it the right time? ( Market timing and life timing!)

Innovation isn’t enough. It’s got to be a high value and innovative and it’s best to confirm there are clients ready and willing to buy it or better yet get involved and help you bring it to market!

Team. People matter. What is the expertise, knowledge, skills and resources necessary to succeed?

(If you have validated the product/service attributes with the target clients, the timing is right, getting the rock star team ( they don’t have to be paid team) will help to attract the resources needed.)

So a quick start up, check list would include the following items:

Validate the market; product attributes, competitive elements

Confirm monetization of said attributes.


High value innovative product or service that is differentiated



(Let’s not forget a whole bunch of Faith, extra dolping of passion and lots of Smart, hard work!)


Lots of teams fail at start up sequence. One of the teams I led did; fail that is. ( If you are new here. I think you need to have both hit a home run; built a company over 10 million/sold it and failed at start up to consult entrepreneurs. Period. Talk is cheap. I have done both of these and if I hadn’t I couldn’t possibly build other ventures….)

Business success and failure has taught me that start up is a creative art form and much like other creative endeavors it is a process. Moving a business from ideation to successful launch is both art and science.

Process. Framework. First things first.

The new entrepreneur has begun a practice. A practice of patience and is now both artist and scientist. Who must harmonize both the creative process and the sequenced science of business. I repeat; start up is both ART And science.

Many entrepreneurs get caught in their creator panties and fail for never getting their arm disentangled from their leg hole.

Why? Because they don’t understand start up sequence. They frame walls before pouring the foundation. They erect plans without first proving market validation or that their business model monetizes. And they go to market before they have adequate resources…

I’m creative. I get the artist part of start up, but again and again I have found that if you do not execute in sequence you will end up with a shaky foundation and forever compromise your future.

You can be unstoppable. Begin today. Take your idea to the next level. Get the team around you to vett out your idea. Move from ideation to launch and live that dream of your’s because waiting for those teenagers to like you, well that might never happen.

My business starter kit is here. ( It is the tool kit I provide my MBA students. It’s housed on the MINDOMO platform and if you are not familiar with the platform please note that it is organized in startup sequence and that attachments, videos and links are available for each step of the process.)

And of course call me if I can be of service!

So, what are your thoughts on secrets to start up success? I’d love to hear from you!

Pam Hoelzle

Learn more about my work here

425 218 5864

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