It’s the start of September and I have approximately 1 week of my MBA left with our Capstone Course next week. Technically I think I remain an Oxford University student till the end of September.
I also, by my calculations, have enough cash left in the bank to last me until the end of November (based on my current burn rate, which is pretty low). Oh, and come January, repayments for my rather massive MBA loan kick in. None of this would be a problem if I was being sensible and trying to look for a regular job like most of my class (quite successfully it seems recently), but oh no, I’m trying to become an entrepreneur.
So over the Summer I’ve been working on a Strategic Consulting Project (SCP) with a couple of classmates, looking at my original startup idea in more detail and as a result you might say the original concept has evolved, or “pivoted”, to something a bit different, but still with the original idea at its core.
The question now is – how do I pursue the idea? I want to, but in many ways the SCP has left me with more questions than answers. Still, I’m convinced there is a real opportunity there, but the rather practical problem of paying my rent and bills is getting in the way.
So there the advice falls in to two distinct camps – the “you need to just go for it and commit 100%” camp, and the “get some part-time consulting gigs to support you while you develop the business” camp. Which is right?
I know I prefer the “100%” camp, but it doesn’t really answer the “pay my rent” question. I unfortunately don’t have any rich benefactors to support me for those extra 3 months I need to give this a decent shot beyond November, and when you factor the loan repayments in the amount of “salary” I need is a bit above what you might call “bootstrapping”. Such is the MBA/entrepreneurship paradox.
I know what the recently published Startup Genome Report says – people who do a startup part-time raise 24x less funding that those that commit full-time.
Another entrepreneur did say to me the other day that if I can’t convince someone to give me money to live for a few months then maybe the idea is not good enough. I’m not sure about that. Rich people tend to be rich because they don’t part easily with their money. I think maybe my problem is that, despite a year of study, I am still at the idea stage – and people don’t tend to get investment at the idea stage. Ideas are easy.
In the meantime, what do you think I should do – is part-time entrepreneurship possible? Is the “100%” camp biased by the Silicon Valley echo-chamber? Leave a comment below!
This startup malarkey is a bit of an emotional rollercoaster, and I’ve barely even got started! I have to admit it is beginning to stress me out a bit.