‘Ask and you shall receive’, a few thoughts from a Start-Up, that’s just starting

FitBit screen shotIt has been said, that nothing worthwhile is ever easy. I think for us at Student Talks, like most other start-ups, we can wholeheartedly identify with this statement.

Similar to all start-ups, Student Talks began life as a nascent idea. Unlike other (so-to-speak) life forms, start-ups, ergo Student Talks don’t have a natural route to follow, a standardised developmental course to maturity.  Our plans were (are) completely untested, with an unscripted journey ahead and only our subjective take on what our path might look like. However, when we had that initial ‘aha’ moment, and the idea began to crystallise into something more tangible, it was intoxicatingly exciting.

This is where, I suppose, we encountered the first, of many crossroads that we shall no doubt navigate on our fledgling journey. At this junction, moving from concept to implementation, many start-up ideas are left as just that, ideas. In the initial stages, pushing the idea forward for us took a mixture of ingredients, some of which were naivety, blind-stubbornness, determination, passion, excitement, sense of adventure and ambition. As our project unfolds however, other characteristics, such as teamwork, creativity, resilience, have come to the fore and we realised we had skill sets we never thought we had (or at least you convince yourself you have them…needs must etc!).

Recently, we were working toward our Inaugural National Student Talks Conference as our launch for our new venture (check out #studenttalks16).  In the lead up to the event, our biggest challenge came in the form of logistics and our planning skills and administrative abilities were tried and tested. Indeed, on the day, as my FitBit can testify, we were running around (like lunatics at times; I almost ran my first half marathon in the process!) ensuring everything was going accordingly.

Perhaps however, one of the most important features that we underestimated or more accurately, didn’t completely consider, as an ingredient in our launch phase, was the kindness and unabated support of others. ‘Ask and you shall receive’ comes to mind; I believe that we found this sentiment to be true as we worked toward our event. People, such as our keynotes, exhibitors, event partners, volunteers and supporters all got behind us when we asked them too and it made the difference. As a result of kindness and asking for support, we have successfully launched our first event, worked and met great people, made great connections, potentially business partners/ lifelong supporters, and hopefully future friends.

So to conclude, while every start-up is unique, and no doubt different ingredients are required to drive different projects forward, what we’ve found is that the kindness and support of others has been vital for us at the very start-and will no doubt continue to be. So don’t be shy to ask people for their help, it can make the world of difference between the starting on the road to success and initial failure.

We’re at the beginning of our story, and we can’t wait to report back and tell you how it goes (I think my FitBit will have broken by then), but for now though while things are never easy, we love what we do and they are certainly worthwhile.

*13.2 miles is a half marathon-I was close enough!

Brian Slattery

Brian is the Founder and Director at Student Talks. He is passionate about supporting people in their early career stage. Having completed his PhD in Psychology, he works in the eHealth/digital health sector.