1 Nov 2018

So you have a great business idea. But the thought of actually taking the plunge to make it something more real, more tangible, strikes fear straight through your practical, careful, hesitant self.

As an entrepreneur, Victoria Moxey has made a career out of problem solving. Moving to Sydney from Argentina, Moxey carved out an unlikely opportunity for herself when she was discovering her new neighbourhood of Paddington in Sydney’s inner-east. Here, she launched Urban Walkabout, a city guide combining her experience in advertising agencies, journalism and design to create a foldout publication connecting high street business owners to consumers. The venture was a publishing success with guides printed for local and international audiences. These days, Moxey has taken her entrepreneurial spirit to City of Sydney where she works as Economic Programs Manager, focusing on supporting tech start-ups and finding programs to assist with the growth of new and existing entrepreneurs.

Here, she shares what she’s learned along the way about paving the road to success — and most importantly, why everything you want, and you’ve imagined, is right on the flipside of fear.

Start thinking like an entrepreneur — not a business owner

There’s a lot of confusion between business owners and entrepreneurs, and you need to identify which one you are before your start. To me, the difference is that a business owner solves a problem in the same way as everyone else, whereas an entrepreneur offers a solution to a problem in a new way. In short, be the entrepreneur — they’re often those gutsy enough to take the road less travelled.

Many hands make lightbulb ideas work

From my experience, the most important thing you can do to keep your start-up thriving is to surround yourself with people who are better than you in things where your own expertise is lacking. Understanding the value of leadership allows you to build a really good team to help grow the business with you.

To market, to market

Ask yourself: does my product solve a problem and is the problem something that people would pay money to solve, or fix or appease? Spend time researching if your product has a market through testing in high quantities, either in person (if you can) or through digital platforms and online surveys. You need a resounding ‘yes!’ from the statistics before you push forward with your idea — it’s not enough to rely on nods from family and friends.

Assess your uncomfort zone

An entrepreneur is a highly motivated doer who takes risks to solve a problem in a new way. Being able to qualify how comfortable you are with risk-taking is essential. Leaving a stable job to start something new on your own is daunting, especially when the ratio in the ecosystem is that 1/10 entrepreneurs actually succeed. It’s important to think about whether you’re comfortable with this potentially not working. There’s risk in any business venture, it just depends how much you’re happy to handle.

Network to get work

Sydney is an interesting stage where there’s a lot of opportunity for entrepreneurs to connect. For example, Tech Sydney runs free monthly networking events, Zambesi offers digital masterclasses in the tech start-up sector, and SheStarts is an incubator for non-tech women wanting to launch a start-up.

Really, we’re lucky enough to live in a city where there’s always help at hand, and ears willing to listen. It’s certainly not a ‘Shark Tank’ out there, and while you may feel daunted at the start, break your fear down into bite size chunks and it will fuel you to go further.

To quote Nike’s new campaign featuring Colin Kaepernick, “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.”

If you want to hear more about how to support entrepreneurs, or get help with your new or established business, then get in touch with Cara Wood via [email protected].au.

Darling Square is the place where all ideas are welcome.

City Of Sydney’s Visiting Entrepreneur Program
22 October - 2 November and 24-29 November
The city will host global technology innovators who are in town to share their knowledge and expertise with the local entrepreneurial community. Keep an eye out for the latest speaker list which will be announced 25 September.

Tech Sydney