May the 4th Be With You: How Star Wars Explains Starting a Business

Brian Tinsman
Digital Properties Manager

 

Star Wars isn’t just one of the biggest science fiction sagas of all time — it can also teach us great lessons in perseverance and overcoming long odds to find success.

Loudoun County is home to more than 10,000 small businesses (companies with fewer than 20 employees), and there are times when building a business from scratch may feel like launching a rebellion and fighting a galaxy of resistance.

But just like in Star Wars, it’s important to find resources and take advantage of all the free help that you can get. Here’s a look at how Star Wars explains starting a business:

The first step in any journey is the hardest, and overcoming a fear of the unknown is a major hurdle. Loudoun County has one of the most educated workforces in the country, but there are countless good ideas that never find the entrepreneurial spirit to see them started.

Fortunately, you don’t have to be afraid, and you don’t have to start a business alone. Resources like the Small Business Development Center offers training that helps you from concept through to launch and beyond, including how to create a business plan and how the BAT team can help you.

This year, the Small Business Development Center and Mason Enterprise Center have teamed up to host the Loudoun Small Business Week Conference (May 15) to kick off Loudoun Small Business Week (May 15-21). There is no better way to jump-start your idea than to spend a day with experts.

One advantage to starting a business in Loudoun is the community of entrepreneurs that already exists. No great ideas happen in a vacuum, and Loudoun boasts incubators, accelerators, colocation spaces, makers spaces and affordable office environments.

The LoudounSmallBiz.org calendar is also full of opportunities to network and share ideas with fellow entrepreneurs, including the weekly meeting of 1 Million Cups at the Mason Enterprise Center in Leesburg. Are you more tech-focused and are looking for investment? You don’t want to miss an upcoming meeting of Loudoun Tech Startups with an investor from Piranha Tank.

Whether it’s finding a sage entrepreneurial veteran that unlocks your true potential or just meeting with peers for drinks, we can help you make those connections.

There are several ways to interpret Yoda’s famous philosophy, but the point he was going for is simple: if you decide to start your own business, then give it all you’ve got! For starting a business, that means doing your research and eliminating as much guesswork as possible.

Startups tend to attract the overachievers, but you don’t always have to work 90 hours per week in order to be successful. Burnout and work-life crises are some of the hazards of starting a business, as fear of falling behind turns into paranoia. As Star Wars teaches us, “fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.”

Don’t suffer. Learn to work smarter, not harder.

“Impossible to see, the future is.” You can hatch the perfect idea, make the perfect business plan and still have a lucky shot to a small thermal exhaust port blow up your reactor system. Failure is not an end point, but sometimes just a low point on a long road to success.

Thomas Edison is said to have failed 1,000 times at trying to create the first lightbulb. Cleaning agent Formula 409 is said to have been the 409th attempt at making the right solution.

As long as you have the right resources around you and the drive to succeed, there’s no reason that you can’t be the next of Loudoun’s Small Business, Big Successes.

If you’re interested in starting a small business in Loudoun County, please join us during Loudoun Small Business Week for information on starting, growing, and detailed looks at the craft beer, government contracting and international market opportunities. RSVP today!

 

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