9 of 10 startups fail. There are many reasons: lack of funding, failing to get product-market fit, co-founder conflicts. Startups are inherently risky business, and the odds are stacked against them from the beginning. As it’s the three year anniversary of Conscious Step this month, we took some time to reflect on the things that may have contributed to the fact that despite the odds, we are still here, and with great pride continue to bring you new socks, bigger partners, and most of all, more impact.
Conscious Step has been incredibly blessed from it’s inception to be surrounded by extremely supportive, generous, and frankly genius-level advisors. Not only have they been able to pass on lessons learnt from their far-flung and extensive experience that’s saved us valuable time and money, but they have provided the team with psychological support and encouragement when the times are tough - and there have been many. Furthermore, we have been incredibly lucky to have been met with nothing but support and encouragement along the way - customers, charities, suppliers, friends and family have made it a lot easier when we opened the cupboard to realize we ate our last ramen packet last week.
This contribution of grit on success is hard to quantify, but the ability to plod on despite countless setbacks, immodest progress, closed doors, and outright calamities, to keep pushing through when most sane intelligent people would have thrown up their hands in disgust, appears to be crucial in this socially conscious sock game. They say that success takes care of itself - that it’s the hard times that need the most care and resilience, and our experience at Conscious Step has certainly reflected that. Being surrounded by great people, enjoying our work, and being driven by a sense of purpose makes this a lot easier, which brings us to our next point.
Who knows how much lady luck contributes to the success of a startup venture - somewhere between 0 and 100%, by all accounts. We’ve been incredibly lucky to have had the right ideas, met the right people, find the right manufactures, and above all stumble across a market of the world’s coolest customers. They say you make your own luck, which is true, but the universe also seems to have a large part as well. And for that, we are and will forever be eternally thankful.
As important as Justin Bieber’s album of the same name, having purpose in your work brings a sense of clarity and drive to the day-to-day grind that allows us as entrepreneurs to push on despite a cacophony of messages to support the contrary. Being possessed with an almost delusion belief that making socks that fight poverty is the best possible use of your time and talent, and the most effective way to bring your unique gifts to bear for the betterment of humanity. Sure, you'll have to field a few phone calls from an increasingly concerned mother, but it’s certainly necessary to run a sock company, and to derive enjoyment from doing so.