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The Simple Tips That Make Your Dreams Reality When the Odds Are Against You

Source || By|John Hall

Over the holiday break, I caught a Business Insider article that highlighted Zapier, a company that connects apps through integrations, as a promising startup that’s poised for success in 2019 — and for years to come. It took me back to 2011, when this startup worked out of a company garage in Columbia, Mo. It was there, while prepping for Startup Weekend, that three young people huddled around a table, believing they could solve a common problem: connecting apps.

While it’s commonly been cited that 90 percent of startups fail, research from Harvard Business School senior lecturer Shikhar Ghosh shows as many as 75 percent of venture-backed companies fail. The hard truth is that the odds are already stacked against you as a startup. And, to make the uphill battle even more challenging, try succeeding when you’re located in the middle of the country — specifically in a small city with a population of 100,000, where tech companies aren’t exactly sprouting every day.

I don’t want to make it seem like starting a company is the only risk. Shifting companies, industries, or job duties all have different odds, and taking any one of those risks can be scary. Whether you’re a corporate professional or an entrepreneur, it’s helpful to know what can make your vision come to life.

I was fortunate enough to be a mentor at that 2011 Startup Weekend, and I’ve followed the company for the better part of a decade. During that time, I’ve witnessed the founders’ initial dreams become reality. Here are some of the tips that helped them achieve their dreams, despite the odds being dramatically stacked against them.

1. Work for, and with, people who care about your future.

There are some employers who only care about the bottom line, which truly is important. However, when you’re able to find bosses and owners who think beyond that — and want what’s best for employees as well — you put yourself in a situation that could yield even bigger opportunities.

In Zapier’s case, the founders were still working at veteran-focused mortgage lender Veterans United, where one of the owners supported their dreams while they made the transition to startup founders.

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