Many people have told their startup story. But most of those people tell it from a position of success, and as such, are bound to miss some key moments along the journey. I touched on this in my Passion Project reveal post. With Béo, I’m taking you guys along with me on the full ride… that’s why you already know about it, and there’s not even a product sample in existence yet!
Existing Startup Guides
I’ve read many of these stories. I’ve also trawled through many ‘Startup Guides’ – believe me, there is no shortage on advice for starting a business. That said, I haven’t yet found any that really speak to me.
I think that’s because most of these guides are aimed at people who know they want to be an entrepreneur.
Okay that sounds obvious right… but what I mean by this, is that they’re aimed at people who’s dream is to be a business-person – to own and grow a business. What that business/product/service is, is not the original dream – the definition of that business is something these people must seek out as step one of their goal to becoming an entrepreneur.
I don’t know if that made sense, so let me put it the other way round… for me, my dream started as ‘I want to create my own activewear, how do I do that?’, as opposed to ‘I want to start a business, what should the idea be?’ (Hopefully that’s explained it a little better.)
So often in these Startup Guides aimed at people who want to be entrepreneurs, chapter 1 is about Finding An Idea. They explain how to seek a gap in the market, how to do your research into that field, how to consolidate an idea as a good one, how to risk-assess, etc.
My First Chapter
On the flip side, here’s my first chapter: Discovering the Idea.
I never really dreamed of starting a business – it never really crossed my mind, I guess because the idea simply never presented itself to me. Until now.
Hence ‘discovering’ – because coming up with Béo was something of an accident really. And we’ll see if my lack of investigation; of analysis; of risk-assessment, will prove detrimental at some point along this journey. We’ll all see… you’ll be there too!
But right now, I’m hoping that all these things will be the very reasons for any success Béo has. Because Béo isn’t just a startup, an idea of a business that could make me an entrepreneur. Béo is a passion project – my heart is well and truly in the concept, brand and journey!
And on top of that, because my desires aren’t predominantly to become a super successful entrepreneur, I feel more than comfortable sharing the whole process with you… I’m bloody excited about that actually!!! Secrets aren’t really necessary.
The Right Headspace
And so there I was, slap bammmmm in the middle of my Quarter Life Crisis – confused and unsure as to what I wanted to do for a career, where I wanted to live, what to do next. Self-reflection dominated my waking and sleeping thoughts. I worked on figuring out what my true passions were, what small things made me happy, how I could possibly tie these together in a format that I could maybe make a living from.
One of those passions was fitness… my mum has been a fitness instructor since she was my age and has always encouraged me to qualify as a personal trainer. Lockdown seemed the perfect opportunity to start doing so. And I guess my mindset somewhat transitioned more into that world than ever before.
I happened, at that time, to decide I needed to treat myself to new activewear (admittedly as a feel-sorry-for-myself present). But since travelling (and since hitting my overdraft limit), my approach to shopping as changed…
I’m much more picky, buying only things I genuinely need or love. I wanted the pastel colours and aesthetic patterns that were so accessible in Australia and Bali. And I absolutely wanted to buy from a brand that was forward thinking: invest my money into a business making real strides towards sustainability and absolute ethical practice.
So I put the question out there on my stories, asking for brand recommendations that ticked all these boxes.
I wasn’t really enamoured by anything I could find available in Europe. The dominant styles were black, grey, muted or dark colours. And if they were anything else – they were from the US or Australia.
Why is Europe so deprived of colour, seriously!?
The Eureka Moment
So with this all happening, coinciding with my period of self-confusion, I saw only one answer to the whole conundrum (my personal conundrum included): I’d simply have to make my dream activewear, myself.
Once this unprecedented thought entered my head, everything else seemed to align: all my passions could genuinely fit into this project (hence Passion Project).
- I love content creation and marketing… Check!
- I’ve always had a love for fashion and aesthetic things… Check!
- My travels were so incredible, and I’ve been looking for a legacy for that – the pastel colours and patterns idea stems from my time on the other side of the world… Check! Plus, prioritising the planet definitely came as a result of the trip… Check!
- Fitness, wellbeing and empowering women to feel individual and strong in the gym… Check!
- I’ve definitely always wanted to have some kind of significant influence and impact on the world… (hopefully) Check!
Letting It Soak
So there it was, an idea that just seemed to perfectly align! A Eureka moment… potentially the answer to all my woes!
But, being the realist that I am, I felt the need to sit on the idea for a short while. To let it brew and to ensure it wasn’t a phase or whatever.
I ran the idea by those closest to me, and the response was actually so much more positive than I was expecting… I was kind of imagining people to vocalise my own doubts:
- Who am I to start an activewear brand really?
- I’m the least business-minded person going!
- I have no design knowledge whatsoever, so is it actually sensible?
- Is it a bit rogue… like does it actually align or will people think it a random choice?
People pretty much said the opposite to all these things. And so my confidence in the idea grew. And I gradually convinced myself of the possibility.
And now we’re here… I’m telling all of you, and this is genuinely happening!!! My next post will be an update of where I’ve got to so far – so stay tuned!
p.s. Thank you again for you genuinely incredible response, I’m overwhelmed and so touched, truly.