Sophie Charboneau

Startups: They Won’t Be A Piece Of Cake

I’m a big believer in the phrase “anything can happen.”

The phrase has proven itself true throughout my life. It’m always confused when people don’t expect the unexpected. They simply stick to what they know and every resulting decision is nothing spectacular. I like to believe that the universe has magic in store for people who believe in their wildest, absurdist and seemingly impossible dreams.

After meeting at Michigan State University’s Hatch office, a place designed for creative thinking and start-up innovations, the thought of “anything can happen” sang throughout my head as I walked out of their doors. Because well it’s true, anything can happen.

Though my optimism and my innocence viewpoint on the world is one of my favorite characteristics about myself, it’s also the least WHAT 

I have to remind myself from time to time, that yes, anything can happen, but you have to be proactive towards what you want to happen for that “anything” to take place.  A person can’t sit around and wait for their dream to take place. No, you have to work for it even if that means you need to start at the bottom.

The process of doing a start-up is not an easy one. I had already thought I knew that, but then I read a couple sections of The PMARCA guide to startups. Part One is titled: Why not to do a startup. It didn’t cloud my thoughts with negative views, instead refreshed them. People like me who tend to dream big and have their heads up in the clouds, need to be brought back down to earth. And I’m a huge fan of when a piece of writing or a short video can do that for me.

Part one, made me think, “Hey if you end up doing a startup, it’s not going to be a piece of cake. In fact, it’s going to be more tedious than you think.” But that single part of a larger article gave me more encouragement than I expected. The best part about reaching a goal is all the work you put into reaching that goal. It makes the end result seem that much more satisfying.

Whether it’s a startup or any other goal you wish to accomplish, sometimes you need to be told “no” or “that won’t work” to encourage you more. It’s important to believe in the innocence and stay inspired.

Kayln Nicholson is a blogger and YouTuber that I’ve been following since my freshman year of high school. She is wildly successful and great at inspiring her readers and viewers. I highly recommend one of her more recent blog posts — “Things In Your Life You Can Control” — and I suggest that if you are looking for inspiration or a nudge back on the right track that you give it a read.

In Part 4 of the PMARCA guide talks about the right combinations of market and team. I thoroughly enjoyed how it emphasized how important the market is when creating a startup. This section taught me that it’s imperative to do research throughout the creation plan for your startup. Of course, anything can happen, but if you do your research first, you have a better hold on what that “anything” can be.

Do your research, be ready to work and stay inspired. By implementing those three actions,  you are setting yourself up for success and the mystery of the “anything” in “anything can happen”.

7 thoughts on “Startups: They Won’t Be A Piece Of Cake

  1. I love your statement “Do your research, be ready to work and stay inspired.” Talk about inspirational. It sums up your article nicely and essentially functions as a call to action.

    More than that, you’ve suggested resources on how to take up the call. You provided the warnings about the work from the PMARCA guide, you linked to your source of inspiration and you talked about the importance of market research.

    I especially appreciate the call to “stay inspired.” It reminds me of Paul Graham’s article “How to Get Startup Ideas.” He talks about paying attention to problems. It also reminds me of something Karl Gude taught in his creativity class. He championed noticing things. That’s really helped me stay creative. Whether it’s noticing the veins of the leaves on the trees or the people I see everyday or the cracks in the sidewalks, when I’m conscious of my world, I can’t help but stay inspired.


  2. Hello Sophie,
    Love your use of Shia LaBeouf in this. I am a huge fan. I also like hearing about your interest in the Youtuber Kayln Nicholson. you can really hear your voice through this and I love it. You brought up your personal thought process through these and it really helps the reader understand where you’re coming from. Loved it Sophie!


  3. Sophie,

    I really liked your photos and gifs, they really added to your blog post and made it more relatable and visual (huge fan of gifs here.) I also liked how you started off with something relatable, the whole ‘anything can happen’ idea. This makes it so right off the bat the reader can be like “oh okay this person is speaking to me because I feel the same way.” Also it was a smooth transition into how even though ‘anything can happen’ starts ups are indeed hard so keep that in mind.
    Overall it was easy to read and very relatable.


  4. I agree with you about the phase “anything can happen”, I believe that as well but for me I am a realist and I think that if something was supposed to happen it would and if it wasn’t meant to be it wouldn’t. For me reading the article about why not to do a startup it made me honestly not want to because I don’t like to hear the word no and I don’t have time for emotional rollercoasters trying to do what I love.


  5. Love the memes! They are very fitting. I also really like the anything can happen concept and how you have a focus on the “can do” approach to this. For me, part one definitely discouraged me a bit from the thought of creating a startup with everything that came along with it, I like that you were able to acknowledge the struggles of creating a startup while also putting a positive spin on it. Also, great recommendation. I’m loving Kayln’s vlogs.


  6. The start to your post actually reminds me of a science class I took a few semesters ago, where my professor stressed that serendipity had A LOT to do with major scientific findings. That “anything can happen” mindset is something I’ve tried to work on, especially in preparation for startup ideas within this class. With that said, I also loved how you didn’t solely rely on that mindset for this post. It’s wildly important to do your research and have your facts in order before accomplishing something great, so I really liked how you incorporated both of those mindsets into your post!


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