It’s a been a busy time at HURU HQ with most of our customers moving into their new houses in September. This summer we took on 3 new interns this summer to help us with the growth of our business. They’ve been awesome – super keen, positive and all-round heroes. This got us to thinking about the skills you need if you want to work in start-ups or found a start-up.
And if you’re a budding entrepreneur with a big idea, don’t forget to enter your idea into the NACUE Varsity Pitch Competition. This is the second cohort of entries and last chance to enter as the deadline is 4th Oct 2017. The three-stage competition includes an online public vote launching on Wednesday 4th October, a boot camp with an impressive line-up of mentors and a grand final with attendees from the media, government, corporate and start-up world. You go girl!
In the meantime here are our top start-up skills…

1. Analysis
Every start-up needs people who love to analyse data and apply their critical thinking to delve deep into their commercial and operational issues. Being data-driven is a requirement of virtually every start-up. That doesn’t mean you need a maths degree, but it does mean being comfortable with data and enjoy problem-solving. Having an STEM degree certainly puts you at an advantage but if you don’t then there’s loads of other ways you can hone you analytical skills such as online courses e.g. EDX, Coursera, Udacity, learning on the job with a work mate mentor, or redoing your maths A-level (just kidding!). Check out: https://www.edx.org/

2. Hustling
We love a Hustler here at HURU – you don’t have to be completely shameless, but networking, socialising, looking for a win at an unlikely event do reap rewards. Plus hustlers always seem to be much more well-liked and likeable than you’d think. The mind set of making something out of nothing is relentlessly positive – promote yourself, have a thick skin and ignore negative feedback, be goal-oriented and always have in the back of your mind closing that deal.

3. How to Handle Stress
‘If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs and blaming it on you’ – it’s ideal but boy, it’s not easy to do this without being someone who is way too chill to get anything done. So how do you become someone who handles stress really well? Be healthy to maintain an ordered and calm mind – meditate, do exercise, work mindfully and don’t over-analyse. Most importantly don’t be reactive.

4. Multi-tasking
Getting the job done is the biggest part of daily life at a start-up, and you have to be prepared to wear different hats and not just do your day job. Being able to handle your job and take on a ton of random ad hoc tasks that may be the remit of others’ is so important when you’re working in a small scrappy organisation.

5. Positivity
Did we already talk about relentless positivity? The challenges of starting a business can be relentless – you could be boot-strapping your start-up, whilst trying to raise money, whilst trying to make the product roadmap deadlines, and getting rejected by potential investors. It can be stressful, so that’s why it’s important to be positive in the face of what can seem like never-ending setbacks. Some top tips to stay positive are:
i. Focus on the wins – celebrate what you’ve done well at! Don’t dwell on the losses, just move on.
ii. Don’t react to what may seem like a barrage of negativity around you – life is 10% what happens to you, 90% how you react to it!
iii. Adopt a Stoical approach, and by that we don’t mean ‘stiff-upper lip’, we mean, make like the Stoics and live in the present moment, don’t agonise over the past or the future. Life is brief, live it, enjoy it and don’t sweat the small stuff. Check out https://dailystoic.com/

NACUE Varsity Pitch


Also published on Medium.