What I Wish I Knew When I Started My Tech Company

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You don’t know what you’re doing.

Your business plan is unrealistic.

Your model will need to change – more than once.

It will take five times longer than you think.

It will be really hard, and you will question yourself at every step.

And it’s okay.

It will take time and you will get better. Every founder goes through this. It’s part of the journey and it’s the only way to learn. Starting a business is hard. A tech startup is even harder. The goals are more ambitious, the path to profitability more obscure, the competition fierce, and the frontier is an unforgiving place.

When I first started my payments company, it felt like a crowded and yet lonely road filled with self-doubt. Looking for inspiration, I would read tech news to see how my peers were doing. Featured startups seemed like they had all the answers that I didn’t. Their growth seemed to have occurred overnight, their marketing message was so perfectly tuned, their office space was amazing.

While it motivated me to try and reach their level, what I lacked was insight into how those founders got there. It took me 11 years to realize that there is no secret formula—just hard work, perseverance and a lot of trial and error. I feel fortunate to have created the company that I created today. Helcim has 32 staff and $35 million in revenue and I still feel like we’re just getting started on this adventure. Everyday we’re making mistakes, facing challenges and learning from them.

So I want to share what I wished I had when I first started my company – an inside look into the experience of another founder. I want to help aspiring entrepreneurs by showing what it’s like to run a tech company. And I’m doing this in what I think is the best format of our time to convey ideas and share: a vlog.

I hope I can help other young founders by creating a shared experience, and maybe to inspire others to take the scary step of starting a new business and a new journey of their own.

Nicolas Beique is the Founder of Helcim.

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