The biggest obstacle in creating a business has been remaining open-minded throughout the process, especially in the beginning. Helping people who are bedridden maintain their strength and independence became a passion of mine as I witnessed it firsthand with my grandmother and the patients I treated as a medical student. I was excited about devoting my time to this important issue, and felt committed to our initial “solution.” It required a lot of energy to remain dynamic in my thinking early on because of the ownership I felt over the idea. However, as we learned more about how the problem affected different stakeholders, continual adjustments to our mindset were required.
By recognizing the need to be open-minded, Andrew and I have been spending the majority of our time seeking out advice from experts in relevant fields, including physicians, physical therapists, patients, and experienced entrepreneurs. We were surprised at how willing these now trusted advisors were to offer up their time. It was only through the integration of these invaluable discussions that the foundation of a business truly started to form.
Part of this challenge has been identifying and focusing on our limitations, the most glaring of which remains the conversion of an idea into a finished physical product. Communicating our ideas to the talented engineers we’ve been working with has become more refined over time. And our final product will be the physical manifestation of the hours we’ve spent seeking out advice.
It is daunting to pursue a non-traditional career path, but the commitment to my goal drives me past that discomfort. The loss of a person’s independence affects them and their families dramatically, and can deal substantial blows to their bank accounts. The validation we have gained by speaking with those who have been affected by this issue has been a powerful force allowing us to persist. Though remaining open-minded is difficult, it will continue to be an essential tool moving forward.
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