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Why You Are Better Than Silicon Valley But Have a Hard Time Beating Them

This article is written by Munira Hussein, a Contributor Author at Startup Istanbul.

Elmira Bayrasli is a CEO, entrepreneur, speaker, professor and author of From The Other Side of The World.

Why you are better than Silicon Valley

Silicon Valley is an established ecosystem with structures in place to ensure maximum success of businesses. A lot of places face more challenges. Lack of infrastructure, traffic, poor internet, old systems, laws and regulations that are unfavorable to businesses. Despite all these challenges, some of the greatest ideas have come from outside Silicon Valley. 

Innovation doesn’t come from being comfortable. In order to be an entrepreneur, you need to get uncomfortable. Kenya’s M-pesa has eased transfer of money by allowed transactions through mobile phones. Moving money is a problem in Africa and all over the world.

You do more with less. You don’t have all the wealth and the gadgets but you make things work. You know how to be resourceful.

You multitask yet accomplish so much. Every startup starts with a founder or two founders. Its far more than just doing the finances and the resources. You are figuring out how to innovate, raise funds, pay your team, build your startup and fill it up.

Why you have hard time beating Silicon Valley

Lack of trust. There is a huge lack of trust in Africa, Asia, Latin America and Middle East. There is a general suspicion about how systems and societies work. You can’t raise capital and hire people if you don’t share your ideas. Mistrust creates an atmosphere of suspicion. You deny yourself the understanding and clarity that comes with talking about your idea.  You also deprive people of a product and service that they may be able to use.

Ego. The mentality all around the world, apart from within Silicon Valley, is about the control. You feel like you can only give orders but not listen. This hurts your business. In Silicon Valley, startups stand higher chances of succeeding because there is a culture of listening, sharing, team work and collaboration.

 Responsibility. It is easier for you to blame others than to take responsibility.

Solutions

Build your confidence. The one thing that separates entrepreneurs from Silicon Valley and those outside is the fact that outside the Silicon Valley, people are always trying to find acceptance, approval and validation. They want people to like them. They want to know that their idea is good. Be okay with being uncomfortable and not having that approval. It doesn’t matter if no one believes in your idea.

Lift others up. There is something that goes on in your subconscious and in the energy that you emit. Lifting others up is a key in Silicon Valley. People are always looking for opportunities to encourage others to move along.

Have courage and be kind. You have no idea what someone’s day or lives are like. Don’t assume people’s anger is from you.

Stop the excuses. Taking responsibility is what all successful startups have in common. Be a leader. Go out there when no one believes in what you are doing.

─ January 6, 2020