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The Complexities and Challenges of Starting a New Business

Coffee Chat with Rebecca, co-founder of Music for Mental Health

Rebecca is the founder and president of Music for Mental Health, a UBC-based organization that raises awareness and fundraises for various mental health issues through creating music. She is currently in her third-year of Behavioural Neuroscience undergraduate at the University of British Columbia. 

Sometimes I don’t act on my business/non for profit ideas. The reasons are that I think it is not the time or that I won’t be able to do it. And I completely give up on it because someone else has already done it. When Rebecca had the idea for her non-for-profit, she posted it on Facebook to get more people on the project. Taking the raw idea to facebook, this is how she started. I would normally try to develop my idea or make it perfect which results in my eventually giving up on it. However, I learned from her that just starting the project by getting more people on it is the way to go. I’ve had many ideas before that I did nothing about, but a few days after my coffee chat with Rebecca, I reached out to a few people about my idea for a high school journalism club. 

When working on an idea, it is easy to give up on it thinking that people may believe it is stupid. Rebecca went through the same thing, but she continued to search for the people who would be able to help her establish and keep her non-for-profit. It is also very easy to feel unmotivated when thinking people don’t believe in the vision. It is easy to feel discouraged when the team is not as passionate as us, the one with the idea. But through it all, Rebecca stayed. She said that if you don’t take your idea seriously and not check up on the team, they won’t work on it either.  Therefore, I will ensure the team communicates clearly weekly to check our progress. Some ways for me to show initiative and responsibility as the team leader is to set goals and track them weekly and check up on the team.

Some of the challenges Rebecca faced after she got a team to work on her idea, was staying organised and making sure everything is moving forward in the project. As students, we all have busy lifestyles which means we might get the urge to not follow up on the tasks that need to be done to reach our project goals. “But you are the head of the project, if you don’t show initiative, if you don’t keep up with everything, neither is anybody else,” said Rebecca. “Set deadlines for your goals and keep up.”

Also, I would say make sure to keep meeting notes and have a clear vision for the project you are working on. All aspects of the project do not have to be perfect from the beginning, make them up as you go. It is important to just start from somewhere instead of trying to be a perfectionist, find a trustworthy team, not worry about people’s opinion but to work on the project weekly and be a teamplayer. It is better to have slow progress than no progress at all. 

It is not too late – just start from somewhere!

By Negar Golshanbasir 


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