Insights From the Founder of Hospitality Startup Staybird

Staybird founder.

Any entrepreneur can tell you, launching a startup is a learning process. Therefore, one of the best things you can do prior to launching a startup of your own is to learn from those who have blazed the trail. We were fortunate enough to hear some valuable insights during our interview with Victor “Vick” Okoroji, founder of hospitality startup Staybird that will inspire, motivate, and teach aspiring and established entrepreneurs alike. 

What advice do you have for aspiring entrepreneurs?

“Think big, swing big, work small. Believe in yourself and what you hope to bring into the world. Don’t look through the eyes of others but constantly expand and refine your vision. Figure out what you need to do to get out the gates and get your first win. Until you see it happening, you won’t believe it can. Then, do something every day that will move your business forward. Even the conversation that seems meaningless will help keep your business alive day-to-day.”

What is your advice for entrepreneurs in your industry specifically?

“Think about what people will need tomorrow and challenge what you believe about the businesses of today. Tech is a constantly evolving space. When you get into hospitality, you find companies that rise fast and fall fast. People’s needs are constantly changing. Don’t start with ‘what kind of product can I build,’ find a problem that has gone unsolved and will remain unsolved without your business in existence. If it is a really big problem, no matter your obstacles to building a product, you will be successful. The only way to know how big your problem is is to get out there and talk to people. Don’t think in terms of customers. If you truly want to improve how people live their life, they will tell you how to help them.”

What is your advice for coming up with a unique startup idea?

“Don’t. All startup ideas are unique. In my opinion, you should first decide that no matter what you do, you will stay true to who you are and do it for the right reasons. If you have a startup mindset, then all you will do is ‘start up’ and never finish. Find things that honestly kill people and tackle those problems. They are the most challenging, but people will say you have a unique idea when you are trying to save the world. Here is some practical advice: never think you have everything figured, [and] be open to feedback. What you are trying to build will change and evolve over time, but your mission needs to be definite. Start with your mission, and you’ll get a product.”

What is your advice for overcoming challenges and failure?

“Face them head-on. Remember, this is a learning experience. No challenge is unsolvable and there is no such thing as failure. I was told by someone I respect to ‘stay objective’ and treat this as a science experiment. You have a hypothesis — keep testing it. This way, when challenges arise, they won’t discourage you. You just keep testing and learning.”

What is the biggest lesson you learned and what can aspiring entrepreneurs take from it?

“The biggest lesson I have learned is that “I am good enough.” I think one of the biggest challenges in the startup world for a lot of first-time founders is imposter syndrome – feeling like you do not belong. This can happen at any level. You need a core group of people that can not only keep you accountable but also remind you who you are on the days that you don’t feel like it. You may not start with these people, but if you stay true to who you are long enough, you will eventually find these people. If you want to go far, you can’t go alone.”

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