Cindy Gallop is the founder of IfWeRanTheWorld, co-action marketing software that builds Action Branding for brands and their consumers.

She also launched MakeLoveNotPorn at TED 2009: ‘Pro-sex. Pro-porn. Pro-knowing the difference’. In 2013, alongside co-founders CTO Corey Innis and UX Lead Oonie Chase, she released crowdsourced #realworldsex videosharing platform in public beta.

Cindy speaks at conferences around the world and consults, describing her consultancy approach as ‘I like to blow shit up. I am the Michael Bay of business.’

We caught up with Cindy to ask for some advice for aspiring entrepreneurs…

Simpleweb: When did you first decide that you were an entrepreneur?

Cindy Gallop: I never ‘decided to be an entrepreneur’. Like everything else in my life, the fact I am one is a total accident. I’m a very action-orientated person: when I feel strongly about something, I do something about it.

Thirty years of working in advertising inspired me to want to redesign the future of business, around the business model of Shared Values + Shared Action = Shared Profit (financial and social): I started IfWeRanTheWorld.

Dating younger men demonstrated vividly that porn has become the default sex education of today: I started MakeLoveNotPorn and found it struck such a huge global chord, I and my co-founders Oonie Chase (UX) and Corey Innis (CTO) started

As far as getting started goes, I just got started. That’s all you need to do. Just start doing.

SW: What makes a good startup idea?

CG: There is no such thing as a good startup idea. An idea is only as good as its execution. Anybody can have an idea. Very few people can execute it in a way that makes it a good one – because it’s out there, and it’s working.

SW: What makes a good entrepreneur? Are there any particular characteristics you think the best entrepreneurs share?

CG: The best entrepreneurs share three characteristics: persistence, resilience, and the ability to manage your own mind.

SW: What is the best piece of business advice you’ve ever been given?

CG: Get more sleep.

SW: What advice would you give to anyone taking their first steps into entrepreneurship?

CG: Never, ever, ever, set out to ‘be an entrepreneur’. Set out to turn something you passionately believe in, into a business.

You’d better be passionate about it, because you’re going to go through absolute total bloody hell, and passion will be the only thing that keeps you going. If you’re not passionate about what you want to start as a business beyond all reason, don’t do it.

SW: Any other final thoughts or advice you could give to aspiring entrepreneurs?

CG: If you can possibly avoid it, don’t go after funding.

Bootstrap, build, get your business out there, get traction in the marketplace, proof of concept. Not only will that make it easier to get funding subsequently; if you’ve designed it around the right kind of business model, with any luck you won’t have to.

Never waste your time banging your head against closed doors (because starting a business is so tough, you don’t need any more thoroughly depressing meetings/conversations than you absolutely need to have).

Engineer yourself into a position where doors open automatically as you approach. Make people want you, not the other way around.

It doesn’t matter who you know, how much you network, how much you think other people can help you – at the end of the day, the only person who can make things happen for you is you.

Several years ago, Cindy decided to be very open about her struggles as an entrepreneur, and created the hashtag #startupstress. If you’d like to know more about what it’s like to be an entrepreneur, just search #startupstress on Twitter and Facebook.

If you’d like to discuss your startup or project, get in touch with Simpleweb today.

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