On Climbing the Startup Mountain
Life in a startup is a non-stop business. Whether you are aware of it or not, your work-life balance suffers, your relationships are strained, and your personal health and motivation may waver. Yet it’s the most amazing rush in the world.
Working in startups gives you the freedom, opportunity, and responsibility to build an uncertain product for am uncertain customer in an uncertain market. There is more change in a startup day (and sometimes, intraday) than most businesses see in a week or a month. And that change brings stress, excitement (sometimes anxiety) and an intense need for resilience.
“The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling but in rising every time we fall.”
Failure Happens. How do you get up?
We often fall in startups. And we need to get up stronger and faster to make the changes that prevent the same mistake from happening again.
With that in mind, here are 5 steps to help you survive in startup life as you scale new heights:
- Get more sleep – this is the number one thing you can do to help yourself succeed in startups (or in any business.) Sleep deprivation causes failure. What you can do: duh. Sleep more.
- Get out of the building. Whether it is to talk to customers or just take a walking meeting. What you can do: add 30 minutes of walking to your day (at least)
- Find a trusted friend. You probably talk about your startup. A lot. Find someone who doesn’t give a rip about what you’re doing, and talk to them about something other than your startup. What you can do: find someone you haven’t talked to in far too long. Buy them a cup of coffee. And turn off your phone during the meeting.
- Set limits for yourself. You will never get it all done. And while working all of the hours in a week is great for short bursts of activity, it’s not sustainable forever. What you can do: don’t use your phone as an alarm clock, and turn off your phone at least an hour before you go to bed. And go to bed (you have to sleep, remember?)
- Believe in your capacity to improve. Your motto should be continuous improvement, not perfection. What you can do: Practice kaisen
Startup life is not easy. Hint: it’s not supposed to be. Using these five steps will help you be more resilient. If you combine these ideas with eating better and exercising, you’ll be putting yourself in the right place to succeed in a startup.
What other suggestions do you have for startup survival and success?