Unless you love long sails in the vast endless sea..
… you won’t love the startup journey.
It is rocky, lonely and mostly involves fire fighting and hacking your way to the next milestone.
Sure, there are incredible upsides (billionaire status?) but they all come to those who can weather rough days with incredible patience and grit.
Here’s the thing: Nobody likes to sweat but like all great things in life, startups make you sweaty consistently.
Yesterday, I got off the phone with a founder friend and we talked how key it is to have the entire team on the same page in terms of the expectations. Unlike huge corporations, where there is a great sense of financial stability (which often leads to mediocrity!), startup products need to iterate quickly and delight users consistently. Most employees may have never worked in this atmosphere and might feel over-whelmed due to the incessant flux/changes. It is extremely vital to select those few people who can withstand such flux and be with you to see the light one day.
As a founder, your job however is to constantly remind them of the glory of the proverbial sea.
“If you wish to build a ship, do not divide the men into teams and send them to the forest to cut wood. Instead, teach them to long for the vast and endless sea.”— Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
And internally for yourself, you will need a COMPASS that guides you in this vast endless sea.
To me that compass is PURPOSE.
I like to share these quotes on purpose that have helped me:
“Do you want to sell sugar water for the rest of your life, or do you want to come with me and change the world?” — Steve Jobs
“Your purpose in life is to find your purpose and give your whole heart and soul to it.” ― Buddha
“The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson
What are your thoughts? What works for you in helping move past the startup hurdles?