Thursday, May 15, 2008

WORKING FOR A STARTUP

Before you get started with a startup you should be prepared to manage these three issues, communication, emotion, and expectations.

Communication

1) Startups inherently work in a decentralized network. Building an organization, first requires laying a level, but solid, foundation, while meeting the constraints of a limited budget. In such a forum, Communication becomes a critical factor.
  • Connectivity - Don't work on an island. As you are working keep the dialogue open, so that you do not lose momentum or tackle obstacles alone.
  • Honesty - If something doesn't feel or look right say it with "objectivity." This requires you to know your limitations and speak up when asked to do something that you can not handle, which is different than uncomfortable.

Emotion

2) Be prepared for an emotional roller coaster. Every successful entrepreneur will reminisce about their start up days as the most grueling test of character. One day you are going to change the world. The next the world is moving on without you.
  • Objectivity - Keep your business hat on. Passion good. Personal bad. Feedback and suggestions should flow in all directions. Receiving it is required, changing is not. Remember no one is perfect, but everyday is an improvement.
  • Comfort Zone - Prepare to push the limit. You will be "needed" to do a variety of tasks. Set you limitations on what you know that you can not do. Not on what is uncomfortable for you. Control your emotion and take everything in stride. Startups are adventures. Adventures can turn sour quickly if you don't remember to have fun.

Expectations

3) Set reasonable expectations. Expectations, high or low, can be a startup killer. Low expectations can limit the company's true potential and unfulfilled high expectations can shatter a team's will.
  • Short Sighted - Look 3 feet in front. When you are climbing a mountain you don't stare at the peak. You plod along with your head down, and stop regularly to ensure that you are on the path that gets you there. Tackle the obstacles that are in your sights and keep moving forward. As long as you know where you are going, always keep moving forward. Finally, pace yourself and never give up.
  • Adaptable - Have a flexible outlook. Your expectations should be tailored to your current circumstances. Find success and keep it real. Don't let pride or stubbornness stand in the way of it and recognize achievements small or large for what they are not what you wanted them to be.
If you can manage these three, then you are prepared to work for a startup.

1 comment:

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