Stop It: 4 Things Startup Entrepreneurs Should Stop Doing Now
There you are: grinding it out for hours behind your computer, juggling every aspect of taking your business from one great idea to something that actually exists. I see you over there because that was me for over seven years as I built Negri Electronics. Having created my company without outside investment was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life, but it took tremendous sacrifice and there are some lessons that I had to learn the hard way. Here are four things that startup entrepreneurs should stop doing now:
1. SACRIFICING YOUR HEALTH
It’s too easy to let your health go because you are just too busy to eat right and ordering pizza requires little effort. The reality is that very few startup organizations can survive a major illness or death of a founder, so taking care of you is one of the best things that you can do. Best selling author and Digital Royalty CEO Amy Jo Martin shared that she spent the first five years of her business sleep deprived, which has been scientifically proven to be the equivalent to running your startup while drunk. Make it a priority to get your 8 hours of sleep, to make healthy eating choices, and get outside for a walk.
2. DOUBTING YOURSELF
You know what I’m talking about. The voice in your head that keeps you running in circles on a particular decision or design rather than just calling it “MVP” and embracing that it is part of your minimum viable product. Stop questioning and reach out to mentors or fellow industry peers to get feedback instead of chasing your tail. Jimmy Jacobson with Wedgies recently shared that one of their core values is the Zorro principle. Rather than waiting in line to see some rockstar tech leader at a conference, they look around them and go for beers with the peers standing in line next to them. It’s a smart philosophy because you are likely to learn real time tips and share resources with peers in a similar situation as you and your team.
3. HOARDING CRAP YOU DON’T NEED
When your world is cluttered, your life is cluttered. Get to the closest Container Store, Wal Mart, or anywhere that sells organizational materials. Separate out the things you can’t live without, the things that are nice to have, what you can sell, and what has to go to the trash. Give yourself a weekend. While you’re organizing the stuff in your life, take the time to organize the people. Who takes from you without ever giving back? Who sucks the joy out of a room? Who makes you better that you haven’t invested as much time as you would like to? Reorganize your world and become a master of efficiency.
4. THINKING SMALL
When you were a child you believed that you could do anything- even fly. No possibility was impossible. Somewhere along the way you lost the wonder. Life added it’s natural patina and it wore on you. You’re tired. The altruism seems a million years away. I get it. Life isn’t easy and I know you’ve had more than your fair share of mountains to climb. It sucks. However, I would challenge you to sit quietly and try your best to remember that child. Get back to that kid who was sure they could fly. Now, what does that kid want to do in the world? You’re in there. If you sit quietly enough, you’ll find that kid. The world is still your oyster my friends. Dig deep and find the pearl.