Startup founders face unique challenges. Building and scaling a successful business is more complicated than merely designing a great product or service that people love, optimizing product-market fit, and maximizing TAM.
It’s also a race against your tendencies, limitations, and habits.
Stress is ubiquitous. Burnout is abundant. And the non-stop pressure to hit KPI’s takes its tole on your physical and mental health, straining your relationships and contributing to an unsustainable lifestyle.
Given these complexities, the most successful founders are the ones who learn how to structure each day in a way that enhances sustainability.
Here are three ways for…
Ambition is one of the best assets an entrepreneur can possess. The motivation to achieve one’s dreams and resilient, resourceful attitude are requirements of building a profitable company, but most people fail to realize the shadow — or dark side — of this mindset.
When people are so focused on their future goals and aspirations that they prevent themselves from being fully present — focusing on their lofty exit, their next business, or their $100 million mansion in the hills — they create a negative inner climate that inevitably detracts from all aspects of their lives, including workplace performance.
Leaders want more efficient workplaces, and founders are in the unique position to set the cultural tone of their organization.
When founders invest in their team, it results in greater cohesion, performance, and a more supportive atmosphere. Employees, too, benefit from an inclusive environment that uses cutting-edge psychological tools to empower each person to make a meaningful contribution to the group.
But it’s often not that easy.
Most founders fail to recognize that the culture of their company is created not just through their explicit communication and the values they promote, but also through unintentional messages employees receive as part…
Many ambitious individuals engage in self-criticism that reduces their leadership potential and productivity.
While you may justify negative internal dialogue as part of the motivation you need to achieve, critical statements detract from energy that could otherwise be focused in the same direction.
They create internal tension between different parts of yourself that feel out of alignment: The perfectionist executor and the incompetent weakling you hide from others.
Without addressing this form of internal bullying, you’re unable to reach your full potential as a leader of your organization, and your perfectionist tendencies may sabotage progress before you’ve achieved your goals.
Motivation is important. Most successful people have the drive necessary to continue their journey of personal and professional growth. However, even the most achievement-oriented people come to a point when their motivation levels are depleted.
In order to sustain high levels of motivation for long periods of time, you need to understand the nature of motivation.
The best source of motivation is intrinsic, meaning that it comes from within yourself. If you’re looking to external factors — response from market, customers, competitors, etc. — then you’re motivation shifts along with those outside variables.
But if you’re driven by internal factors…
Developing the ability to enter a state of flow is life-changing.
When you come into full contact with the present moment and lose track of the world around you, time flies, productivity skyrockets, and you experience a deep sense of fulfillment.
Positive psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi wrote, spoke, and intensively studied the state of flow. He said:
“The best moments usually occur when a person’s body or mind is stretched to its limits in a voluntary effort to accomplish something difficult and worthwhile.
Optimal experience is thus something we make happen” (Csikszentmihalyi, 1990, p. 3).
If you want to enter a…
Despite its shine in pop culture, there’s nothing glamorous about being an entrepreneur. In fact, of all professions, it may be one of the more difficult paths to success.
Instead of working eight years to climb the org chart in a conventional corporation, entrepreneurs cram those eight years into two or three hoping for a lofty exit that’s far from guaranteed.
The risks of evolving markets add to the immense responsibility founders feel for their company and employees. And if you’re not bootstrapped, there’s additional pressure from investors to demonstrate consistent growth.
This mixture leads to immense stress, difficulty sleeping…
Navigating the stress of entrepreneurship takes a toll on the cofounder partnership.
Research shows that 65 percent of startups fail due to interpersonal issues between the founders. A startling statistic, to be sure.
But what if you’re married to your cofounder?
Then, if business is not going well, it impacts your marriage. And if your marriage is not going well, it affects your business.
Though married individuals may wish that their company and their relationship are separate, the interdependence of these two facets means that for your business to thrive, your marriage must too. …
Not all well-intentioned leaders have the impact they desire.
Some individuals find themselves in leadership positions despite lacking the confidence and experience to be effective in their roles. They may enjoy the title, but come to loath the responsibility of managing people — a much more challenging skill than simply maintaining their own performance.
Many others, however, enjoy standing in front of a group of people. They do their best to manage group tasks, maximize communication, and develop a cohesive, high-performing team.
Despite these aspirations, they may have other shortcomings outside of their awareness that prevent them from developing into…
Since we’re a few short years away from a sleek cofounder dating app, one of the best ways to find your cofounder is to have an old-fashioned interview.
Your interview doesn’t need to be stale.
The awkwardness accompanying most job interviews is often due to the candidate’s desperation, the company’s interviewing incompetence, or other factors contributing to a one-sided engagement. But just as great interviewers ensure that it’s a two-way process, cofounders seeking to find the right match need mutual investment to ensure their working relationship will withstand the pressures of building a startup.