True to many facts, surveys, and studies; 95% of the startups fail. Before anyone starts a company or a startup, the giant of the room always remains a failure. What if this fails? What if this never works?
See, the negativity that I started this listicle, is the same negativity with which many people set their foot in the start-up industry, too. Failing is as important as winning. You learn more from your failure than you do from success. Learning, collecting, and improving from your mistakes is one of the best things that you could do, right now.
You have that one idea. That one dream team. The one collective goal. You’re all set. But still, here are some things that I would want you to know and learn from if at all you relate or agree with me.
It is almost as important as choosing your partner. We often hear about people, co-founders, and teams in a startup ‘losing motivation’ to work, or just feeling ‘demotivated’. The way you feel or how your partner feels is going to have an indirect effect on your team, your work, and overall productiveness. That is why I say, the kind of relationship you have in a marriage, is the same you are going to have with your partner. No matter how rewarding, hopeless, or difficult the situation is, you have to be in it together. Choose your partner wisely. Talk about your motivations, working styles, expectations, and decision-making processes. Define success metrics and areas of focus. Not all days are going to be smooth and a cakewalk, basically. Communicate. Reflect on what your partner wants/thinks/feels even about a certain idea or thought.
Okay, so, hear me out. Make these three things your personal goals – transparency, accountability, and responsibility.
- Be transparent. Be true to not only your team but to your customers, as well. Don’t keep them in a bubble. It is a hard pill to swallow, but it is important. It will make things easier only for you, in the future.
- Be accountable and answerable to your team. It would seem pretty unnecessary at first but it sure is important.
- Be responsible. I don’t think there is anything to explain with the point.
Work as if you are the government and your team, employees, interns are the citizens. It is simple. Lead as you want to be led. Hold yourself accountable and responsible in situations you find hard.
It is a dream team only if all of you have a collective dream. That is how the dream works. Make a team of like-minded people. Even if they do not aspire to the ‘collective goal’, make a team of open-minded people. They are willing to learn, change, adapt, and are overall inspired, that would get the job done. You cannot work with people that don’t understand you or your goal.
Learn to say ‘no’. Sometimes being over compliant gets you into situations that aren’t very favorable or just situations that you wouldn’t like to get into. Be compliant in areas of your forte, interest, or talent. Opportunities and ‘good things’ happen to you because of your ability to focus. Altering that focus can get you some unfavorable outcomes
Being fairly young in the startup industry can often lead your investors and sometimes even you, yourself, to undermine your potential, ideas, and abilities. Or even if you are a founder of a startup and your team is pretty young, don’t underestimate it. It is hard to be taken seriously at a young age of say, 19. As Supriya Paul, founder of Josh Talks, mentions that when she started out, many people thought she is simply doing something to ‘build her resume’ or just volunteering at an NGO! There is no perfect age to start up. Read more. Broaden your perspective. Do some work ex in the field you want to start up.
As they say, never do anything with a narrow mind. A narrow or a one-track mind, if you will, cannot help you operate or think rationally. Don’t be afraid to be wrong or to fail. Just concentrate on the goal and set your foot with a free mind. Explore new products, new ways to do business, to communicate with your customers, investors, find new ideas to alter your business, etc.
Listen. Introspect. Reflect.
It is simple. Listen to your team, gain perspectives, introspect on them, and then finally reflect on your decisions. Remember to stay the optimist that you are, but a realist too!