It was terribly, terribly difficult. Poses that I normally handle without so much as skipping a breath seemed to become impossible. It was probably harder than it should have been exactly because I went in anticipating that it was going to be easy. Mostly thanks to the encouraging words from the instructor as well as a few emergency rests, I persevered and just about bounded out of the class in a moment of ecstasy when it was over (ok I admit, my body may have wobbled out the door in a state of disorientation, but my mind was leaping!). And in this practice I learned three valuable lessons today for doing a startup.
Lesson 1: Prepare yourself
When you're doing a startup, the environment around you is constantly changing. There's changes in the market, changes in legislation, and often disruptive changes in technology. Your competitors will do something you wished they wouldn't, a crucial staff member may leave, you'll encounter new knowledge that will rapidly and irreversibly affect your game plan. Things that seamed ridiculously simple and easy before will suddenly become impossibly challenging. My point is this: You have absolutely no control over those externalities. You can spend hours preparing, and things will still go wonky at some (if not many) points throughout your startup. The only thing you have control over is yourself. The single most valuable preparation that you can do is to prepare yourself intellectually, physically and emotionally to best handle the constant change. You've heard them say that's it's not easy, but did you really believe them?
|Those things that are the most difficult are usually the most rewarding. |
The best way to get through the challenge is to prepare yourself.
Lesson 2: Find a mentor (the more the merrier)
In those moments that things seem to crumble around you and you don't know how much more you can take there is nothing more valuable than the support of another person - double points if that person actually knows what you're going through. Somebody who knows how challenging it is, somebody who can give you a fresh perspective and help you find a way to achieve your goals, and somebody who can reassure you that there is a silver lining somewhere outside of the dark dark cloud you're in. Just knowing that there is somebody on the sideline cheering you on is sometimes all it takes.
|It's hard to flourish when you're all alone|
Lesson 3: Avoid burnout
Make sure you take some time out to recharge your batteries, or they will go flat. Nobody is better equipped than you to know when you're close to collapse (it's only once you collapse and become impossible to work with that your co-workers will insist you "take some time out"). Startups are an insane amount of work and because it's your baby, it's always with you whatever you do. It's tempting to keep pushing all day, every day but be mindful that you'll be able to work more creatively and productively when you've had good sleep and some other stimulation. It won't always be possible, but remind yourself that a slower you is better than a burnt out you!
|Take some time out to enjoy the things you love in life.|
"Yesterday I was clever. That is why I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise. That is why I am changing myself." - Sri Chinmoy