10 lessons on how to survive the highs and lows of starting up
AUTHOR: Chris Robson1. Share the pain with a business partner, but donít go into business with friends
and family unless you are prepared to lose them.
2. Always agree the key emotional issues upfront with your business partner(s), including: who the boss is, how you make difficult decisions, what you expect of each other and how you share the risks and rewards.
3. Expect to sacrifice something, every entrepreneur does, so think through what you will and wonít sacrifice before you fully commit yourself.
4. Celebrate and promote every little achievement. Start this from the very beginning by writing down all your goals. Congratulate yourself when you hit them because others wonít and itís easy to forget to pat yourself on the back when youíre always redefining the direction you want to go in
5. Live life in Beta. Recognise that nothing is ever finished and you can always improve your product or service, and so manage your own frustrations when everything takes too long.
6. Learn to love uncertainty, surprises, freedom, the wide open spaces of human possibility Ė and donít be afraid of not having all the answers.
7. See the hand of friendship and support anywhere and everywhere. Ask people about what they are doing and talk to people about what you are doing. Most importantly, talk to people you would not normally talk to Ė youíll be very, and pleasantly, surprised at what you find out!
8. Be crystal clear about your vision for your business and then focus on the execution. You canít keep re-examining both the strategy and execution all the time all Ė youíll end up tying yourself in knots!.
9. Use your gut instinct. Itís not a random emotion, it comes from hard experience and itís one of the most valuable tools everyone can access. Ask yourself what you actually feel about an issue. Then say the answer out loud Ė you may be amazed by what you actually say you feel! Try reflecting on the decisions that you have taken that were strongly positive or negative. Cast your mind back to what you felt and try to link those feelings with the eventual decisions. See what they tell you.
10. Channel your reaction to failure as a positive and not as a negative thought. Use it to answer what will I now do better not what should I have done better.