Founders need to be as militant about recharging as they are about working.
Yet, nothing in front of us suggests slowing down or taking a break to do it — at all. We have a mountain of work, no one to help us, and we're burning through what's left of our cash and credit. The last thing any of that suggests is "Let's plan a sweet vacation!"
What we're missing in this mess is the fact that it's not about whether or not we want to take a break — it's that we have to. If we're going to run the marathon that is the startup journey, we can't just go full sprint 24x7 and pretend it'll all work out. Instead, we have to become highly regimented in our plan to recharge all the time, and treat that recharge as seriously as we treat our startup.
The most impossible task for a Startup Founder is to "invent a big idea."
It's not because we lack creativity, it's because we wind up focusing our energy on the wrong thing. Big ideas, by themselves, are nearly impossible to corral in our minds because they are inherently either "not big enough" or "too big to tackle."
We tend to go about this all backward. We assume that once an idea is incredible enough, it will guide all of our actions thereafter. But that is like putting a map down on a table and saying "We want to go west!" without making this is the most reasonable path.
The Curse of the 37-Year Old Founder (podcast) Let's talk about the dues founders pay for neglecting their health. Pushing yourself too much, ...
Celebrating adding staff is like celebrating the cost of a wedding — it's the liability, not the achievement.
It seems like everyone loves to champion the importance of "scaling our staff," whether it's the media or our local government talking about job creation (when is the last time a startup was successful because it met a job creation metric?) Of course, we proudly announce we're hiring because it implies that our business is doing well, right?
While that may be true, the reality is adding staff still falls under the cost bucket of our income statement, and while those important hires may help us grow revenue, the important distinction is that they are not, in fact, revenue.
They are actually a massive cost, and in most startups, by fa...
Search engine optimization is an area of digital marketing that involves using certain tactics to help your website climb the search engine results pages for queries relevant to your business.
Focusing on boosting your SEO should be a key part of your plan to build an audience, as it can help you to reach a lot more of your target customers.
In this guide, we are going to outline 7 different tips for improving your on-page SEO and improving your site’s search engine visibility. Read on to find out more.
When we talk about on-page SEO, we’re referring to changes you can make to your own website in order to boost your search engine rankings. This can involve writing optimized copy, creating SEO-friendly content, and e...
The year I turned 37, my heart stopped. Not figuratively, I mean it actually stopped beating.
We were in the early days of launching Startups.com, and I was at lunch with our team. I couldn't quite put my finger on it, but something just didn't feel right, so I told the team I was going to head home and lay down. As I was driving home, I called my wife and told her "I'm heading home, something feels off..."
And as I said those words, my heart stopped — while driving. My world went black.
For anyone that has had their heart stop, you can't ignore it because, well, you're sorta dead. In my case, I came to quickly, recovered the car, and drove the next few minutes home. As soon as I got home I phoned my co-workers (who were 5 minutes away) and...
One day we wake up and realize our startup is working great for everyone but us — the Founders.
What the hell happened? We started out with big dreams of building our dream job, creating true financial independence, and just being able to do whatever we wanted on our own terms. That sounded great, right?
Yet here were are, spending our days at everyone else's behest. Our days and schedules are driven by the needs of staff, customers, and investors, all of whom mean well, but have essentially put our own goals and needs well into the back seat, and in some cases, forgotten about altogether.
When was the last time we got paid first (or at all)? Or took a vacation without being pulled away 100x by everyone else's needs? Or spent our day the wa...
Founders won't change people's personalities, we can only manage them. And that's where we fail over and over.
How often do we get frustrated by someone in our organization that we just wish we could change? They lack motivation, discipline, or they just don't play well with others. In our Founder minds, we just need this one inspirational heart-to-heart talk, or some Karate Kid montage, where they come out the other end a changed and improved human.
We have a hard time believing we can't "manage" our way into the outcome we're looking for, but what we're actually missing is that there are certain aspects of humans that go beyond what we can manage in the first place. And our lack of recognition of this boundary creates a colossal waste of ...
The worst time to get tired in a race is at the end.
Now, imagine we've just run a marathon (it's called a startup) and at the very end of that marathon is the finish line (it's called an exit), but we're too tired to make it across. Can you imagine a worse time to be out of energy than the moment where we're just about to win the race?
Yet many Founders, by the time we get to our most important milestone (the sale), just have nothing left. So we capitulate. We agree to silly terms, or unrealistic expectations, not because we think it's a good deal, but because we just want to be done with any deal. We're incredibly vulnerable, and that's incredibly dangerous.
Look, I get it. By the time we're teeing up...
The one thing everyone remembers about a relationship is how it ended.
As Founders, if we're around long enough, we're going to see the end of a boatload of relationships, and as such if we're not keenly aware of how important it is that we end those relationships gracefully, we're going to end up with a whole lotta angry exes.
There's really no way around this. Unlike our lives as an employee, where it was just us and our boss, when we are the boss, we're at the center of so many important relationships. Whether it's investors, staff, customers, partners, even the media — all of those relationships have a cost, and when they end, those costs actually multiply.
Later on in life, we learn how important it is to have "good breakups" because w...
The moment we sell our startup — the party is over.
Sure, we'll throw an actual party to thank everyone for taking the ride with us. We're going to issue well-crafted statements internally and externally about how this new partner is what we've been waiting all long for, regardless of whether it actually was.
But once those momentary celebrations subside, we're going to look around at what's left like a frat house after an all-night rager and think "Well damn, now what?" We worked so hard to get to this point, we often have no idea what would happen to the startup once it reached that penultimate moment. But, we're about to find out.
By the time we've signed the deal and watched that big wire land in our account...