Hey there ! fellow entrepreneurs. How are you doing?
This could be your “Best Monday Read For Summer 2016”.
So give me Just 12 precious minutes to take you through it.
Ok…. so here we go.
8 out of 10 times being an entrepreneur we are told…
Entrepreneurship is a tough nut to crack and until or unless you are willing to give up everything for…
That one goal you wish to achieve, you won’t make it to the party!
Take my word, absolutely ridiculous it is.
All work and No play makes Jack, A Dead Entrepreneur. And I’ve got math to support that.
I have observed close to 37 startups (close friends & clans) in the past 2 years.
23 of them have already died,
8 won’t make it to 2017 (their founders have already started finding & furnishing their resumes and are already meeting their old HR friends over drinks)
And rest 6 are in the zone where they have somehow worked out a model that
- Gets enough money to pay salaries,
- 3 months buffer money to pay for a bad quarter/immediate scalability plan
and I am sure they will make it through.
But here is something I have noticed in this successful lot.
They have not traded their life completely for “That one goal”.
But rather, they make small adjustments daily.
They don’t just focus on the chequered flag. They have a Super Sexy Pit Stop Strategy.
(Girls are missing for a purpose as entrepreneurs have too many distractions already)
They know how many laps their cars and tyres can survive, when they need refueling and how much is enough to avoid a “ Burn Out”.
- They have goals to survive a Day
- They have goals to survive a Week
- They have goals to survive a Month
- They have goals to survive a Quarter
- They have goals to survive a Year
And they will surely complete the race. Only thing to watch here is who gets the podium.
But here is what you can learn from them to save the entrepreneur in you from dying.
1. Having goals to survive a Day (For Yourself)
They give at least 1 hour a day absolutely to themselves doing yoga, jogging, meditation, exercise, reading, writing etc.
It helps them manage themselves and in self-evaluation/updating. If you can’t manage 1 hour a day for yourself then you can’t manage your dream.
Start taking out time for yourself. I understand you can lose that most important call in that 1 hour but then you have to find that 1-hour where you have nothing do to and start giving it to yourself.
2. Having goals to survive a Week (For Your Partners)
Who is that person in your life that matters to you the most. Wife/GF/ Best Friend/Business Partner. Plan at least 4 hours a week absolutely with them.
Preferably an outing to a mall, bar, buy groceries or just hit the streets and keep on walking.
This will help you to build mutual understanding, managing disagreements and developing negotiation skills.
#Bonus Tip 1: Be less of a Consumer
You are not required to gulp that bucket of corona and 7 packets of cigarettes or 10 packs of chips per week or walking into Starbucks to look like a struggling entrepreneur.
That is something wannaprenuers do, when they are actually planning to quit their jobs. It’s a fact that you are already struggling and these things are just putting you more into struggle.
Instead, just sip a tea at “ Nukkad shop (tapri) with a biscuit” or glass of lassi with parantha at a dhaba after the street walk. It will save you good money 4 times a month.
(If a guy can become PM doing charcha over chai, why do we need carona specifically in bars?)
3. Having goals to survive the month (For Family & Clan)
Don’t feel alone. Just remember the quote
“Man is by nature a social animal; an individual who is unsocial naturally and not accidentally is either beneath our notice or more than human. Society is something that precedes the individual. Anyone who either cannot lead the common life or is so self-sufficient as not to need to, and therefore does not partake of society, is either a beast or a god. ”- Aristotle.
It’s okay to not visit friends and parents every week ‘coz it’s tough to handle it emotionally, physically & economically 😀
1 unplanned day a month with group of 5 or more people/friends/family members (is helpful in preparing yourself for managing uncertainties and quick planning (but not more than 100 KM from your place)
(Another thing I have mastered in past 2 years is party in a shoestring budget anywhere at 1.5 hours notice including frills and house music. ROI: Instant saving on taxes)
#Bonus Tip 2: Reduce your monthly visits to startup workshops/ meet-ups after first 3 months.
I only go to such events once in a blue moon now. Why?
Because visiting a hospital is never a great experience when you see a lot of patients and hear their pain… you get depressed. I don’t like it unless it’s something really-really worth visiting.
Moreover the positives of the events are available as a gist on decks of speakers and FB walls of your friends very next day.
4. Having goals to survive the quarter (For Employees, Customers & Investors)
What’s the goal you have kept for next quarter?
Who are those that can help you achieve it?
Of course they are Your Employees, Customers & Investor.
Do you have some plans to celebrate it with them.
If not, make one today, announce it and get their views in. This will help to build the sense of active involvement and focus in all team members.
What you could you possibly do?
- It could be a bonus for employees and a surprise offer for customers
- It could be an official bus tour (not more than 400 km from your place) to a nearby hill station, beach. (2-3 Days)
- A cricket/ football series between customers & employees with good price money and put Investors as referees 😀
#Bonus Tip 3: Use Social Media for promoting this event
Promote it and click lots of pictures when it happens. It can give you a good load of social media content even if you are into B2B segment.
5. Having goals to survive the year (for your startup)
You’ll be working day and night for an entire year.
But how will you check whether you are able to provide scalability to your startup or not?
How will you check about the robustness of processes that you are building sans you?
It’s simple. Plan … Plan for making a business that can survive at least 15 days without you and avoid going into a critical failure.
In fact 5 founders out of 6 startups that are running good have managed this goal to perfection. One guy had a fractured leg so he managed things from his home for 45 days in a row. (And I don’t have permission to add his pic)
In my case: I prefer 3 weeks at least for myself per year. I did it in first year of my business and the second year and have got 2 months to do it again 3rd year in a row.
During this time: Don’t make any calls. Check mails only once a week only if possible. Just Get Lost.
(Advantage in my case my wife is from Leh and it’s an awesome place to get lost)
What you’ll learn with this:
How your annual planning worked. Is your company sufficiently scalable?
What went wrong? What went well? And how can you make up for it ?
Entrepreneurship is fun. Provided you want to feel it and maintain the balance between fun and madness.
Don’t let the Entrepreneur in you Die.