The sizzling sensation of being a start-up that is aiming for the stars and ready to land on the moon seemingly has an amazing upward trajectory. The reality for those riding that wave, however, is that it is more akin to a daily rollercoaster ride. The highs are celestial, and the lows can feel like they’re touching Lucifer.
Every day is brand new, sizzling and shiny. Every day is full of hope and rainbows and butterflies! And every day comes with the caveat that it could be the day that everything crashes down all around and on you, and your start-up dream ends. Or so that has how it has been for my co-founder David and I with the building of Apptigo.
Make no mistake, we get that hope springs eternal in Start-Up land! And we’ve gotten used to the rollercoaster so much so that we’ve been able to reengineer it with a few simple mental tricks. Exercise your mind with these, and take control of your ride:
1. Learn from your teachers. More specifically, Mr. Miyagi was right.
Breathe. Relax. Focus. You are where you are for a reason. Trust in it and in yourself. Otherwise, no one will. This is YOUR shot, YOUR opportunity and most importantly, YOUR show. So own it. Win it. And sweep the leg! Wait, that wasn’t what Mr. Miyagi said. Don’t sweep the leg, but do sweep the negative out of your head.
2. Remember what got you here.
It’s so easy to get caught up in a million new and exciting directions, oh my! Interviews! Fans! Bigger budgets! People really, really like us! We are totally becoming rock stars! Wait…hold up, partner. Remember, stay grounded, my friend. Do not turn your path into the 402 in LA, or your path will have similar soul-crushing results. Be who you are and stay true to yourself. It got you this far. It works. It is what will make you rock. And people really, really like it. Just don’t read any comments sections about your company...
3. Don’t read any comment sections about your company.
If you want to feel good about yourself, keep talking to people who like and support you. If you want to feel like a complete and abject failure who has just launched the biggest blight in humanity’s existence and should be quartered and hung for your crimes against humanity and baby pandas, read a “comments section” about your Start-Up. Better yet, don’t.
4. Hire people better than you.
Sure, deep down, you and I may both know this is simply impossible, as such people do not exist, but at least on paper and in interviews and conversations with their listed references, you can actually find people who give off the fake appearance of being better than you at whatever you do. Hire them. They will be the ones who ultimately determine your start-up’s destiny.
5. Learn from your teachers. More specifically, Mr. Miyagi was right.
Remember that really cool job you had, where every Friday the company bought everyone pizza & beer? Or that one awesome boss, who listened to everything you said, told you that you had great ideas and allowed you to pursue them? Yeah, be that boss. And make your start-up into that company. Your place should be the place the ‘old you’ wanted to work at. While it may now be true that corporations are people, never lose sight that your employees are people, too. Treat them right and it will come back to you tenfold.