The Start Up Journey: A Bit of an Obsession
Weird how quickly this becomes your obsession. I don't think it's just because it's yours, although I'm fully aware of the cliche, "you'll never work as hard for someone as you do for yourself". Nor do I think it's just because you now rely on yourself for every part of the business - you are now CFO, CEO, CMO, Head of HR, Commercial Director, Legal Council, Head of IT and for some, CTO. That's a lot of hats to switch between (not to mention tiring because you’re always on).
But you're happy to be. All of these are by-products of your creation. It becomes your obsession because you truly believe in what you're doing. You're not out to make a quick buck. Bucks, yes but not quick ones. If you wanted to do that, you'd be selling Avon products or playing the stock market. Even just working for someone else is an easier, quicker way to make money. Like I said, there are easier ways to make fast money. This is about believing in your product or service. That it is really going to make a difference to your customers. You're genuinely giving something back into your sector that is needed. Nothing makes you want to work harder at something. Always thinking, discussing, criticising, improving, tweaking, refining. And it's a pleasure. You'll feel proud, maybe a bit scared but mostly excited. That's the obsession. You now own that feeling.
Side note: Remember that feeling in the hard times (and there will be hard times). It'll bring you back to basics and can be the most effective way to get you back on track.
How do you cope with all these different accountabilities?
Well firstly, ASK. Seriously, don't be afraid to ask for help, support, advice. You can't know everything and you'll be surprised by how many people are happy to help.
Secondly, Do Your Research. There is no point sitting around saying you can't do it or not starting because you don't know where to start. No one else can do this for you. You won't climb the mountain in one day. Start small. Research the questions you have about each function and start finding out more information, until you understand it.
Thirdly, Know What You Need. Why waste your precious time looking into something you don't need. I'm not saying you won't look at the wrong thing for a while but once you've spotted that it isn't a start up necessity, park it. Make a note and come back to it later. What do you need now? What are your priorities? What is the purpose of this activity and how is it helping you reach your goals?
Finally, make sure you are practising what you preach. How would you feel if you found out Bill Gates exclusively used Apple products? It'd be pretty shocking, right? Put the time aside to work on your business, as well as in it. They're both important to its success.
Have you got any other tips for dealing with all the hats you have to wear as a business owner? Share them in the comments.