Startup success is top-of-mind for every founder. We have all been there. The sulky, unexplainable feeling when everything doesn’t work out the way you wanted it, and like others, you hate it. You don’t like that feeling when even lying down in bed at night seems to be lying on pointed rocks.
Attaining and sustaining startup success is never easy, especially in your early years. Those who started out believing in you, may eventually leave after things fall apart. You may start forgetting about yourself, your well-being because you put your heart and soul into your business venture, only to spend much of your day feeling like a failure. These are the times when you feel that startup success will always be out of your grasp.
But even though you may not like it, these difficult times should be embraced, not ignored. No one loves being uneasy, but according to a decorated Green Beret and world traveler Jason Van Camp, you must learn how to love it and be at ease with it if you truly want to achieve startup success.
So how does one get used to being uncomfortable?
First of all, you need to start. Nothing will ever happen if you will don’t make up your mind and begin with something new. We all know doing something different—like launching a startup—is never the easiest thing to do, but you will never know what is waiting on the other side if you do not cross the bridge.
Yes, it’s terrifying but you must also remember that once you are there, there is no turning back, and you can never go anywhere with just playing safe. You can’t go anywhere, too, if you don’t start the engine. It can be helpful to talk about your fears and anxieties with other entrepreneurs who have achieved startup success. There are also some excellent articles that provide valuable information to help you manage being uncomfortable. Here is one from Psychology Today and another from Inc.
Countless founders have had the experience of launching a startup, only to have things not work out as planned. Nothing is working out. There is no profit. You have been working nonstop, but there is still no fruit from your efforts. Startup success remains out of reach. It’s like planting a garden, but the flowers never bloom, fruits never sprout. But does that mean you should step out? No. Never quit on your dreams, never bail out.
Keep moving, just figure out how you can improve from this. Remember the things that inspired you to start—your goals or the people who believed in you. Put what matters most in front of you and continue to chase it. Don’t tap out. If your business turns out well then good, if it didn’t, then keep pushing.
Next, you need to push your limits. It’s scary because you don’t know what is out there; you just want to be safe. But you will never know what you are capable of, if you just want to be safe. Just act like you know what you are doing and eventually you will know that it doesn’t look as hard as you thought it would be.
If you let your fear conquer you, you will never find doors or windows, only walls.
What you need to do next is to befriend tough situations. Accept your failures and love the downfalls and the bruises you’ve earned while launching your startup. Bad things happen when you are at your lowest and instead of staying in the slump, use that failure as your step ladder to get out of the pit and continue striving for startup success. Remember, scratches and cuts from rough edges will make you a smooth gem.
Defeat will only defeat you if you let it. Instead, embrace defeat and let it be the incredible backstory of personal and startup success.
Also, always remember to be around people who support you and listen to you. Share your sad stories to those who can understand and who are in the same place as you. The next time you’ll meet it’s going to be a competition on who has the worse luck in life.
Always acknowledge your accomplishments and celebrate your wins, as well. You earn it, and you know you’ve made it when the flowers are already blooming. Take a step back in your slump and you know you can outwit it more. It is like playing in a video game, in which at first you cannot move beyond the first level, but once you made it, you will want to do it again and again. You are now more confident in conquering other levels to come.
Lastly, once you have finished all the steps, do it all again. You can learn more from habit and repetition, than doing it once and forgetting about it. Practicing this strategy and making this a habit will build your self-security and will make you tougher with all the challenges to come.
Feeling at ease in uncomfortable situations might be terrifying at first, like petting a wolf. But with persistence and the will to use uncomfortable experiences as drivers of positive change, you’ll eventually learn to recognize these challenges as guideposts on the path towards startup success.
Interested in learning more about startup success? Contact me today and let’s talk.