How to Fall in Love with Your Start-up Again
When the day-to-day grind starts to take the bliss away
PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images
Being in a romantic relationship doesn’t stray too far from running a start-up. Just like falling in love, realizing that big idea for the first time is thrilling. And turning that idea into reality takes as much work as keeping a relationship. Both require a long-term commitment to face whatever the future holds.
But when projects don’t go well, when cash flow problems arise, and when the day-to-day grind leaves one feeling exhausted, how can a start-up founder re-ignite the love and passion for the business?
Let us count the ways.
1. Accept that it will never be easy
“[W]hen it gets tough, and it will, caring deeply about the problem you want to solve will allow you to persevere as you struggle to get your initial partners, customers, and investors,” says Paul Rivera, founder and CEO of job discovery start-up Kalibrr.
Kalibrr has had its share of struggle. The AI-powered job portal had two painful pivots that prompted Rivera to make some of the most difficult decisions of his life — one of those is to let go of half of his pioneering team. They started as an online learning platform and when that didn’t work, the company became an assessments company.
It’s hard, but one must keep going. “[F]rom these two failures created the innovation that’s propelled us to the growth we have today,” he says.
2. Be grateful
“Sometimes you just don’t want to count your blessings, even when you know you should,” writes Minda Zetlin in this Inc. article.
When things in the business don’t go as planned, getting caught in all the negativity is easy. A start-up founder must learn to have a grateful heart to be able to lead and make a positive impact. Sparking a culture of gratitude in a start-up is essential when facing challenges because it fuels people to still do better in times of difficulty. One must realize that failure and negativity are inevitable parts of the business, but a grateful attitude can go a long way.
3. Go back to day one
After endless meetings and cups of coffee, after losing clients and funding opportunities, take a deep breath and go back to day one.
Remember that first morning in the office? Or that first meeting with the pioneering team? Think about the initial plans that were laid out on the whiteboard in an office room that can seat only five or six people. Think about how you felt during those times.
Go back to that first morning, that tiny office, and that same moment that sparked the idea in you in the first place. Take a moment to realize why staying in love with your start-up is worth it after all.