Startup Founder's Crisis of Confidence

The chances are that if you have ever tried to do something totally new to you, like starting your own company, you have had to find away of dealing with your own fear of failure.

The thing with being at the "top" is that you need to make a lot more decisions, and a lot of the time you won't have good data to help you choose. Having a vision for your venture will help you make polarising decisions based on whether they agree with the vision. For a great deal of the time you will need to rely on your intuition.

"If we have data, let’s look at data. If all we have are opinions, let’s go with mine." - Jim Barksdale, former CEO of Netscape.

Launching a startup, like with any unproven product, means that you are going to have to deal with doubters. You are going to have to be comfortable that you can sell your idea in the face of scepticism and doubt. For those, like me who are used to having a brand behind them, this can be a real challenge. On the up side it will make you grow by finding the strength that comes from doing something you believe in.

"The more time you spend in control the more you will feel confident... " - Anon sports coach.

The thing you need to remember about running a startup is that your main role is to sell your concept to customers, investors and others. Unless you are blessed with the salesman's touch of being able to 'sell ice to Eskimos' you need to find your way of selling. The first and most important thing to remember is to be confident. If you need to step up your game then there is one little trick that can help: confidence is transferable. By that I mean that you can boost your confidence using an unrelated activity and use that to help you in other situations.

"If you aren't falling off then you aren't trying hard enough" - Anon sports coach

It's important to remember that whatever you do to help you keep your reserves of Confidence topped up; if you are truly trying to change things, you have to start with changing yourself, and expect to fail and use what you learn to move forward . Lots of very successful athletes have talked about how many times they failed in order to succeed. Perhaps it is also fair to say that they never accepted that bitter taste of defeat. Instead they learn from their mistakes and continue to push themselves beyond their current understanding of their limits.

One of the most common issues working on an unfunded startup is that you have to become a jack of all trades. While it is important to be flexible, spending a lot of time doing things you are just learning can present challenges. Remember that in a startup you have the best chance of everyone is maximising their potential.

Bottom line : even if you are a CEO, take the time to enjoy what you are good at and challenging yourself to grow outside of your job. Your feelings about your wider life will translate into you being a better leader and ultimately to your bottom line.

No comments:

Post a Comment