The last few months here at KK have been filled with excitement, change, adversity, and stress. When working in a start-up, there are struggles that no person can prepare you for and the number of rejections you have to hear to get a yes are enough to make most quit or have a nervous breakdown. However, if being an entrepreneur and realizing your dreams was easy then there wouldn’t be anything to separate us from the rest of the pack. This is graduation season and there are many new spirits coming into the business world that don’t know what is about to hit them. For those that are lucky enough to venture into a start-up here are 3 tips for surviving and thriving at a start-up.
1) This is the best time to use your out of the box thinking.
There are so many unknowns that it is much like being a contestant on Chopped (although you are sometimes blind, one-armed, and the clock is months not minutes). Most days you don’t know how many ingredients you will have and the stresses to deliver a high-quality product will require a keen ability to think outside of the box. Focus on getting your creative juices flowing and work toward new solutions on a daily basis. Much like a toddler, the company will grow up and it will become harder and harder to play in the sandbox, take advantage while you can.
2) Fail, reflect, apply changes, repeat.
This is going to be your routine for some time so prepare yourself for it. If you aren’t failing, you aren’t trying and in time your failures will be your biggest success stories. The key is to quickly reflect, apply changes, and move forward. You cannot let the fear of failure or the act of failure paralyze you. Get up, brush yourself off, and try again. You will hear plenty of no’s and feel your heart fall out many days, but on the others, when things click and go right, you will feel nothing but pride and excitement which will give you renewed energy.
3) Laugh every day and have a sense of humor.
This is probably the most important skill needed when living in a start-up world. You will find these are the most fun and exciting, yet most painful times in business. The rejection, uncertainty, and repeated failures will do their best to get you down. You must use your ability to laugh and sense of humor to keep your sanity. If you do not have this ability you should run quickly to safety in the form of an established company.
Start-ups are amazing places to invent, create, live your dreams, and discover your place in the world. Unfortunately only the strongest tend to survive and using these tips will help take you from surviving to thriving and your hard work will be celebrated.