My top 3 lessons learned during my first year as start-up founder
I maintain a “Lessons Learned (LL)” list and have captured 50+ only for 2019, which means I practically had at least 1 LL PER WEEK 😱 😀. I love learning and making mistakes as it means that I’m growing and stuff is happening. So, as a way to reflect on a few a little deeper, I thought I’d share my top 3 from 2019:
LL 1: In order to sacrifice you have to believe.
Entrepreneurship comes at high costs: not only are you taking financial and personal risks, it is also an incredibly lonely journey at times. As much as friends & family can support you, sometimes it is impossible to understand what one goes through. When you hit yet another bump in the road, it is so easy to just give up. However, what you actually should be doing is to focus on fixing the road ahead ASAP so you can continue on high speed. Finding the strength to do this is hard if you don’t deeply believe in what you are trying to achieve, because you have to deal with yet another voice in your head trying to talk you into quitting — and that is really the last thing you need…
➡️ You have to know your WHY, otherwise it will be difficult to push through the hard times.
LL 2: Everything really is figureoutable.
Inspired by Marie Forleo’s famous book “Everything is figureoutable” I can only say that it really is but you have to want it, too. Take, for example, becoming a better leader. Contrary to my — over many years wrongly held belief — that leadership skills are primarily acquired through years of experience, and after making a few errors, I thought to myself: “I don’t have time to wait for this, I need to figure this out NOW!!!”. As I’ve started learning from the top thought leaders in the field, I now appreciate that all leadership skills are universal and need to be learned & thoroughly studied once (and the how refined constantly).
➡️ Even if the shoes look way too big for you, there are ways to make them fit.
LL 3: Your ego & pride have absolutely 0 space in your life
As a founder who wants to see their business succeed, you have to do whatever it takes and whatever you are good at to help it to grow. Put it simply, you have to concentrate on your strengths and not your weaknesses. If you are lacking skills in a specific area and want to take up the task regardless because you think your role will be perceived as more important or valuable (the ego looooves these feelings), you are definitely on the wrong track and not helping anyone or anything to succeed. The value lies in what you are actually good at.
➡️ Your business is driven by your level of output, not ego.
If you don’t have a LL list yourself yet, I highly recommend you create one in 2020. It is a great way to keep track, reflect and avoid making the same mistakes all over again. I truly see huge value in making mistakes but find it unnecessary to repeat them once you know how to do it better. Live and learn 🙏