A personal diversion for a minute.
I’ve been full time in PurrMetrix for six months and I’ve learnt a tonne of stuff. And the biggest of these is energy management. My own.
The popular conception of an entrepreneur is a constant manic whirl of energy (with occasional forays into black depression and/or megalomania). Truth is, I think that image hurts business because it makes normal humans like me think a startup is not for mortals.
Until I started to rub shoulders with founders at Business of Software and it became obvious to me that starting a business is a marathon, not a sprint. And I run marathons. I know what it takes – it takes regular, committed, disciplined preparation.
This crops up as a common theme in so many entrepreneurial blogs. From Amy Hoy’s excellent excellent work on bootstrapping at UnicornFree to Steli Efti’s invaluable advice on selling for startups, managing your energy so you can continue to show up every day and lift the bar a little bit higher – that’s what makes the difference.
Lessons learnt in six months of managing my energy:
1) be able to answer the ‘what’s the point’ question. It’s hardly ever: ‘so I can make a pile of money’ because that is more reliably achieved by a career in the Law. Or dentistry.
2) be content with ‘good enough’ knowing that with practise good enough will turn into excellent. See also: this blog
3) learn to dissociate emotional state from actions. Don’t deny your feelings, just don’t let them stop you doing the things you need to do
4) there is no shame in doing things the lazy way if that gets you what you need
If you believe Seth Godin, I’ve got 5.5 more years to go before I know if PurrMetrix will be a success. One thing I do know – no-one ever survives a six year sprint.