[first published on Under30CEO.com]
The fun thing is that you never know whether you’re on the right track or not. It is living life in small moments and the bigger picture at the same time.
You’re On A Trek
Imagine you’re on a trek. Keep looking at the peak every now and then. Are you nearer to it then you were before? If yes, keep focusing on the path, or make one that seems right. If the peak seems farther that it was before, realize which was the wrong turn and undo it. Ensure your team stays together, ensure all of them want the peak. Ensure each one of you wants to share the load while making your way to the top by sharing food and water among yourselves equally. The peak is the BIG PICTURE and your immediate path stands for the everyday challenges. Roadblock? Find a way. Thirsty? Find a stream. Leopard in your way? Knock it out (killing is cruel). One team member behaving like a douche? Show him the way down. Douche villager who is rude while showing the way? Still be polite (burn no bridges).
Losing steam? Look at the peak again! Breathe the friggin’ mountain air! Look at your strong legs, look at the clouds, look at the innocent birds chirping happily all around you- the world loves you. You love yourself. And you’re so strong that you’ve made it so far. You chose the mountain. You chose your team. You chose the path- built it, I’d say. You’ve settled in your niche, you know your purpose, you know where you’re headed. LOOK AT THE PEAK! And it will all make sense.
Uncertainty is Natural
Because no one is driving your life but you. You never know that you’re on the right track till the short term goals get fulfilled. Set milestones, they help you know that you’re on the right track. Product reached a certain stage? Good. People/Mentors appreciate the progress? Good. Team still motivated enough? Good. You figure out how you’ll make money? Good.
Understand the reason why you feel you’re back at Square One. Is it the progress at the project? Is it lack of team cohesion? Is it lack of financial security? If yes, then get things in order. List them, sort them out. Make sure the startup grows slowly but steadily. Is it purely emotional? Speak about it to your family, your better half. Feel loved.
The First Year Is Often Slow
It always is, because you’re out in the cold, trying to build something and making tonnes of mistakes. But you learn so darn much then, that helps you accelerate in the next year and after that. So don’t worry that you’re taking time, you’re learning in the process. But DO NOT get complacent and DO NOT take things as they come. You might need to initiate and lead and create and execute.
Where Is This Coming From?
From numerous conversations I’ve had with fellow business people, my own experience (2 years out in the cold till date), a number of blogs online and wonderful books I’ve read. You’re not alone, but you gotta do what you gotta do :)
Kick ass. Best wishes.