The hardest part of a startup
It's not always a dance party. One of the most common questions people ask me is: “What’s the hardest part of going from a corporate job to starting your own gig?” Most think it’s the incredible amount of work. While the ambiguity of it all can be a lot, the actual amount I work today is not that different from the amount I worked in my corporate job. And, I don’t travel nearly as much. So here are the top six hardest parts of a startup… IMO of course.
The business always feels like a direct reflection of you. So it's hard not to feel like you have to be involved in everything. The towel color, the text in the email receipts, getting cc'd on every single email that comes in. It's not sustainable, and not where I should be spending my time, but it's hard to let those things go.
Because it's personal, it's also emotional. Sometimes, seemingly simple things can be far more emotional than they used to be. Someone wanted to return something? Why? Wait, what was wrong with it? Did they not like it? Do they have feedback? Should we do something differently? More importantly, if someone on our team is upset about something, I completely own it and labor over it. This place feels like an extension of my family in my heart, so it's hard to be transactional about things, which is good, but also can get in the way when you need to get some sleep.
Finding the right team
Finding the right team is absolutely critical to success anywhere. But in a start up, you have to find people who share your vision vs. people who are just looking for a job or a place where they are trying to find their own platform. Creating a team with people who share your vision makes driving the business easy.
It’s easier to stay right here
The good news is that we’re good. The bad news is that we’re good. To not even be two years in and have two productive studios is awesome. But that’s not the vision. We’re just getting started because we believe there is significant white space for Fly Feet to grow. The easier path would be to stop here. The hard work lies ahead.
Knowing the right next step
I wrote a blog about the ambiguity trap. There is no roadmap for building something from nothing. You literally have to make it up as you go. Having the confidence to forge ahead where the answers aren’t clear is hard. And then when it’s personal and easier to take the easy way out and it’s all your money … yeah, that’s hard….
The money thing
Every start up is different and there are many different ways to capitalize a business. (Probably another blog?) But when you take all of the above and then add to it that you’ve got a lot of what you’ve worked your whole life for tied up in it, and at the moment, your pay package looks a lot different from your corporate job? Well … BRB, gotta get a drank!!
It’s awesome to hear from others that we’re crushing it. As far as I’m concerned, we have the best team in the business working so hard every day to build something different and meaningful in a very crowded marketplace filled with very formidable competitors. BUT, behind all of the pics on Insta, you should know that while it’s the most rewarding and fulfilling job I’ve ever had, it’s by far the hardest, but not for reasons you might expect.