A few things I’ve learned so far…
- Keep your End Deliverable in Mind
Before beginning a task, it’s spend a little time to think on the desired outcome. For example, let’s say you want to research on a topic. Are you going to just jot down some notes or are you going to provide a 1-page summary? Similarly, when planning out my week, I ask myself: “What am I going to deliver / produce / create this week?”. Then I work my way back and note all the steps I need to take to get there. This way, my week is focused on producing some specific value rather a series of poorly strung, random tasks.
- Learn to Trust and Let Go.
It’s easy to always want to be in the loop. You want to know what everyone’s working on and make sure you share your opinion on it. This is the common behavior seen at startups of “transparency” and “highly collaborative”. The reality is that this behavior makes sense at very early states (like co-founder stages). But as the team grows this isn’t scalable. You don’t know enough on each topic such that your opinion matters. You can’t be involved with everything. This solution to this growth challenge is to learn to trust and let go. Respect your colleague’s decisions and remove your ‘sense of responsibility’ over the outcome. Believe me, they’ll appreciate you for it, and you’ll have more time + energy to focus on all the “high-impact” work you have to do.
- Process > Product
Great talent doesn’t build great products. This is an outlier situation that simply isn’t true. Successes don’t happen overnight. Great products aren’t build on the first try. When trying out new things or building something, focus more on the process than the product itself. Employ a “Growth Mindset” focused on persistence and continuous learning. Trust that iteration 1, and iteration 2 won’t be perfect. Trust that if you have a solid process in place and a culture that embraces challenges and fosters experimentation; you will eventually be able to build a great product.
That’s it for this set, I hope these lessons help you tackle the challenges faced in your startup adventures!
Cheers till next time!