Building a business is hard work. Many successful entrepreneurs suggest that a startup founder should invest more time on improving himself than on his startup.
Starting a company is a lot like riding on a roller-coaster. You feel excited before getting on afterward you pray hard to stop it. Building a business takes loads of energy, attention, skills and more. Most importantly it does not work out in first try. You will fail, again and again. You will have to wait to enjoy the taste of epiphany. But in the midst of all these changes if you work harder on yourself and on developing your skill and making yourself rounded it will stay with you all the time.
I have found that it’s not idea that matters. Rather startup success is the product of perspiration, focus and effective efficiency. It’s about people. Who you are and who you want to be makes a lot of difference. So, I have selected few areas of my startup life to work on and to improve through the way.
Share Everything And Build Your Network
Looking back, one of the things that has helped me the most when starting Buffer was the fact that during the year and a half I was working on my previous startup, I was consistently sharing my progress via Twitter, Facebook and blogging. ~Buffer Founder Joel
Building network is critical for your personal growth and for success of your startup. Above quote from Buffer Founder & CEO Joel is very relevant in-terms of how to build your network and how it can help you.
The rule is: give more.
Circa CEO and serial entrepreneur Matt Galligan gives a profound insight on building network:
You need to find a group of people that are like-minded individuals that you can talk to and really jump into that community. The other option is if you flat-out do not have access — let’s say you’re somebody that wants to be an entrepreneur and you’re in rural North Dakota — look for the nearest conference. Even one afternoon at a conference is valuable, just buy the plane ticket. Then you start to expand that community and learn. But the golden rule at all times is that you never try to get to a final conclusion in the very first interaction.
My personal experience with networking suggests that you have to be smart in some way, leave your self-doubt behind and be vocal in order to build a network. I’m an introvert and I think being an introvert is not a barrier to making connection. Stay true to yourself and share what you know.
Exercise And Sleep
Startup is an hour game. You need to put thousands of hours behind it. Spend some time to keep yourself fit. Work on your schedule and keep some hours to excise. Make sure you are having enough sleep. Many people think that staying awake and working late in night help them to do more. But what science says about sleep contradicts popular belief of staying late and work harder philosophy. When you sleep late it hampers your fitness and reduces your capacity to focus and reduces your overall productivity.
Recently I have started running in the morning and I can tell you it makes huge difference. It’s a totally different operating standard before and after exercise.
Work On Improving Every Aspect Of Yourself
When you’re doing a startup, it’s hard to separate life and work. Therefore, why not work away on yourself just like you do on your startup? Plan the necessary disengagement from the startup just as carefully as you’d plan the time you work on it. If you can systematically improve and expand your skills, then whether this one works out or not, you’ll always be in an increasingly better position as the weeks and months pass. ~Joel, Founder & CEO, Buffer
Invest time on improving your skills and other aspects of your life. Practice speaking, writing, blogging and more. Learn a new skill. Work on your human skill. Be a public speaking master.
Read Books. Read More Books
Reading is a habit that will keep your center solid for years to come. Read loads of pages. Read books on building startup, happiness, building team, travelling and more. Reading will open up your mind, expand your perspective, make you wise, and give you idea.
I try to read at least four books per month and try to start month with a reading list and stay true to it. I find reading extremely fascinating and happiness boosting.
Give Back To The Community Work
Try your best to give back to your community. Get Involved. Support and Participate. Help people around you. Help startups who are struggling.
For many Founders public appearance is hard for two reasons: they can’t manage schedule which is good to some extent and they can’t stand public gathering let alone speaking. Many of the successful entrepreneurs confessed that they were utterly uncomfortable with public speaking at the beginning. But it takes time to become good at anything. Do more what intimidates you. Get involved in couching, public speaking and mentoring.
What are doing everyday to make yourself better?