So you think… you are a crazy being an entrepreneur (part 3)

27 08 2009


Oh no, this can’t be happening…

Excerpt from the article from Pam Slim

Square Three: The Hero’s Saga

Description: You whittle down your big list of business ideas to one that appears to be viable. You launch the business. Everything goes wrong. People criticize you. You question your sanity.

Mantra: This is much worse than I expected, and that’s okay

Recommendation: Don’t get flustered. Expect that things will go wrong. Do not beat yourself up when they do. Focus on tweaking, learning from mistakes, and moving forward. Surround yourself with smart people and good support.


That is the moment when a strong mindset makes a hell of a difference. Be prepared for things to go wrong but don’t “expect” it. Expect things to turn right. You have to carry around the mental image of success. I’m a big believer in the “blink” theory of decision. But for it to work, you have to feed the right brain, the right images.
I also like to add an “affirmation“. Something that will pop-up in your brain, to moment you loose your edge. Something that will keep your mental toughness up. Important because Tough calls are pouring in usually…
Once that image is in place, once an “affirmation” is found. I usually get into…
Getting crystal clear on what you want, what you really really want out of this….
It’s also the time when a regular “brain dump” is in order…
Finally, if things begin to turn sour (It should habe been done in the startup process too…)

What are you ready to lose?
Once you set “what” you are ready to lose, and until “when” you’re willing to play a “losing” game, funny enough, pressure drops. These measurable milestones are trigger points. Think about it once, thoroughly then put them aside.
Think about

  • career
  • money,
  • friends&family
  • your self-esteem.

What is your edge on each of hese topics ?
When you you consider you went overboard ?
Think-decide-act on it!
That way, once it’s done, the dwelling falls behind you, it frees up your mind for more productive thought processes.
If you have the right attitude and the right habits to cope with the risk and uncertainties of those four realms, you will “survive” that particular era of your entrepreneurial life.
As I said in part 1 and 2, keep that Ready-Fire-Aim attitude all the time
Do surround yourself with good people. Play on their strengths. Don’t waste time learning stuff you’re no good at or you don’t like. It’s a waste of time and energy. THIS is not the time! Find people for whom these topics are real strengths (talent and knowledge) and hire them. Be clever about it. Who can you get on your advisory board ? Who said you had to hire someone 40hrs a week. Think about Virtual Assistans, and former CEO\CTO\COO\CFO of large corporation that are looking for just a few hours a week.
Starting up involves lots of iterations (I’ll talk about that in another post).

Be ready

Ego and decisions

2 12 2008

Part of being a strong entrepreneur is having a healthy Ego but the Ego gets in the way of many decisions (often the bad ones). In this case, it will certainly have an impact on the decision to “hang on”. Recognizing this and treading the fine line between pride and ego will dictate what the best decision is and put the entrepreneur in a better state of mind for the second round.

From the book BusinessThink

Here is a way of analyzing if your Ego is in the way

Warning signs:

Showcasing your brilliance
Seeking approval: Do you give the unvarnished truth?
Being defensive: Do you present your solutions as Hypothesis or facts ?

An Ego will:
1- Magnify information to get more meaning
2- Filter: discard information contrary to your position
3-Alter: Adjust information to validate your position
4-Fabricate: Information that suits your need

the Ego Test

  • When someone is giving me constructive feedback I get defensive
  • I often interrupt people because their point is irrelevant or inferior. I get uptight around people who are more powerful
  • I’m afraid to share candid thoughts for fear others may not agree
  • I spend more time talking than listening
  • I perceive people surrounding me as bosses or employees more than colleagues
  • When someone challenges my idea, I take it personally
  • I am surprised when people don’t agree with me
  • I sollicit feedback with the intent of hearing them talk favorably about me