Meet the Team, Follow Progress and Enjoy the Ride

This blog is about the lives of a few entrepreneurs who are aiming to establish the next trend in social networking and the concept that will make it happen. Since our venture is all about connecting people together, we want to be involved and connected to you and we want you to be involved and connected to us. We'll be sharing with you: who we are, how we got started, how we’re doing and where we’re going...we're taking you along for the ride!!

Monday, August 6, 2007

Rites of Passage (Part III)

We’ve begun to discuss the rites of passage to getting a start-up off the ground. If this hasn’t become obvious yet from the previous post, it will in this post—starting a start-up will test your sanity in indescribably ways. What I can manage to convey in words…doesn’t even begin to explain it.

Accept Reality While Living in Fantasy

This is particularly applicable to the visionary(ies) for the start-up, the person who gave ‘birth’ to the idea and initiated the process of taking the idea to conception. From day one, this person has been carrying the load of his/her vision and has been busy rallying people behind it, imparting the vision and motivating others to follow him/her.

For this person, (and yes, I am that person) there’s a need to live in a world where the grandeur of the start-up exists in it’s full glory, because that is where the will to keep moving, to keep fighting and to keep giving 110% comes from…it’s the source of the enthusiasm, hope, and joy which must continuously be shared with others: partners, investors, vendors etc.

At the same time, this poor soul also has to stay grounded and accept reality. This is very tough when things aren’t going well or when progress is delayed. No one around possesses the same sense of urgency or burning desire to see things happen. (Just want to note. I’m talking in general terms, Martin is right there with me)

Everything has to be seen in a variety of dimensions, phases and stages…starting a start-up is not a single layer job, and the visionary behind it, has to exist in different places, at different times while never losing perspective or track of the house of cards.

The reason why this becomes very difficult for me is because I have a wild and vivid imagination. I can’t even impart the sheer size of the vision to most people or explain how clearly I can see it all…meanwhile, the reality SUCKS. However, only being positive and active in reality will bring about the vision.

I can jolt anyone interested in the world that exists in my imagination!!

Maintain Hope While Releasing Expectations

This isn’t about being passive or naive…this is necessary in order to maintain some sanity. Having hope means you believe, you trust and you have faith…this also means, you are detached from the outcome and releasing expectations. You trust and believe the right things will be done, the best outcome will be reached and the correct actions will be taken. (You hope while you supervise)

Leaders don’t have expectations…they impart a vision, they share their passion, they nurture, train and develop their people and then allow for right things to occur and for their people to raise to the occasion.

Having expectations is like carrying a very heavy ball and chain that you created for yourself. Surely, if you are dead set on having expectations, be sure you clearly communicate what they are, but don’t be surprised when those expectations aren’t met.

Hanging on to expectations is setting yourself up for constant disappointment. That is not the type of environment that is healthy for developing a strong start-up.

Hope is also a slippery slope…and heartaches are still plentiful, but growth, understanding and further development is built into it; be it your own or that of the people around you.

There will be times for expectations, for deliverables and for specific requirements—it just shouldn’t be the normal tempo or level of operation. The world cannot come crashing down if an expectation isn’t met. See, it’s always best to hope and be prepared with an alternative plan.

That’s the other thing with hope…it keeps you creative because you aren’t tied to being angry or disappointed.

Even as I write this—I know that I have way too many expectations and I know they are weighing me down. I come from a background that was very structured and failure to deliver had consequences…so I’m still learning to ease up!! However, don’t be fooled…it’s still necessary to hold people accountable, to express and convey a sense of emergency and foster a need for action.

More to come later…btw, the picture is from my time on the USS Essex.

1 comment:

Geoff_Livingston said...

Hang in there... You're a winner.