“Prepare not to Fail, Don’t Fail to Prepare” – Me 🙂
So this is a concept that I feel very strongly about. The idea that when starting a new venture you must prepare yourself for anything. Not to be pessimistic, yet you must expect things to go wrong. You must expect things to get REALLY tough.
Here are a few items that I always just assume will happen, so if and when they do, I am ready. Now I’m not saying that all these things will happen to all entrepreneurs, in fact I’m simply itemizing things that I deal with like almost 100% of the time.
-People will be complacent and lazy: Look we are human beings and sometimes we allow ourselves to become overwhelmed by life’s details, whether it be family, work, etc. In fact, the stresses of the actual venture becomes very draining and leads to you making excuses to be lazy.
-Expect to feel like quitting: You will feel like quitting at some point during the course of your venture. It may be that you have worked yourself to the point that you are just exhausted or perhaps your company is moving slower than you expected.
The point is that something will make you feel like quitting, yet the key is to expect that moment to happen, and because you were prepared, it becomes a non factor. You might say to yourself “I knew this would happen, let me fix the issue and move on”. Needless to say people, quitting in not an option. Quitters Don’t Win, and Winners Don’t Quit – a Southwester Company Bookman quote.
-Expect Delays: Face it, especially when developing software, there will always be delays. So when planning your sales initiatives don’t over promise a prospect or partner. If you promise a deadline or a product that you cannot meet, you will look silly and disorganized. And although, this may not totally tarnish the relationship, its still not a good way to begin a relationship.
-Expect Disagreements: Look if you seriously doing a start up, its because you have an opinion and have the ambition to make special things happen. In fact, I have never met an entrepreneur who didn’t have an opinion. So, expect that your partners will have opinions that at times will conflict with yours. And guess what; that’s ok! Be open to others’ ideas, comments, etc.
Others will not pull their weight (make sure you do!): This admittedly drives me freaking crazy. All I have to say about this is, IT WILL HAPPEN. So what do you do? Well, assess the true value of this or these people and contributions to date. If you know, that they are valuable and have contributed, then you RESPECTFULLY address the issue.
You might just find out that there are some legitimate issues around why they are not pulling their weight. With that said, ultimately you can only control what you do and make sure that you are doing what you have committed to do.