At the fountain of knowledge, three types of people come. Those who taste it, some gargle and spit it, Finally there is the type who drinks and digests it.
So you want to start a startup, not a big deal. You just need to find a great idea, possibly that never existed before. Work for 3-4 years on it and you will make it big – right? WRONG.
Its like saying I need to lose weight or join the gym for 3-6 months and I will have that perfect, chiseled wash board abs or loss of 30 pounds weight. Statistics shows that over 90% of people who reach their dieting goals eventually gain all the weight back, and usually add some more. Same way majority of the people don’t maintain their abs.
90% of the statups shut down after three years of launch. In another six years 90% of the other left over statups wrap up the business. It’s not that competition kills them, but founders lose interest. It’s committing suicide by the startup guru Paul Graham.
We start passionately towards it, but somewhere down the line- container gets depleted.
Do you see a common pattern here? Either its one health goal or one IDEA you want to execute. Isolated goals never become ingrained part of our life and growth.
Passion leads us to do the initial 5% of the required work. This is the glamorous period where newness of the situation provides the energy.
Execution = 5% passion + 95% determination.
True mastery and execution of an idea/skill requires changes to many of your other habits, behaviors and attitude – which may not be completely related to what you think is required. Its building a series of positives habits and a lifestyle which truly reflects the kind of person you want to be. This comes as a “complete package” of you. This is called DETERMINATION.
This is why investors don’t invest in ideas, but people. The kind of personality who can hit execution from different angles.
Sometimes even without determination you might get instant success, but that doesn’t last. This why you have over night startup success stories or people on crash diet. But without a foundation supporting it you will lose it all. You haven’t grown as a person that quickly and the success is not a reflection of you. Have you heard of the lottery winners who lost all the money within Five years of winning it.
Most people exert their willpower on temporary fixes rather than life-long habits such as decision making, politics, time management, communication, action,
planning, learning, negotiation, conflict-management, advertising, marketing, teamwork,
faith, belief, charisma, power, and a host of other combinations.
As I discussed previously – Running a startup means understanding yourself through self discipline, understanding others through psychology and then applying this knowledge on the skill/idea you are pursuing.
Let’s take a look at what happens when you start to create a new lifestyle for yourself.
Changing yourself means creation of anxiety within. Your psyche is equipped with layer after layer of defense mechanisms designed to shoot down anything that might keep things from staying exactly where they are!
It’s the thing your ego is saying to you in order to prevent you from having to do the hard work of improving. Remember, misery is comfortable. It’s why so many people prefer it. Happiness takes effort.
When confronted with building new habits and discipline. We have these common reactions.
1: Avoidance: thinking too much and not taking any actions – analysis paralysis. We make it intentionally bad to make it clear to everyone else that this isn’t our real effort. Our real effort would have been amazing. This is a classic indecision block.Once you know what needs to be done – you don’t act on it. Here you are playing the “rat” from hare,tortoise and rat fable. Where rat suffered from indecision and didnot run the race. Choosing to protect its ego rather than run the race and risk failure. Good thing with making decisions is to make them even if turns out to be wrong later. If it was a right decision then it helps your conscience, if a wrong one then helps your intuition.
2: Play victim: If only i had…, my competitors sucks, but are stealing the deal, this startup is not going anywhere it’s hopeless, what if tomorrow xyz happens!, market these days is…, nobody gets me, blaming it on the other department/people like marketing, product, design, engineering, and a bunch of hundreds of excuses.
3: Impulsive actions: This is where doing things impulsively without thinking through. Buying a lot of startup books, magazines, seminars. Excessively attending conferences, networking events and parties. Reading all the tech blogs, watching interviews. Spending a lot on business cards, t-shirts, office space.
They are all temporary fixes that lower our anxiety, but if the original
Sources of that anxiety are still present—loss or fear of loss, or lack of confidence about a
Particular aspect of life, then we see a rise of anxiety again soon after indulging our
addiction. Anxiety signals you that you have fears, challenges, changes or risks to face and rise to.
4: Courage is the only way out of problems with anxiety, victimization, impulsivity,and lack of confidence.
Consider that knowing “the right thing” to do comes from your two inner
decision-making resources, conscience and intuition! Conscience tells us whats the right thing to do and intuition tells us how the environment will react to our decision. Courage then, is not bravery, not fearless or any other thing we lack or acquire—it is a decision!
This concept of courage is one of the hardest character skills to build because it doesn’t involve too much thinking and analyzing—one simply has to think of the “right thing” to do, then go do it. That’s courage. It’s an act that almost never can take place in front of a computer. It has to happen out there in the real world.
There it is – the law of 10,000 hours drilled into us!