Starting anything at all is not an easy task, it gets even more difficult when you’re starting a business which is an endeavour that takes a lot from the startup founder.
A few things are expected to change such as routines, schedules amongst others. Many startup founders do not realize early in their journey how much their new business is going to affect their lives and they are often not prepared for such changes. There are therefore a few things startup founders could learn to improve their lifestyle.
One of the most important things an entrepreneur should learn very fast is time management. More than anything, you would have to spend more time working than you probably have been accustomed to. If that is going to be the case for the next few years, you should be getting prepared for some lifestyle changes.
The first thing you should learn as an entrepreneur is that you could be working round the clock. Many entrepreneurs find out that they are working almost throughout the day. A new idea could pop up in your mind at 2am and it could be 6am before you turn off the lights again. You have to get prepared for more work. You should study the experiences of other entrepreneurs such as Alan Safahi, a six time startup founder to understand what you are up against.
For a startup founder, learning how to say no could be a life-saving skill. You have to realize that you cannot attend every function, you cannot be at every brunch, you cannot attend every meeting. These meetings are indeed sometimes, very crucial for networking and of course, business growth. That is why you should be able to determine which ones require your physical appearance more than the others. If not, you would find yourself socializing more than you are actually working, which of course, is bad for business.
On the other hand, you could learn to delegate if you can. If you already have team members or a partner, it would be such a great idea to learn how to transfer some of the work or outings that do not necessarily require your personal touch to them.
You should also know that stress is likely to set in and you definitely should avoid that as much as you can. Stress is bad for business. Sooner or later, it would start to take its toll on your effectiveness at work.
A startup founder should learn to be part of a community. There is no need to isolate yourself or your business from other people who are also entrepreneurs. There is so much to be learnt from a community of startup founders who have gone through what you are going through now or even have the same experiences as you at the moment. Apart from experiences, startup founders can access funds when they are part of a community.
If only for encouragement, apart from the network, being part of a community is good for an entrepreneur. You can join communities where you can learn from business experts like Alan Safahi.
Also, as startup founders, trying to nurture a new business, there is often the huge temptation of neglecting some other areas of life. Learn to fight that temptation as hard as you can. Connect with the people in your life and do not cease to enjoy life itself.
Finally, you must be prepared to not get paid for a long time. “To a startup, cash is like oxygen” says Alan Safahi. “You have to be very diligent with your expenditures including but not limited to what you pay yourself and your co-founders and early employees”.
Most startups run out of cash and fail while trying to achieve product / market fit. It usually takes 3x as much time and costs 3x as much as expected so it is very important for startup founders to conserve cash as much as possible.
This bootstrapping period could last anywhere from 2-3 years so preparing ahead of time and lowering your personal overhead and financial commitments can make this period a lot less stressful.