As a startup entrepreneur, you must think big to make an impact on the world. And this is one of the best parts of leading a startup. Often, thinking big is also a burden, because you have to understand both the present and the future simultaneously.
Talking about big visions feels good because it is often very inspiring. But when you are executing that vision and making it real, you might feel many emotions – from frustration and panic to excitement and happiness.
As a startup leader, many things seem foggy, and each day, without complete certainty, you try to ensure that you and your company will succeed. Outsiders might think that your path has been straight and clear, but it really most often is a mess, with all the ups and downs. I would describe it as an emotional rollercoaster.
You need to have a real doer’s attitude and keep your focus clear. To put it simply, this seems like the best way to make your visions show up in real life.
As a startup leader, you compete against yourself
I have felt all the emotions when running a startup, and I understand why so many people are not willing to be involved with startups. It is extremely challenging and hard, but at the same time, it can be very rewarding when you are doing the things you feel are important and often very meaningful. The ongoing uncertainty is always there, and I think that it’s not possible to completely get used to that.
When you start, you are not competing against others. You are competing against yourself. How can you keep on going when your path is covered with obstacles? One of the most important things is to keep your focus on the future. You need to remind yourself daily about what you want to accomplish and the impact you want to achieve.
Especially if your product is not yet launched, you are kind of living in the present and in the future at the same time. You talk about the things that will be when you succeed. This is when you must continue believing in yourself and your vision and gather a group of people around you who share your vision.
You have to understand the future
Many entrepreneurs like to think that by being an entrepreneur, you create the future yourself. It is a nice thought and can be true for some. It is also a motivator to do things, because it really gives you the feeling that you can make an impact. But in order to make that impact, you have to map out your path from the present to the future.
As a potential builder of the future, you know that the future you dream of cannot exist without your hard work and getting other people onboard. The key is to build a vision of something people want to follow and then get people involved. When you hire people that are better than you, that is when miracles start to happen – or so it will feel for you.
One thing I think people should do more often is invite researchers onboard. I have purchased trend reports and studies from academics, and it has helped me to move forward with valuable insights. I have done this with hypotheses in mind, which I then ask researchers to test; I want to know if my theories agree with their data or not.
But there are also more widely available tools to help you predict the future or the world into which we are heading. Google trends help you with current trends on the internet, and you can use that information to your advantage. Then there are also tools to predict your resources: Harvest Forecast helps you realize how much time your team uses and what the cost is approximately going to be.
A solid foundation helps to overcome obstacles
We use HubSpot on our platform and collect feedback every day to see what works and what does not, which tells us what we should prioritize. It’s about utilizing data better, and that forms the foundation of Prönö. The right tools help you and your team do your daily work in a more systematic way. For me, the right tools have helped me focus on what’s important.
There are challenges you can prepare yourself for and some that you have to face unprepared. For a leader in a startup, it’s important to have the foundation built as solidly as possible. This means good financial management and a firm understanding of how your company finances work.
Financial management is easily overlooked. However, it’s essential to have a firm understanding of how your business finances work. After all, it’s hard to build a successful business if the finances are hazy.
Here’s where our sponsor Holvi can help. Their business account helps you understand your finances and keeps you in the know on how your business is doing – and helps you see the path to your monetary goals a bit more clearly.
So you can make sure your startup becomes the success you visioned.
This article is sponsored by Holvi. Holvi is business banking for self-employed people who want to manage their finances quickly, easily and digitally. It’s an online business account combined with invoicing, expense management, streamlined bookkeeping and powerful real-time business insights. Everything in one place – to calm the chaos of self-employment.