You have an idea. A great idea. It keeps you awake at night and it’s all you can think about. For the next few months you put all of your blood, sweat, fears and tears into this new project and you’re sure that you’re about to set the world on fire and make the money of your dreams.
Then from out of nowhere, uncertainty creeps in like a thick, black suffocating blanket and you start doubting your ability to even pull this start-up off at all. Fears paralyse you and you are looking at failure right in the face.
Don’t worry, you are not alone. In fact the emotional start-up cycle is a very real phenomena and it goes something like this:
- This is awesome, I can do this
- This is tricky, but I think I can do this
- This is hard, I don’t think I can do this
- This is impossible, I can’t do this at all, what was I thinking – I will fail
- This might be okay, I might keep trying
- This is awesome, I’ve got this (I think)
The Start-Up Cycle’s Journey of Emotions
So how do you navigate your way through the emotional start-up rollercoaster ride and how exactly do you ensure you make it through numbers three and four with enough energy to push on?
Here’s a little dose of inspiration to keep you moving through the cycle on the path to start-up greatness:
Don’t lose sight of the big picture – the very reason you started this project in the first place. Ideally you identified a need or a problem and found a solution. Don’t get swept up in the finer details and the hurdles and chicanes in your path. Keep an eye on the purpose of your project, the problem it will solve and the audience it will help. Let this be a motivator and stay true to your purpose.
Hunger is a driving force for any start-up and it’s the one thing that can fade and get swallowed up in all of the challenging times. Hunger really is the difference between where you are now, and where you want to be. It’s the best motivator you can get. Stay hungry, remind yourself of the end goals and where you want to be. Put these desires up on the walls around you like affirmations and look at them every day as a reminder.
Block Out The Noise
Along the journey, you will have people telling you lots of different things. Some will encourage you along the way, some will be riddled with negativity and only see the challenges. There will also be people who will straight up tell you, you will fail. It’s hard to know who to listen to and who to block out completely. You need to listen to some of the negativity in order to consider all variables, be prepared and make educated decisions (don’t bury your head in the sand). Keep an open mind, calm yourself and don’t be afraid to let negative people go. Sometimes they’re toxic to the project.
Talk It Up, But Not Often
Sometimes people fall into the trap of talking their project to proverbial death. They talk about it so much, that it exhausts them. They fall in love with the idea of the project, not the hard yards needed to bring the project to life. This is common in many start-ups, where the creator will run out of creative energy before the product or service gets to market. Keep conversations tight and short and share only with those who will help levitate you. And most of all, talk it up to yourself. Keep your head up and know that no matter what you do, you’ll more than likely have to ride out the storms of numbers three and four at some point during the cycle. Remember, you’ve got this!
We’d love to hear about how you navigated the start-up maze. Leave your comments below and let us know if you experienced the cycle and what you did to overcome it…
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