Monday, 18 June 2018

How The Mental & Physical Fitness Of A Founder Can Impact A Start-up

Start-ups are a brutal game. They take a toll not only on your body but also your mental health. When a founder’s identity and self worth is wrapped up in the success or failure of their start-up, it has a negative impact on their overview of life.  If you are successful, you are feeling good, your ego is at its highest and you are on a roll. If your start-up is dipping and you don’t know how you will survive the quarter the stress levels go up. You doubt your capacity to deliver and can’t think clearly. Your judgments get clouded, leading to wrong decisions.

Fatigue and sleep deprivation is another trend seen in entrepreneurs. The unbalanced circadian rhythms affect their bodies adversely and harm their health in the long run. Work schedules that require them to be awake and active at inappropriate times, working extended periods high on caffeine cause disruption to the body clock. It is critical that entrepreneurs nurture their bodies as much as they nurture their start-up.

Here are some ways to counter these conditions:

Exercise for at least for 20 minutes. It could be as simple as going out for a run. Close the computer and leaving the phone at home. Going for a walk, sitting on a bench, taking a hot bath, watching movies or mediation can provide a powerful outlet.  Finding an activity that diverts your attention is critical, and is one of the many reasons exercise-related activities help.

Talk to a confidant or therapist. On stressful days it is a good habit to journal and vent out the emotions. Having to face your team when your venture is not doing as well as it should be especially stressful. Having a close network of people whom you can rely on and talk things out with works as a safety net

Regularize sleep, take naps. Power naps are a good relief to get your mind to be powered up get those brain cells working.

Take vacations, spend time with family. Identify monotony, journal daily moods and patterns this will help you to take a stalk of your emotional health. Monotony is a sign of burnout; it is good to take precautions to manage break downs.

Steer clear away from comparison. Competition is healthy but constant comparison is not beneficial. At the end of the day, you are the biggest asset of your start-up so invest in your personal well being and have a quantifiable approach to lifestyle. Here’s to staying focused, healthy, and weathering the hard days.

Friday, 15 June 2018

6 Strategies For Building A Winning Startup Team

1. Whom do you seek?

It is best to identify the potential traits that you would like to see in your team. Detailing out a profile for each prospective hire will give you a baseline of the right skills and abilities. When you know your non negotiable, it becomes easier to find your culture fit employee to build a strong team. These guidelines need not be hard and fast, once you start the hiring process you might learn that some points you listed are not actually what you need at the moment. 

2. What kind of attitude do you want to garner in your team?
While micromanaging might work in a corporate set up, the start-up is an environment where a lot of things are fluid. Can your potential candidate work in autonomy and not need supervision.
While it is not uncommon to find the word self starter on a lot on resume’s one way to find out is to invite the candidate into solving a real day problem at your start up and notice how they interact with the team and what kind of solutions they come up. Signing a non disclosure in such situations is a good practise.

3. How will you align visions?

Everyone on your team needs to be on the same page. If everyone is doing their own thing, there won’t be any progress hence alignment of vision is essential to your growth. A team with a collaborative approach has more chances to survive the hard times than a scattered team that has only personal agendas.

4.How will you promote teamwork?
There is never a ‘me’ in a team. While team building exercises are a go to option, it is important to not force them on the team. A better option is to create opportunities to get the team to volunteer together. This not only brings out the best in the individuals but also allows for natural interactions within the team.

5. Create an atmosphere of contribution 

It is important to create a culture where each individual is intrinsically motivated to meet defined goals and where their contribution is valued.

6. Bad apples

While handing out pink slips might be difficult, it is essential to be willing to take that call. A research conducted on 101 start-ups by CB Insights shows that 23% of the start-ups failed because the team was not right. Hence it is better to get rid of the bad apple before the entire culture is affected.

Don’t be in a hurry; building a formidable team takes time. Acknowledging the weakness and strengths in your team takes and improvising different skill that are compatible to your culture fit will need patience. Use your network and always be on the lookout, you just might fetch your next team member!