It seems like entrepreneurship is sometimes like moving from one crisis to another. Either you’re running out of money or the big deal with the key customer is falling through or perhaps the product still has to many bugs to ship. And there’s always another week to put off starting the SBIR grant, until there’s not.
Urgency leads to desperation which is rarely attractive. If people sense you are desperate, it’s a sign your company will not be around much longer, which only aggravates the situation.
There’s this list of things you should “always” be doing:
- Selling – sell something as soon as possible.
- Raising capital – don’t until you run out of money to start raising the next round. Investors take their sweet time
- Customer discovery – Talk to new customers every week
- Innovation – “ideate” every day
There’s no easy answer. There are great tools and concepts that help manage time. Two I like are Jim Collins’ “Stop Doing List” and Steven Covey’s “First Things First” and of course the old fashioned To-Do list. Learn to recognize the things that are urgent but not important.
There is also your team. A great leader picks great teammates and delegates important tasks. It allows the opportunity to focus.
The chaos never goes away though. It is the nature of startups. So there’s one skill you’ll have to master and be comfortable with:
Fake it till you make it!!!
Blogging Gazelle is published daily by Shawn Carson