Startups really do require a personality with a different way of looking at life.
Most people, in life, are seeking these kinds of things from work:
And it’s very important to keep in mind that if you want to (or are) doing a startup, those norms *don’t exist*
What we’re in for must be something other than those norms because those norms don’t exist in a startup; at least, not yet anyway. If you’re trying a startup in order to HAVE those, you’re in for a bad time.
Successful founders are Mission driven and otherwise motivated:
- Proving something
- Solving something
- Creating something new
- Helping society
Those motivations must be as great or greater than something even as obviously needed as money.
Money MIGHT come, but accomplishment WILL come.
Many great advisors and even psychologists have pointed out that “entrepreneur” is actually a fairly border-line questionable personality trait. It’s almost psychotic, truly! (psychosis: emotions are so impaired that contact is lost with external reality) Which is not saying it is psychotic, I said it’s nearly so: you are doing things abnormal to reality and willingly taking on pain/hardship to do so.
We’re not like 99% of people. We like chaos, uncertainty, and great risk likely to fail. That’s not normal, it’s rather psychotic to WANT that. And you know what I’m talking about… Your family and friends don’t get it, they don’t really understand, and can’t comprehend why you keep going, when any sane person would go back and get a job.
And so HOW do you persevere? You also have to be counter-culture.
This is why people in startups say odd things like “celebrate the failures!” Rather than celebrating the little wins.
Why?? That’s nuts right?? Except it’s not, in this kind of work. Because Mission Driven Change the World People don’t have wins to celebrate until it’s accomplished. And because Fails aren’t Quits! Fails are lessons. Fails are progress (discovering what not to do).
Celebrate the things normal people don’t celebrate because you’re not normal. We’re not normal.
- Celebrate the criticism. (They’re idiots)
- Celebrate the lost customer. Learn and do better.
- Celebrate the stolen idea. (They’re going to suck at it anyway)
- Celebrate when someone quits on you. Seriously!!! Because in startups, rapid turnover of the wrong people is a good thing!
When what you’re doing is a little crazy, relative to normal working people, then what you celebrate should be a little crazy too. Stop beating yourself up about what normal people strive for because if you wanted what they have, you could go get a job.