In the Game of Startups, Growing Pains Are Sore Muscles That Must Be Flexed

By Damien Mahoney

As an entrepreneur, people frequently ask me a series of pointed questions aimed at gauging true happiness—“You look tired, are you stressed?”; “You work so hard, but are you enjoying it?” I frequently read stories from founders and industry leaders about the challenges of running a start-up business, the sacrifices they make for the greater good, the sleepless nights, and times of darkness and deep introspection. And it’s true, it ain’t easy! But the blood, sweat and tears we shed should not all be construed as negatives.

There’s a bigger picture here, that is not revealed in all the tales of hardship.

Before founding Stackla, I played football–Australian Rules football–for 16 years. After every workout, game, training session, it’s not unusual that one feels fatigued, physically and mentally. It’s a satisfying pain that reminds you of the time you invested in the team, your teammates, yourself and your health. It equates to progress.

Leadership and growing pains in business are no different. Along the journey there will be moments of stress, anguish and exhaustion. But these are the battles scars we acquire along the path to success (or failure). They are earned; something is working. Sometimes pain is positive.

But when that pain seems a little less bearable, it’s important to pause and get perspective. Have an honest conversation with yourself. Is my position a burden or something I relish and will fight to the death to preserve? Am I ready to endure the hardship for the greater good?

How you perceive this responsibility is important, and this is my take:

I serve the team

It’s an honor to work alongside the people you do, because they could be spending their time elsewhere. They’ve chosen to support you and your dream, respect that. As CEO, you work for everyone. It’s important to feel a real responsibility to the company and every individual that chooses to be a part of it because, at the end of the day, you are beholden to them. Every decision made can impact them. They rely upon leaders to make the rights calls; their livelihood and careers depend on it. They are your second family. Respect the weight of that obligation.

This is exactly where I want to be

In the midst of a tough phase, you may question the validity of what you’re doing and whether it’s all worth it. Even when my stress levels have been through the roof and I can physically feel the anxiety sitting like a brick in the pit of my stomach, I can honestly say I’ve been up for the fight; this is where I want to be. Resilience, faith, blind optimism or just pure entrepreneurial spirit. Whatever you call it, you need to have it, and this is what will carry you through. Despite the load, you are lucky to have this opportunity.

Tough calls

You, being CEO/Founder, have the influence to make or break. You are single handedly the most influential person in the business, and ultimately it’s you who will determine the destiny of the company. Go to the full article.

Source:: Business 2 Community

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