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10 Ways to Stay Balanced When You're Doing a Startup

January 04, 2013 0 Comments

I thought it was time to do a post about this because the subject has been floating around in my head for some time. Being a young person in the Bay Area, I am constantly meeting people who are starting their own businesses. It's an amazing thing to see this bubble for yourself, especially when you are part of it and can share that sense of excitement and enthusiasm. 

When the economy crashed a lot of people started to ask themselves deeper questions about what they wanted to be doing with their lives. Inevitably when the system shows signs of failure people will pull out their own strength and we start to go into a bootstrapping mentality. 

I have personally heard a lot of different stories about what is working and what is not, and I have seen patterns among those ones that become successful. So here is a compilation of my observations, as well as my own tidbits from my life, about how to keep the enthusiasm, commitment, and momentum in the beginning periods. 

1. Take Care of Yourself- Develop Healthy LifeStyle Habits

Input= Output. Learn what makes you feel positive, energized and productive. There is tons of information out there on what kind of diets are good, not one thing works for everyone. In general, you want to keep your brain fed so eat good quality food, even if you can only afford a little of it. Learn to breathe deeply. It lowers your cortisol, regulates your stress, and it's free! 

2. Cultivate a Rock Solid Intuition, "Gut" Feeling

In the age of information overwhelm, there can be so many voices in your head you don't even hear your own anymore. In that moment when you can quiet all the chatter and hear it, those moments are invaluable and you will be able to make better decisions that are right for you at that moment. 

3. Visualize, Then Write it Down. 

Michael Phelps' Olympic success is greatly due to his ability to visualize every swim before he actually performs it. If you've read The Secret,  this is a huge part of how the law of attraction works. By seeing it, you've already made it halfway realized! 

4. Cross Train Your Brain

Take time to try out new hobbies and completely unrelated activities, you never know how it might inspire you. Just like athletes cross train to get stronger, the dynamic experience of trying new things will spark your neurons like crazy. For me, I really enjoy cooking. It is so fully  real, grounding, active and rewarding. I like to do activities in the evening that are the complete opposite of what I've done during the day. After sitting a computer or sewing for 6 or 8 hours, getting my hands dirty and dancing around the kitchen with lovely smells is amazing.

5. Balance Action and Contemplation

Learn when is enough thinking and when you have enough information to take action. 

6. Spread the Passion Virus

People that love with they do have a contagious bug, its called the Passion Virus. Try and meet as many new people as possible that have passions and are living what they love. You will learn from their mistakes. Nothing beats face to face interactions. 

7. Ignore the Minutia in the Beginning

Looking at every little detail of everything and analyzing it will drive you crazy in the beginning. You already have so much to do.The most important thing is to make it good enough. Get a working model of it up and running as soon as possible do you can feel like you are making progress. 

8. Learn to Surf

Once an initial idea sparks in you, that enthusiasm you have will be the driving force to make it happen. When you feel that spark grab it and run run run make make make until you have done all you can do with it. The trick is to get surfing as far as you can riding the big wave before it crashes and you run out of juice. 

However, another good tip is to stop before you are completely exhausted. You want to be excited to get back into it on your next session. So leave it off at a point where you know exactly what you are doing next.

9. PLAY.

Make stuff for no reason. Be a kid. Lie to yourself if you have to, just to get started. Sometimes when I'm not feeling inspired, I'll just grab a piece of fabric and start cutting. I'll say to myself, "Oh I'm just messing around. Not making anything important..." 

And the next thing I know something begins to take form in front of me and I have some kind of awesome fully tailored dress made. 

10. Be aware of the Animal

Sometimes our lizard brain takes over and we start to think and decide from a place of fear. Know when to recognize these thinking patterns, we can become aware of the fact that we should probably hold off on our decision making for the moment until we're back in balance again. Being aware of your thinking states/modes of perspective. See Metagonition

Happy Starting:) --Holly

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