Breath, Release the pressure - let it go and clear your mind.
Breath, Clear the air, refresh and gather your thoughts.
Breath, Take stock and really notice this reality.
Welcome Silence . . . .
. . . See,
. . . Hear,
. . . Feel!
Reconnect with your passion, with your vision and
with the people around you.
Reconnect, Enjoy what you are doing, and celebrate the achievements
of your journey thus far.
Reconnect, Update your goals, align your compass, map your destination. Then,
Plan the next steps required to get you there.
Go again with fresh wind in your sails and then,
Be ready and let the momentum build!
The journey as a sole founder or co-founder of a startup is for most, very stressful, often lonely and can ruin relationships!
And now, in these unprecedented times, greater challenges exist - even for the most experienced, committed, ambitious and passionate leaders.
I know from experience that starting your own business is not a path for everybody and whilst there are undoubted highs, the relentlessness of creating and growing a business day after day, month after month, year after year, can take a toll in so many ways and particularly on mental and physical health. For your reference, there are a few examples and perspectives shared at the bottom of this post.
Being ‘always available and on it’ 24/7, impact's significantly on both work and personal life which can easily blur into one! Crucially, the resulting stress and strains can often affect judgement and capacity to think clearly as well as impact significantly on behaviour, communication, relationships, emotions and overall well-being.
It is no secret that in almost all of the top reason lists relating to why start-up businesses fail, many cases could have been avoided or the risks and impact minimised or even reversed if addressed earlier or more effectively by the founders.
For example, the relationship between co-founders, their skills and capabilities, their changing perspectives or blind-spots, decision making, understanding of the current reality, their ability and willingness to adapt and change, and their leadership approach, are significant contributory factors relating to most of the reasons on those lists.
That is not to say that every business would survive, but I believe firmly, that more businesses would. More would be considered successful (measured by profit and impact), would secure the funding they needed, would pivot when the opportunity or signs were there to do so, would deal with founder disagreements more effectively and avoid the situation impacting negatively on the performance of the business. More would be aware of the competition, pricing customer feedback, or sector landscape, and certainly, more would have a truer picture of risks and dangers. The level of success would markedly increase if founders were more self aware and supported in their continuous development and committed to a culture of honest conversations and a coaching style approach to leadership.
There are challenges, but even the most demanding of investors understand more and more that the potential exists to maximise the potential for success of a business and reduce risk.
It makes sense that greater self awareness and improved relationships and communications with colleagues, investors, customers, would deliver significantly different outcomes but most importantly, take individuals ego out the equation and common problem of founders falling out or their relationship breaking down, could be resolved with more positive benefits for all stakeholders.
The reality is that rarely do leaders prioritise the quality time to stop, reflect, regather thoughts and as the phrase goes – get out of working in the business, to work on the business and as importantly, to work on themselves.
For the sake of your business and your health, you need to MAKE THIS HAPPEN one way or another!
Based on my time as a founder and my work with start-ups over the last twenty years and specifically with founders and co-founders in mind, I created a powerful and short one-off ‘PAUSE SESSION’ as a checkpoint for change. It provides a simple framework within which founder are able to
Slow down/stop, decompress and reflect on their reality
Reconnect and revisit their ‘what’ and ‘why’
Clarify and share clearly their drivers, ambitions and vision for the business and the belief they have in being able to make it happen
Map out the clear next steps they need to take to deliver success!
The time to reflect and celebrate how far they have travelled since the journey began and getting clear again, on what is truly possible in the future, always proves to be incredibly valuable for founders!
The resulting energy and focus from the sessions can be truly game-changing and serve as a catalyst for clearing the air, eliminating doubts, getting clear on key next steps and accelerating momentum towards achieving the shared goals!
If you'd like to find out more or discuss your own unique needs, feel free to book a brief call with me here.
Articles and statistics about start-up and founder success and failure