To say that the past few years of working in a start-up environment has been exhilarating would be an understatement! There have been ups and downs, some good decisions and some which make us cringe when we think back – but if someone were to ask if we regret this move, then the answer is clear – “Not a chance!”. One of the perks of our job is the opportunity to interact with excellent senior leaders in different verticals as part of the leadership workshops that we do – and we have come away richer from each such intervention! One of the other aspects which we enjoy is the opportunity to have conversations with people who have undertaken similar journeys as ours and learn from their stories. However these days, we are also getting to meet people who are poised to take a leap of faith into starting something of their own and want to connect to seek our counsel. While the conversations differ (and we are nowhere qualified enough to advise some of these industry stalwarts), there are still some aspects of our journey which have translated into useful leadership lessons for us, which we do share with them. We hope some of these would be useful for others venturing into a similar, unfamiliar territory.
And there are days when you get through to fight another day just on pure passion. We have heard many a client confess post a successful workshop that the X Factor which attracted them to us was the passion which we showed for our work. So if you do not believe 100% in what you are doing, think deep and hard – you are likely to burn out quickly.
Many start-ups seem to get stuck in the stereotype of pierced nose rings being “allowed” and flexible working hours. People don’t work at a start-up because of that – for sure they would enjoy some of those things – but they quit a safer and many a times more well-paying job to work with your company because they trust you, the leaders of the firm. It is something we have always kept in the back of our mind when we make decisions –“Are we still living up-to the trust that the team has placed in us?” A strong culture starts from hiring people who share the same values to putting in rituals that slowly start to feel just right! One of those that have worked for us has been to celebrate often – this is one accounting header that the finance guys grumble about at the end of the financial year – are we spending too much on celebrations? We celebrate often, sometimes for milestones we have crossed as a company, sometimes for personal milestones, sometimes for things that might seem silly to an outsider – but each of these, we believe has contributed a teeny weeny bit into building the DNA of what makes out culture. And yes, we have no plans to cut down on that accounting header.
What are some of the tips and tricks that you have picked up in your journey at a startup? Do join the conversation…