What if an entrepreneur cracks under pressure?
Well, I tried to find the right intro for this topic several times,but it’s very broad and each case is different. Every entrepreneur we’ve worked with at No Limit over the last 7 years have been unique—as varied as the weather in Europe in May.
But if you take a look at this graphic, it does a great job explaining what this post is all about.
I love the graphic because it’s so true and the beauty of it, is that it shows what an entrepreneur’s life is like 99% of the time. In the meanwhile, I also came across this graphic, which is a slightly better more detailed version of the same illustration.
When you run on 150% for more than 3 months, it’s normal to have ups and downs, isn’t it?
Who said starting up was easy? But even I’ve been in that position many times before: where you find yourself totally detached from the real world, where you think you are executing more then your partners, suppliers or so-called “vendors”. You think they are the bottleneck, but in the end, in reality it can be you! Sometimes you need to slow down, take a deep breath (literally or figuratively, or both!), and make sure you think before you write or speak. Are you being appropriate? Are you being respectful?
The truth is, there are many times where if we don’t stop and think about the words coming out of our mouth (or going into an e-mail or text), I can tell you, it is not appropriate or respectful. We all have shitty “bumps in the road” with projects or higher-than-normal periods of stress, but when we’re working as part of a team, it’s the team that’s there when you cross the finish line of the marathon. Therefore, it’s more important to understand and at times remind ourselves that each individual person has a unique character and culture. Now sure, there are times where some coworkers that are perhaps more mature will understand why you reacted the way you did—but that’s still no excuse. The other coworkers, newer team members with less experience or perhaps a little more naive, may not understand. They might end up asking themselves, “Wtf? How did I end up here working with this psycho?”
But there is hope. Think before you press that Enter button, get rid of the caps lock, remove the exclamation marks. And the best tip of all? Forget about writing. Instead, give them a call. You can clear something up in a quick 5- minute call instead of endless back and forth e-mails. I experienced this myself over the last 7 years. You can actually de-escalate cases in a few minutes, rather the aggressive or passive-aggressive interactions that leave things awkward and uncomfortable. There will inevitably be moments of high stress and tension and when you have your first conflicts/discussions with your partners/coworkers it can be an emotional rollercoaster.
So, how do you know an entrepreneur is able to handle this rollercoaster?
If it’s a junior/first starter, it’s simple! You can’t before you haven’t tried. My personal rule of thumb was that you need to spend a lot of time with aperson across a long period of consecutive months to really find out how the entrepreneur will respond under pressure; will they or won’t they crack under pressure (as famously the AD from Hublot and Cara Dalavigne shows.)
But what if it’s a so-called “serial entrepreneur”, a.k.a. an entrepreneur which has both succeeded and failed previously?
Personally, I know exactly what I need to ask an entrepreneur to understand the shit they’ve been through (downs), but also learn about which achievements they were able to celebrate (ups). I know how to elicit information in a conversation to get a sense of their true character of him and how I would rate them. There is nothing more interesting than the failures of an entrepreneur who came back stronger than before; they come back even hungrier to achieve and solve problems. this is the key for every entrepreneur—we should never stop being eager to solve problems and provide solutions. Learn from a failure, don’t make it again, and try to solver bigger problems; in the process, create better, bigger teams.
So, do you recognize yourself in any of the above-mentioned cases? Lucky you… keep enjoying your corporate 9-5.
But, do you hate your job and think you want to do something else? Shoot me a message! I’m more than keen to get to know you.