“I don’t find it fulfilling….”
Just before Christmas, a colleague told me that after working and building together for years. I was taken aback and slightly offended, but it made me reflect…
Building a business isn’t about getting the warm and fuzzies every day. If it was, everyone would be doing it. You can’t have the sweet without the bitter. The reality is entrepreneurship can be demoralizing and often lonely. It’s part of the package. Entrepreneurship is also a rush when, after many months, sometimes years, of grinding and building, you let your product out into the wild, and it’s a massive success.
And, of course, when your business is a massive success, you should give back to the community. My colleague seemingly disregarded this, and shortly after his comment, we went our separate ways…
In hindsight, the signs were everywhere leading up to that conversation.
It’s natural for people to change. In fact, it’s a requirement to develop into well-rounded, wise individuals. As important is noticing when those in our inner circle of entrepreneurship and life are changing.
When you have a team equally committed to your company’s goals, you’ve hit the jackpot as an entrepreneur. It’s a force that can’t be stopped. In time, that group will hit their objectives. When you’re in a group like that, cherish and nurture it. Enjoy that moment to its fullest.
My experience is that sort of cohesiveness never lasts. In time, someone essential changes, usually after they experience success. Like Robin Sharma says, “nothing fails like success.”
The challenge for you, the entrepreneur, is spotting their mindset shift. Sometimes you can bring that person back on board and fire them up again, but rarely is it worth the effort. Their heart is leading them elsewhere, and that’s too powerful a force to get in the way of.
Not wanting to stay late: Of course, everyone wants to wrap up work on Friday at 5PM and enjoy the weekend. Unfortunately, that mindset doesn’t work when building a business. Open and relaxing weekends are a luxury, and startups aren’t luxurious. Animosity festers in any relationship when one person feels they’re putting in a lot more effort than the other. Toxic for your company.
It’s good enough: When someone does their job satisfactorily but not up to their abilities, they don’t truly care. There needs to always be a standard of excellence, and ‘good enough’ doesn’t meet that level. If you’re pursuing excellence and they’re pursuing good enough, it’ll ruin your relationship and suck energy away from where it should be directed: on building and growing.
No attempts at developing new ideas: Those who don’t care, coast. They’re not interested in brainstorming and pursuing new concepts and ideas. On the contrary, when you’re pumped up and ready to work and build, you can’t stop thinking about better ways to do your job and contribute, no matter your title.
Lack of gratitude: People who deeply care about the company’s direction or have a strong desire to exceed goals ensure that others on the team feel wanted. They ask questions, encourage group conversations and, most importantly, publicly acknowledge when someone outperforms… praising in public. People who have lost interest in the team’s overall objective don’t care to ask how others are doing or recognize overachievement. They’re in their own head and have little mental room for others. This behaviour is often found in large bureaucracies, where PYA is most important.
I’m convinced that products and services don’t ruin businesses; misaligned people within an organization do.
We can’t achieve entrepreneurial excellence on our own. We can, however, when we work with other equally committed people. It’s important to recognize when people within your company are changing and potentially losing interest… one person on your team with a negative attitude, or someone putting in the minimum, can create an infectious disease that spreads throughout your company.
People change. Pay attention.