Trust The Process: Does The Type Of Your Startup Matter?

Being an action oriented person I’m not afraid of starting things.

Pros: get stuff done, make tangible progress and don’t overanalyze before taking action.

Cons: don’t always do the market research, making money isn’t the priority and I get bored quickly.

What I learned as an employee at my former company is: the size of the market/demand makes all the difference.

At the same time I realized you can be unethical, yet still make a profit.

The reason I left the last company I worked for is because of how they treated people (me included).

Starting a test prep company wasn’t something I was passionate about doing, but understanding the market size (online education is a $100 Billion industry) and realizing how I would run a company culturally I pulled the trigger a few months ago.

Here are the core values that guide us:

Relationships First – by valuing our relationships with employees and customers first, we will create long, genuine relationships that are about more than making a profit. I am partners with my tutors. They don’t work for me. I work for them. Without them I have no business.

Be Unique – acknowledge and express the unique contributions your strengths and style can make. It doesn’t make sense to hire smart people and tell them what to do; we hire smart people so they can tell us what to do.” I leverage the strengths of the people around me.

Be Efficient – we will constantly evaluate our work processes and priorities to work smarter. We make a better system together. Constantly communication means you value other’s opinions.

Create Freedom – our decision making will help our employees and customers get it done, their way. Giving people autonomy means you trust them. Without trust you have nothing.

Constant Growth – we will encourage our employees and customers to constantly challenge themselves to continue setting goals and pursue learning opportunities. Focus on leadership development. Period.

The reason I share these core values is because I believe they can be transferred to any type of business. Having a serial entrepreneur mindset it’s only a matter of time before I find a new idea to implement, but what I’m experiencing in my current venture is: keep your eyes on the long-term success of the company and make decisions accordingly.

For example, a big part of my business is forming school partnerships because they are the gatekeepers to parents of high school students. The process of prospecting includes: cold emails, follow up communication, phone calls, sending proposals, finalizing agreements, contacting parents, supporting tutors, repeat.

Whenever I get impatient and want results yesterday, I remind myself relationships are at the heart of what I do and they take time to build. I can’t predict the future, but I can say with confidence I trust the process.

In ways, this endeavor is an experiment of sorts. Implement the “why” and “how” you run a business and once you identify the “what” you plug them in.

What I’m Learning, But Don’t Enjoy It

I like to move fast. I hate waiting.

In an instant gratification world I’ll take the hare over the turtle any day.

If patience is a virtue, I don’t have it…yet.

Since no job or business is perfect, when things go wrong jumping ship is a regular thought, but rarely more than an emotional reaction.

Whatever obstacle you’re facing at work could be worse. #truth

A wise leader once said, “Don’t come to me with your problems, only come to me with solutions.”

That’s it: love the process.

When there’s a problem at work it’s easy to complain and blame others. You may be 100% justified too, but even if you’re right it won’t change much.

Instead, focus on what you are learning.

If you are being micromanaged, think about how you will lead differently given the opportunity.

If you are treated unfairly, do your best to take the higher road and respond with integrity.

If you’re given a task outside of your job description, develop a skill you can use in the future.

Loving the process doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy. In fact you may NEVER love the process, but you can still learn from it.

If life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond to it, then there’s plenty of opportunities to learn from the process.

I get so focused on what’s next I forget to enjoy the present. What’s going on may not be fun, but there’s always something you can learn from in any situation.

In the past 6 months I’ve fired someone, put someone on probation and called out my boss.

Were they uncomfortable experiences? Yes.

But am I thankful I have them under my belt now? Yes.

What you go through prepares you for what’s next. It’s like collecting little nuggets along the way that will help you pave the road in the future.

Growth doesn’t feel good. It’s not supposed to be comfortable, but the opposite is being stagnant and slowly dying over time.

You may never love the process and that’s ok.

But at the very least learn from it and you’ll be better off for it.

How To Deal With Uncertainty

uncertainty

As a planner I prefer to be in control.

When I’m not it’s scary.

But when you think about, how much of your life are you really in control of?

You have the power of choice, but you can’t control the outcome. In fact you can drive yourself insane second-guessing what you should have done in retrospect.

The best advice (but probably the most uncomfortable) is to trust the process.

Easier said than done, but if you’ve done your research, taken multiple factors into account, pull the trigger and don’t look back.

Take for instance sports: when you make a play sometimes it works out in your favor and sometimes it doesn’t. If you feel uncertain in the moment, most likely the result won’t be favorable. On the other hand committing to a plan of action and living with the outcome gives you a sense of peace.

As a recovering control-freak myself, I realize the more I try to control the less I actually am.

Pair that with the fact my wife is very spontaneous and carefree and it can drive me to anxiety if I don’t take a step back.

As a coach I tell my clients to focus on creating good habits that are repeatable. Goals are good, but creating routines that lead towards your desired lifestyle are better.

Funny thing is sometimes I need to listen to my own advice.

If you’re unsure about an aspect in your life such as your career or a relationship, look at how you spend your time. Examine your priorities. Understand the way you process.

Uncertainty can be looked at in two ways: negatively or positively.

You can choose to be anxious or excited. The former will drive you crazy while the latter comes with anticipation.

For your mind and body’s sake (and health), choose the high road.

Trust me.

It works.