Starting a business isn't for everyone, and it's not what you should do if you aren't sure what else to do. It requires thick skin and the willingness to carry a great deal of stress, sometimes alone. It's more often a life of failure than a life of success, and the majority of successes came after a long road of disappointment, and often shame.
Even your most talented employees have room for growth in some area, and you're doing your employee a disservice if the sum of your review is: 'You're great!' No matter how talented the employee, think of ways he could grow towards the position he might want to hold two, five, or 10 years down the line.
Launching a start-up, you need to get a lot done quickly. Every day is different. Everyone pitches in with everything. It's easy for the founding team to say, 'We're flexible. We all help out with everything!' But when it comes to making decisions - that flexibility can spell inefficiency and disaster.
For almost the first year of The Muse's life, I would do 5 to 8 networking events a week. And I don't necessarily think that's the right path for everyone, but I realized that as an entrepreneur, one of my strengths was finding the right people who could help us. I didn't come into startups with any network.
Much-derided chick lit, chick flicks, and chick magazines have left ambitious women in a bind. Why is it that I, a young woman, can read 'GQ,' enjoy 'Fight Club,' and subscribe to 'Thrillist,' while the idea of a guy doing the same with 'Glamour,' '27 Dresses' and 'Daily Candy' is nearly unheard of?
I had been a veteran of pretty challenging job searches, so I knew firsthand how frustrating, confusing, and demoralizing the job search process can be. Even after you get a job, many people join companies and discover in the first couple weeks that they aren't a good match with the personality and values of the company.
There were so many lessons I learned the hard way: missing out on a raise because I didn't know to ask, having colleagues consistently get credit for my ideas because of how I spoke up in meetings. When I looked for a resource that addressed the challenges I was facing, I couldn't find it. There was nothing.
When talking to first-time entrepreneurs, I often ask them: 'How do you know that people want your product or service?' As you can expect, the answer is often that they don't yet, but will know once they launch. And they're right. That's why it's critical to launch as quickly as possible so you can get that feedback.