Contrary to becoming an employee at a corporation, where you become an expert in a given area (usually according to provided instructions), for startup founders you are tasked to expand your current knowledge and take on much more … with slim to none instruction.
In the beginning stages of a startup, there is usually not have enough funds to hire versatile specialists – that is why the leaders and employees must already be skilled in as many areas as possible. It is difficult, but for people who love challenges and want to learn launching a startup is an amazing experience.
Startups (and CrossFit) Aren’t For Everyone
Like CrossFit, the startup world is not for everyone. Both areas focus on cause and effect. People who exercise possess one common trait: they are willing to push their mind and body to the limits in the face of weariness and seemingly defeat. They constantly strive to find their limits and conquer them. This is the mentality of a high performance – in athleticism and entrepreneurship.
“When you run a startup, every single day is different. The necessity to create an effective business model forces founders to constantly iterate. Without elasticity and openness to change you will quickly be defeated. You need to love it.”
When you run a startup, every single day is different. The necessity to create an effective business model forces founders to constantly iterate. Without elasticity and openness to change you will quickly be defeated. You need to love it.
During my first CrossFit training I vomited, probably because I’ve made a lot of mistakes. Being a young entrepreneur, my body for many times has reacted similarly. And this is not a hyperbole.
When you exercise you need a long-term plan. As an employee, you focus on the right muscles in a place where many situations are repeatable and the outcomes are inevitable. In startups, we discover what works and what does not work – every single day.
CrossFit is similar to entrepreneurship in several ways because you:
- Will work at something new every day
- Encounter days that very demanding, both physically and psychically
- Need intrinsic motivation, otherwise you are going fall off quickly
- Feel you are good at something very rarely
- Must learn all of the time and adapt
- Need to like winning
- Will feel unbelievable satisfaction.
- Will motivate and be motivated by your team
- Realize the effects of your work (or their lack) are visible very quickly
- Become very versatile
- Learn that health and startups are both very sexy
Best of all, when you actively participate in CrossFit you meet people similar to you and can feed off of their motivation and energy. Of course, just like any other activity, too much intensity over a long period can have a negative impact.
In the same way, staying at the startup edge for too long is unhealthy for both you and your business. Even though it is a fun and exciting period, the goal of every early-stage startup is to mature, scale and enter a less intense, but more stable mode.
In both cases, in order to achieve success you need a love for quick tempo, the ability to motivate yourself, and empathy. The rest is a matter of endurance and consequent work and development of ourselves.
This article has been edited and condensed.
Bartosz Mozyrko is the CEO of Usability Tools, a B2B SaaS company that helps businesses to optimize websites for higher conversion and a better user experience. Bart has over eight years of experience as a UX Researcher and specializes in remote user research. Connect with @UsabilityTools on Twitter.
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