Everyone will craft their own unique path in life. Some are driven by their own and societal perceptions of success, which typically involves working at a well-known business or in a recognised profession. Others may focus on driving social impact and change. Equally, many are yet to work it out just yet, and it is important to realise that that is completely OK. Some of the most successful people I have ever met stumbled into what they are doing, so don’t get too stressed over it.
As a consumer, competition is usually great – it spurs innovation and leads to more efficient pricing. In this post, however, I am going to focus on competition in life, and why it can actually be sub-optimal.
Learning to Listen
Being a good listener is one of the most important attributes you can have as an entrepreneur. You need to heed some (but definitely not all) of the advice given to you by advisors/mentors/investors, as well as take on feedback from your customers and users. It is also essential to listen to some of the ideas your team and employees come up with – if you don’t listen properly, you will regret it days/weeks/months down the line when things begin to unravel beneath your feet.
Resilience & Mental Health
Working in (or running) an early-stage startup can be one of the most volatile experiences of your life. The mixture of monumental highs
assuming that you’re somewhere on the right path combined with depressing lows is quite unique in a career/lifestyle. There will be times where you question your self-belief and wonder why you are doing what you are doing. Your resilience is an important factor in helping you bounce back, so it is good to have an understanding of what helps keep you strong.
I have heard the phrase “knowledge is power” (“scientia potentia est” is the original phrase coined in Latin) regularly used throughout my life – at university, in the workplace and even in Hollywood movies. Never, though, have I felt this phrase to be more appropriate than when applied to behavioural & leadership psychology (or influencing people).
The Finiteness of Time
Many of us in the Western world do not realise how fortunate we are. We stress over trivial things such as deadlines, deals falling through and being late to meetings. I find things as simple as dental check-ups terrifying – the disruption to my usual schedule and worry that I might need another filling/tooth taken out leaves me dreading every visit.