Startup Heart Breaks: An Open Letter to Startup Employees


My Dear Startup Employee,The term "heart break" is generally linked with love stories. It’s often used to describe the sad things that happen in between "a guy and a girl”; things that hurts one of them and breaks their heart. In most cases, if the guy/girl is really in love with that person, they would do absolutely anything to not let the heart break; to not let that bad thing come in between their happiness. Of course, the pre-condition here is - he/she has to be really sincerely, genuinely in love with the other in order to feel the unconditional urge to NOT let it happen.

Now take this same concept, and juxtapose it into your life at work in our startup. For everything negative that happens with you at work, think about how much did you do (notice that I don't use the word try. I've started hating it now), how much did you do to not let that heart-break happen.

If you think what I’m saying doesn’t make sense, ask yourself honestly for a response to these questions:

Does your heart break when you don't reach your target?

Does it break if you can't close that position?

Does it shatter when you can't meet the deadline?

Does it burn when a customer sends you an email saying, "I can't buy your product because X has more features, or Y gives better service?”

If it does, then you know how it feels to 'be in love with your work'. But if you feel that it's not really a heart break that you experience, but may be a little sadness for a few minutes, or may be a little disappointed (competitively), that's it - then you're probably not in love with what you do. You're simply working for something else, not love - may be money, may be friends, maybe you're waiting for that "next big" opportunity, or worse, waiting for the next jump in your salary. Ask yourself honestly, and see what the answer is.

Everyone who loves what they do, will not let anything come in between them and their goal. The sense of fulfillment for people like us (who love our work) comes not from the SMS from our bank at the end of the month - but from the email from a customer saying, "I love your product", or the numbers on your sales board saying you achieved $X more this month, or the pat on the shoulder (in front of your team) for a job well done.

Trust me, just like the high you feel when that "someone" loves you back in return - the sweet feeling of success is worth every extra hour, every extra call, and every extra line of code you write for the love of your work.

Just go after the success, all the fame, glory, money et al will follow. But if you cannot give that “extra” bit, then I know you don’t love your work here.

Don't work here, if you don't love it.




About the author:

Jay is the Chief “Go-to” Officer at sumHR. He spearheads sales, support, product management and all things ‘creative’. Before this, he's worked in the startup teams at Burrp! and He loves writing whenever he gets the chance, and mostly writes about sumHR, startups, leadership, motivation, inspiration and of course, HR best practices.


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