During 4th of July weekend, we had planned an excursion on Saturday starting from Golden Gate Bridge to ocean beach with #GSFGlobal startup founders and EiRs. I offered to be the guide for the trip, taking responsibility for giving GSF team a good time and great views of the pacific & the east bay coast. My son and wife had alternate lunch plans so they were to join us mid-way. As it happened, while the tour party was mid-way, my family got lost in SF traffic madness and had to wait for long to get uber. I told them to meet us at our last stop, the ocean beach as I couldn't keep the team waiting for them...we had to move on to stay on time.
I knew that my wife expected me to wait for them. She asked me why I couldn't wait a bit even on my off day. Her exact words were "Why this rush?" And this question "Why This Rush" bothered me all night. And then the daybreak came, and I started to write. And here is my attempt to answer this eternal question.
I am a startup founder. I have to set-up a fast pace for my organization and I have to hustle to build momentum. Most startups under-estimate the value of momentum and lose out. Momentum builds excitement in the organization. Momentum excites consumers and investors alike. Everyone wants to be with a team or a brand or an organization on the move.
Startup founders have to embody this hustle; they have to create a sense of urgency to get things done. I have met many founders in my life and I have found that the most successful founders are restless; they are a force of nature. They work hard and have boundless energy, but even more importantly they find ways to channelize this nervous energy into a forward momentum for their organization.
While momentum matters, this obsessive pursuit can lead to burnouts and conflicts such as the one I witnessed. So how does one achieve momentum and calm at the same time? Can one be two personalities at the same time....an energetic leader at work and a restful soul at home? Inevitably as one is building a startup, one is working day and night even when one is with his/her family, at family lunches, while watching movies with the dear one, or even when one is just relaxing on Saturday afternoon with kids...a founder's mind is pre-occupied in his startup. Have you experienced this "founder frenzy" yet?
This founder frenzy sometimes creates conflicts. These conflicts if not managed or rightly understood could create hurt and result in painful outcomes. As important as building a startup is to us restless founders, family matters the most. While some of us would brush aside these conflicts as inevitable, I think we could also find a great source of strength in the family. If channelized in the right way, family could be the oasis of mental and physical replenishment in a tough and long journey.
And for me this replenishment came on the Sunday morning as we watched together one of the greatest tennis matches (Wimbledon final 2014) of all time. Since all of us are avid tennis fans, it was a great shared experience. Joy of watching tennis at its best erased all the tensions of previous day. That was my oasis.
So go ahead and find your oasis, even while you hustle to build momentum for your startup.