In a startup, many times it feels like nothing is certain. Your company may seem like it's doing well, but studies show the odds of startups being successful are not in your favor. As your company grows, you notice that you become more and more unprepared for the next phase. It feels like you spend all your time trying to catch up to what your company needs from you, and as you get up to speed you must shift focus again.
Dealing with the changing conditions of your venture can cause you to go crazy. One of the greatest defenders against uncertainty is taking control of what you are able to and letting the rest take its course. Below, I'll share three ways of how to do this effectively.
1) Create a personal routine to follow
During the week, I make the list of everything I'm going to work on in the business and in my personal life. I only hold myself responsible for completing the tasks I listed, and I repeat many of the tasks day after day.
For instance, every morning I put that I'm going to go for a run on a board. And so everyday around the same time, I go for a jog. I also put things like "read 100 pages", "meditate", and "write an article" on this board. Writing these things down pressures me to complete the task, which means I say no to doing other things so I get them done.
Most importantly, it makes me feel like there is some kind of routine that I can control in my life. No matter what goes on in the business, I still go for my run. I can still learn a new skill, and I can take 15 minutes to meditate.
Having small things you do everyday will help you handle the randomness of your business much better.
2) Come to grips with that fact that some things are out of your control
One of the hardest parts about being in a startup is that you can't be certain your plan will work. You can mitigate as much risk as possible, but you still have a bunch of threats that can destroy your plan and ruin your company. Because of this, thinking that you need to come up with a master plan to solve every obstacle that comes your way is a waste of time.
Instead, a famous entrepreneur once told me to think of running a company like playing baseball. You want to put your company in a position where it gets up to bat as many times as possible. Finding product-market fit is when you hit the home run!
The idea is that the first time you go up to bat, you'll probably miss. But hopefully, you've learned a lot along the way to help you have better swing next time. After learning enough, you set yourself up to knock one out of the park.
Having this mentality makes dealing with mistakes much easier. You understand it's a natural part of the process, but now you need to learn from it. Don't worry about the uncertainty, but learn everything you can from the hurdles it produces.
3) Keep learning
The beautiful thing about learning is how much flow it produces for us. There is nothing more rewarding then when you learn a new skill and eventually master it.
While we may not have control of many things in our business, we can control how much we try and improve ourselves. If we push ourselves to become better, our businesses become better. Dealing with uncertainty has a lot to do with how we run our personal lives, and less to do with how much we worry about our business. Productivity, consistency, and growth are what lead to successful ventures. The core of all three of these attributes stems from how much control we have over ourselves.