Motivation, Startups

7 Things Entrepreneurs Should Avoid Doing this New Year

startup entrepreneurs new year

This guest column is authored by Anjli Jain, Managing Partner at EVC Ventures

If you are an entrepreneur you have probably been through tons in 2016.

It doesn’t matter whether you were Elon Musk or the small local entrepreneur starting his new venture with nothing more than few landing pages and 50 paying customers. Entrepreneurship is one of the most enduring tasks you will ever face. Which is why an entrepreneur should know how to relax.

This sound too much contrarian to what the pundits advice everyone should do around New Year – recaps, New Year resolution and tons of other mentally intensive exercises.

Most of the world’s population puts too much pressure on New Year as if it really is about some important milestone about to happen, not just a mere mathematical calculation of time.

What I mean by this is that on a personal level, New Year can happen any time you choose.

Knowing this will perhaps help you stay apart from all this frenzy which puts people into more stress instead of giving themselves the periodic relaxation they deserve.

If you are an entrepreneur experiencing slight unnatural confusion for no reason, even depression as if something is closing back inside you, know that it is not real. It is just the peer pressure, the madness of the crowd that has gotten into you. Here are few things I’d personally advise you to consider during those few days.

Relax

I started with this advice straight from the beginning for a good reason. In a world obsessed with achievement relaxation and doing nothing is anathema. That’s exactly what I mean. Be inactive. No New Year resolutions. No aggressive recaps and personal statements.

Leave them for the next month and see if you still feel like doing after you see that the madness of the crowd which initially triggered this has subsided.

Do something which you always wanted to do but never really fit your personal statement or the story you used to tell to yourself. Perhaps a yoga class? Or a drive to that nearby place which always seemed so far? Whatever it is.

Ignore the “Spirit of New Year”

What does Spirit of New Year even mean? It is unreal. It doesn’t exist. It’s a breeze. It’s a marketing gimmick to encourage consumption. That’s all. And still some people get depressive tendencies around this period.

Act normally. Pay attention to man-made gimmick that wrecks your natural biorhythm for no reason.

Think of your customer

If you still have to keep your mind active and engaged during New Year this is probably the only direction you can put yourself into. How did you make your first paying customers’ lives easier? What did you do for them? Can you describe the happiness, the reasons they feel happier because of you.

This is probably the only moment I’d recommend grabbing a piece of paper but not for scribing New Year resolutions but for more intensive expression of your bond with your paying customers. Try to depict the new version of themselves after they have experienced your product. Emphasize the part of them that is changed whether it is part of their body or something they work on. Make a drawing. It is not only a great meditative exercise, it triggers further connection and empathy between you and your customer and often making you see overlooked aspects of your relation with them. It is an exercise I advise for all our founders at EVC Ventures.

Stay away from technology

No emails. No HTML templates with ribbons to be sent to all your customers with a click of a button. Everyone else does this till the point of annoyance. Detach yourself from technology and help them do the same. At the most you can contact your top customers, hear their voice and personally forward season’s greetings.

No self assessment

As I mentioned above, abhor from mentally intensive exercises of the type of New Year resolutions and self-assessments. Let your mind wander with no guilt, not even sense of reward. Unbound it’s fetters.

Avoid structured exercises of any sort until at least the second week of January. Live with the fact that you have done the best you can in your best efforts. That will help you live in the presence, a cherished gift so few of us experience nowadays.

No work

I am almost tempted to advise you to keep on with your work if festivities are not your cup of tea, but that would mean escaping from yourself and covering things up. Let it surface. Don’t use work as an excuse for shunning up depression which many people feel around this period (including VCs  and successful CEOs).

Don’t deny anything. Loosen up and face your emotion, acknowledge them as a passive observer and see how they start dissipating. No reason to fear, you’ve crossed the chasm the most difficult period for every entrepreneur beyond which only few ever pass.

No pitching investors

Not because I don’t want you to work and cover your true condition but because it is actual waste of time.

Most VCs are inactive at this period dedicating their time to meet their LPs or spend extra time with their families. They barely open up their emails. Even the most hyperactive ones will not meet your subject lines before January 15th.

Featured Image Source: Mononews

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