6 Ways to Stay on the Grind as a Startup Founder

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Image credit: Johnson Wang

Having a dream gives you a purpose to grind. While it is enough on most days to sustain your productivity, some days are harder. There comes a point in an entrepreneur’s journey where he/she feels overwhelmed, demotivated, or unsure about the next step. The problem exists even for founders who have sufficient resources, an experienced team and the desired startup venture capital. Moreover, it is cited as one of the top 20 reasons a startup fails. While passion, determination and grit have immense power, they alone are not enough for continuous effort. Once you pair them with the right methods, you will find it much more effortless to maintain productivity.

Before we discuss some of the best ways to stay on the grind, it is important to find a common ground on what we mean by it. The accepted belief is that a laser-focused and successful founder is the one working 10 hours a day. However, that’s not the right parameter, consistency is.

Instead of overworking yourself to the point of exhaustion, you can stay persistent in your output and still manage to achieve your goals. The key is striking the right balance, whether it is between big and small tasks, professional and personal life, or planning and execution. To make the process easy for you, we have compiled a list of methods that you can easily incorporate into your existing schedule:

  1. Let Your Goals be Non-negotiable

What is that one goal that compelled you to run your own business? After you have a clear answer, ask yourself this next: What is the one thing that you absolutely have to do today to move closer to that goal? Consider both of these as your non-negotiable goals.

Your long-term goal will give you a reason to strive for success through work. But for the daily grind, give yourself the ultimatum of completing at least one task a day, which should be enough to propel your business forward even if you don’t get the time to direct your energy to other tasks. Your non-negotiable goals should override any and every setback you face. This will not only enforce self-discipline but also protect your most valuable resource: time.

The more additional goals you meet, the better.

2. Rely on Your Team

The Pareto Principle states that roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. The temptation to do everything yourself can easily lead to burnout. As a founder, you shouldn’t be doing more if it doesn’t amount to an equally valuable return.

Instead, surround yourself with a dependable team, where you know people are capable of taking care of tasks like you intend them to. Author and CEO Bill Green advises, “taking time out of your day to ensure the people you’re delegating to are prepared.” Spend 20 minutes deciding the right person for the job and explaining it to them. You can save yourself hours or days worth of work, energy and time, while also avoiding productivity slump.

3. Write It Down

When you get back home after a long day, it is possible to find your mind racing with the myriad things in store for you tomorrow. Breathe. Take five minutes to prepare a to-do checklist at the end of a working day with realistic time limits. It will not only allow you to take your mind off work but also make you return with a much more focused mindset.

Moreover, you will be able to club similar tasks together, such as meetings with a venture capital firm and third-party vendors, and keep the rest of your day available for an uninterrupted workflow. Apps such as Dewo and…

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Written by Anureet Kaur.

Eximius Ventures is a pre-seed stage investment firm investing in young and dynamic Indian Entrepreneurs with a precedence for female founders. You can reach out to us at pitches@eximiusvc.com.

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An early-stage investment fund investing in young and dynamic Indian founders

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