Startup Lesson 6: Growth is a Conscious Effort

I’ve always wondered how people seemingly become fully functioning, responsible adults overnight. But during my last 3 months of destressing I’ve come to realize that this is not the case. Even if success appears to be instantaneous, for yourself and others, a series of many conscious (and often not the most pleasant) choices are what get people there.  

What I’ve learned is that you don’t just wake up with a ton of cash in your bank account unless you make an effort to not buy the $6 latte every day, unless you cut back on eating out and cook more at home, unless you take time to understand how you can invest your money wisely. You simply won’t wake up with a ripped body until you can push yourself to exercise when the weather is awful outside, until you can opt in for water instead of a soft drink, and a salad instead of fries.

The same is true of growing your startup. Growth is a series of choices that you make every day that compound into something big over time. When we started StackAdapt we made a decision to be a success. We got our tiny office, hired two people, and proclaimed that failure was not an option. We made small choices every day to build a company when it felt too early, too scary, and too cumbersome.

If you are building a startup, make a conscious effort to grow. Make little choices every day towards making success inevitable. Recognize that you won’t be a great tech startup without a technical co-founder (go out and find one), you won’t build a sales machine without forcing yourself to keep your sales operations in order (onboard a good CRM and keep it tidy), you won’t grow unless you recruit people every day (make it a habit of meeting new people every week. Send those cold LinkedIn messages!)

One of the big focuses for me right now is growing as a leader. Recognizing that I am very early in my career, I look up to great individuals like Jack Ma, Elon Musk, and Barack Obama. I read, take courses, and get mentorship to move myself closer to my North Star of becoming a world-class executive one article, one presentation, and one email at a time.


I am curious to hear from you! What do aspire to learn / become and what small steps do you take daily to get there?