Monday, October 21, 2013

25 Startup Lessons I Wish I Would've Known (Part 3 of 5)

Since starting as what was known as "GetLusty for Couples" last August (now just including GetLusty Couples and GetLusty Singles), let's just say I have been busy. Like, spend your weekends working busy. Like not going to Christmas busy (I'll never be forgiven--goodness that was a mistake). I made mistakes that any entrepreneur would have made considering and always taking into account the over 40+ conversations I had with entrepreneurs here around 1 year ago just before starting GetLusty.

With all that distilled into several pieces, I'm going to divulge what I have learned. The stupid (and not so stupid) mistakes that I just feel like I shouldnt've made (and neither should you). I’ve been writing my startup lessons for weeks (months?) now and I thought I’d share them with you.

Are you an entrepreneur? Want to quit your day job (or maybe not) and start a business? Take it from someone who’s spent some serious time doing it. This isn't my first business and likely won't be my last. How about learning lessons from our mistakes and collectively getting better? Let's continue.

#10 Make time for sex

As someone who's in charge of a sex startup, it's been ironic that my sex faltered at one point. Somewhere between working on the weekends and forgetting about my personal health (think sitting a lot and eating too much), I realized health is important. It's one of GetLusty's 5 pillars of an amazing sexual relationship. It's hard to tell others how to have great sex if I never plan it for myself--duh! This goes not just for sex but things that you find fun and relaxing. Having great sex? Now that's the ultimate, awesome relaxation.

#11 Incubators don’t help. But they don’t hurt.

I've been a member of multiple co-working spaces. From London's Hub Islington (I miss you, London!) to VentureSHOT in Chicago. I've had interesting conversations, but one of the most important values of incubation is their access to resources. So consider wisely before investing time and money into incubation space without a clear goal. Are you looking for a board of advisers, advice or just an awesome view?

#12 Stay passionate

Staying passionate is a highly personal lesson. For me, I realized multiple times throughout the process I'd lost my mojo. The startup metaphorically kicked my ass, and yours will kick your ass, too. The more you can hold onto your mission (for me: empowering women sexually) the more you can make the emotional decision to invest in your startup. Because beyond money and time, you're investing your spirit.

#13 Plan – it’s the best way you’re going to get ahead.

Planning is easy. It's not harder than you think. Surprisingly, it's not the planning but the implementation that will be the killer task. Make a clear plan to start off, you'll make the implementation phase a lot easier.

#14 Plan, plan, plan. But when your plans don’t go as planned—go to plan B. 

Your perfect little plan is beautiful. It's going to be important, but there will be tasks you'll have to ditch. Now what? Like a boxer in the ring, you need to roll with the punches. Even Scrum project schedules can't reflect the need for constant change in a startup environment. (Unless you have a scrum startup.) The bottom line: when your tasks don't get done, don't freak (or if you do, make sure it's good). Move onto plan be and be flexible. When things go sideways, think nimble and get creative. Like loosing your underwear before a big conversation with your investor. Solution: bring a clipboard. Life is for the living, anyway, right?

#15 Laugh a little

Entrepreneurship can be a scary world. What makes you happy? Laughing can bring you closer to that thing called the "good life", which is ultimately... Happiness. Laughing can make you feel genuine happiness--not the material kind. Laughter can make you healthier by boosting your immune system, protecting your circulation and heart development among other benefits. Think about it. Make room in your life for happiness. If you don't constantly think about what makes you happy--you'll get sucked into your to do list.

Picture #1 from here. Picture #2 from here.


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