If I could break down my life as a founder into parts, there were two distinct phases. There was the BEFORE and the AFTER.
The BEFORE was when I ran around like a mad man, frantic, trying to eek out every single second I could get toward my startup.
"I just need to do everything I can in all possible ways as hard as I can so that I can grow my top-line and if I do that then… everything will just fall into place." -- I kept repeating to myself.
And then there’s the AFTER. The AFTER is when I decided to sit down and commit to writing at-least a one-page strategy about how key aspects of my startup and tether myself to it.
As soon as I did that, my frantic self turned into someone that repeated this mantra:
"There are 6 key components to the success of my startup -- I have a written thesis on what we need to do for each and we will keep iterating on it until we get to the promised land.”
I learned (almost too late) in my career that having a written out strategy that I could tether myself to led to a calmer me. A less frantic me. And it helped me be a better leader.
Why do we get so frantic? It’s not because we do our best work in that state… It’s because deep down we have no way of checking in and understanding if we’re on track. It’s because no matter how many hours we work, we don’t feel like we’re enough and our work was enough.
Over time, as I worked on strategy for my own startup, and then took on a role as the SVP of Strategy at the company that acquired my startup, I learned that a solid strategy document needed to address FIVE critical areas.
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