Back to articles Back to articles

Working on Yourself is Working on Your Startup

Keith Shields January 20, 2016

You work hard.


Hell, you work so hard that you find it almost impossible to take a break from working on your startup. After all, every successful entrepreneur you hear about has the same superhuman work ethic, right? Elon Musk consistently puts in 100 hour work weeks, so that must be what you have to do in order to get to that level.


Perhaps you take this to heart, with your face glued to your email inbox all day, into the evenings, sacrificing having any quality mealtime conversations or would-be relaxing downtime just before bed.


Although this work ethic may work for some people – including the famous few who rub it in the face of the masses – we’ve seen how this can go awry. Burning out is a real concern, which may not sound so terrible in theory; but when it comes to you and your company, if the founder is burnt out then all chances of company success are immediately thrown away. For that reason, keeping your head in the game – working for a realistic number of hours each day in a very focused way and avoiding getting burnt out – is the real trick to success.


What is one big, fat misunderstanding that contributes to this “80 hour work week”-turned-burnout dilemma? Perhaps it’s the fact that you can be working on your startup without necessarily sitting behind your computer screen, which is a notion that has been forgotten in today’s digital startup world.


.[inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”” suffix=””]Working on your startup isn’t limited to how much time you spend staring at your inbox. [/inlinetweet]


Would you count your weekly networking event as putting in time to your startup company?


How about recognizing that you don’t know much about your personal finances, and spending an evening reading a book that outlines the ins and outs of the markets and various investment strategies?


If not, then you should. After all, odds are good that if you’re starting a company, you’re either a solo founder or a part of a very small team. Because of this, what you know: whether that be industry knowledge, the financial aspects of running a business, or even who you know in your space – is of utmost importance.


Bettering yourself will ultimately better your startup. This doesn’t mean, of course, that working on your knife throwing abilities means that your startup will be successful. Rather, focusing on improving applicable traits (public speaking, anyone?) or attending events that will further your knowledge in your industry should be done and allow you to rest easy knowing that you really are advancing your startup – even though your inbox may have accumulated 10 new emails during the course of your half hour away from the computer.



What are your thoughts regarding balancing direct task-based work and other means of self-improvement when it comes to your startup? Tweet to us @designlico, we’d love to chat!

Let's build together.

We'd love to hear about your product or idea.

Get in touch