What can make startups fail?
Обновлено: 30 мар. 2022 г.
Well ... of course there can be a lot of reasons for this. And I, as a person involved in the launch of new projects and products for almost 10 years have studied these causes inside and out, systematized them, and developed an approach to prevent them.
But I wanted to share one of the brightest and most familiar problems that can destroy both any startup and an existing business.
These are chronic force majeure events. And although it is customary to think that this is something beyond our control, in fact, we can very much even influence it. But in a very non-standard way.
So, force majeure in business. What is behind them?
Once a friend of mine told me how his startup got burned.
There were three co-founders, one of whom was an impulsive and hyperactive person. One of the distinguishing features of this man was simply an amazing ability to plunge into all possible “unpleasant surprises”.
In the area of work for which he was responsible, there were constantly some conflicts with customers, with deliveries - with everything in the world. Because of this, all the resources that were raised on investments had to be “pumped” into solving these problems.
As a result, due to the fact that this state of affairs did not lead to the development – all together stamped in place, mired in the endless "extinguishing the fire". The startup, having become unprofitable, simply bent over.
It would seem that such unexpected situations, which negatively affect business, supposedly don’t depend on us. And we are used to accepting this “human factor” as a kind of inevitability, which we attribute to many problems in business.
In a conversation with this friend, memories of my chronic force majeure came to my mind.
As I remember, I will shudder: there's a tongue on the shoulder.
The contractors and the colleagues are letting down. The clients frustrate our agreements. The ambush from all sides - I can't breathe. In super-stress mode, spending a lot of time, I sort out "jambs", extinguish all fires. I succeed in doing this but at the cost of incredible efforts.
And at some point, I said to myself: “Stop! Why is everything calm with colleagues, but with me always some kind of madhouse?"
On the one hand, I understood that I was launching a new direction, and all the processes had not yet been established. But, on the other hand, where there should have been no trick, troubles happened with depressing frequency.
At that moment, I already mastered psychological techniques, so I decided to look for reasons in myself: what triggers this mechanism in me?
So, I watched the whole scenario: I analyzed the reactions and emotions in a situation where there is no force majeure, during force majeure, and how I felt when I decided on another "fucking disaster".
It turned out that when everything was calm, I became bored: everything goes so easily that it is already boring. As soon as I thought about it, another blockage immediately came. And I, mobilizing all my strength, the abilities of a cool negotiator, all possible connections, using my creativity to urgently find a non-standard solution to the problem, "drove" myself into stress. I solved all the problems, and … "Drum roll, a laurel wreath and a storm of applause", - feel cool, I feel like a winner!
A side effect of this scenario was a feeling of emptiness, which then haunted me for several more days.
I took these states of mine into self-study, after which I came to the understanding that this is how I feel my value. It turned out that only then do I feel like a valuable employee, capable of solving difficult issues. And that's the option when I deserve my salary.
The conviction was a "bonus" to this moment. "In order to earn a lot, you have to work hard." Therefore, I subconsciously created conditions for myself or found myself in circumstances in which I had to exert extra effort in order to complete all tasks.
However, these super-efforts were very energy-intensive, so the output was not always exactly the profit that was originally expected. only in this way I felt the significance of my work, the value of myself as a person, my importance and relevance. Only in this way, I felt the significance of my work, the value of myself as a person, my importance and relevance anyway. Although she didn't realize it.
As a result, when I've eliminated this behavior scenario in my subconscious, having understood and found its root cause, I practically said goodbye to force majeure. I got more resources for strategy, planning, vision for the further development of projects, and their expansion.
And, of course, I’ve left the nervous routine, instead of boredom, I got the exciting perspectives of what I was working on opened up in front of me. The new ideas were extraordinary and striking in their scale. I wanted to embody all this and not put a spoke in my wheels by some kind of force majeure, which, in fact, I did.
Have you found yourself in similar situations? How did you react to them?
(C) Lena Markaryan
Business Development Coach | Mentor | RPT-therapist