CEO Shoptalk – Celebrate The Winning Of Small Beginnings

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. [John 1:1]

In the beginning of any startup company is the crucible that is the startup world which flows from The Idea and becomes the Vision, Mission, Strategy, Tactics, Objectives, Values, Culture.

Take a breath, a deep breath, exhale.

Then, there is the Pitch Deck, the Go-to-Market Strategy, the proforma, the Business Engine Canvas, the Dollar Weighted Org Charts, etc. etc. etc. There are Bylaws, Articles of Incorporation, and Shareholder Agreements.

This is all before you even begin to think about the prospect of raising money to breathe life into all of the above.

It is a bloody daunting task and I see lots of startup founders slowly drowning in the enormity of it.

Ernest Hemingway reference, The Sun Also Rises:

“How did you go  bankrupt?”

“Two ways. Gradually, then suddenly.”

Substitute the word “drown” for “bankrupt” and you get the picture.

It is not very comforting to say, “How does one eat an elephant? One bite at a time.” Because, let’s be honest, you are more likely to be eating Ramen noodles.

So, what do we do, Big Red Car?

Ahhh, dear reader, we celebrate the winning of small beginnings.

 1. Make a list of all of the above. You can cheat. Monkey see, monkey do is a legitimate tactic. Just make sure you’re hanging with a high class pack of monkeys.

 2. When you complete each task, have a celebration. Hell, have a nice celebration. It doesn’t have to be insane — binge watch some new Netflix series, have a hot dog, get a foot massage — but make the reward something you can recall.

 3. Plot your next item on the checklist and pre-commit to your reward. This now becomes a gravitational force propelling you ever forward.

Why are we doing this, Big Red Car?

Simple, dear founder, because whatever behaviors you reward you are going to replicate and get more of even when you are the one doing both the work and the rewarding.

It will also be fun, a commodity that is in very scarce supply in those early founding days.

You are going to FEED THE FIRE.

Bottom line it, Big Red Car

I work constantly with founders who find them selves overwhelmed. I see it constantly.

I am, of course, quite objective and dispassionate about it because I am both experienced in the milieu and I have talked plenty of CEO/founders in off the ledge.

 1. Celebrate the winning of small beginnings.

 2. Feed the fire.

 3. Rinse and repeat.

Soon, you will have it all done and realize it wasn’t really all that hard. BTW, the best dish for elephant is elephant burgers cooked rare.

Good luck and God bless and you’ve got this thing.

But, hey, what the Hell do I really know anyway? I’m just a Big Red Car.