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Thursday, December 8, 2011

Get Over It and Move On!

Have you ever made a mistake?  If your answer is no, maybe you are not human.  Everyone has made mistakes and that they range in degrees of complexity.  Mistakes occur even when following the best advice from the best people.  What is important to startups is that you recognize the mistakes and quickly recover and get back on track.

One of the impediments to getting back on track is EGO!  You feel ashamed, stupid, like it was not your fault, or any of a variety of other feelings.  These feelings can impede on your ability to review the situation and determine how to fix the newly created issues.  The longer you wait to repair the damage, the more likely the degree of damage will get worse.

Fixes can be extremely difficult and costly but failing to fix the problems may be more costly.  Just a simple example is getting a flat tire after driving over a board with a nail.  You were not attentive and could have missed the hazard.  Failing to stop quickly and safely can enhance the damage.  Driving on a flat can result in increased damage to the rims and poor control of the car. 

What should you do when you learn of a big or small mistake in your startup? Here are a few ideas:

·       Get over the feelings associated with the event; i.e. anger, frustration, fear, etc.

·       Quickly analyze the  problems that have been created

·       Determine where you are and where you need to be

·       Review the issues with your team and/or advisors

·       Chart a path to the new target that resolves the problems the best you can

·       Then: Execute, Execute, Execute

You may notice that the suggestions are similar to what you would do on any new project.  The biggest difference is getting over all the emotions than can inhibit you from fixing the problems and moving forward. In short:  Get Over It, and Move On!”