Entrepreneur Office Hours - Issue #162
Do you love getting back to work as much as me?
I love the first week back to work after the winter holidays. I don’t exactly know why, but I think it’s because everyone seems a little happier and more energized. I guess spending lots of time with families is what helps people appreciate their jobs more.
Whatever the case, welcome back from your holidays. I’m looking forward to sharing a great 2023 with all of you here inside Entrepreneur Office Hours. I don’t want to over-promise and under-deliver, but I’ve got what I think is some good stuff in the pipeline as I begin to enhance, expand, and experiment with the format of what I do in EOH every week.
But those experiments aren’t starting this week. Instead, this week, I’m keeping it simple… a couple articles and a Q&A as usual just to get things back on track.
Every startup founder thinks about quitting at some point, and a lot of them do. But burnout is avoidable if you know what causes it.
No matter how successful a found is, entrepreneurship appears a lot more glamorous than it actually is when you’re grinding away in the trenches.
Office Hours Q&A
No new content this week? WTF? When did you become such a slacker????
LOL. Just kidding. Happy new year. Thanks for everything you do.
I received this email after my last issue where I mentioned I wasn’t bothering to put out any new content. I realize the message he sent is supposed to be funny and isn’t a “real” startup question, but I actually wanted to address it in my Q&A because it’ll allow me to make what I hope is a useful point.
In my younger and more naive days, I used to grind during the holidays as hard as I did the rest of the year. I didn’t care that nobody else was working.
If I was fundraising, that meant continuing to reach out to lots of VCs and trying to schedule pitch meetings during the holidays.
If I was selling, that meant connecting with sales prospects and trying to book demos.
If I was creating articles, that meant publishing on Christmas Day and New Years Day.
Because I thought the world surely had other people like me who were still working. I figured if I was the only person fundraising or selling or publishing content, then I wasn’t going to have any competition and I could make stuff happen despite the time of year.
I was wrong. I wasn’t going to change other people’s behaviors with my actions. Instead, I was mostly wasting my time.
I never booked a meaningful investor meeting or sales call at the end of December because people were out of office (either physically or, at the very least, mentally). Similarly, my holiday articles have the smallest reach of anything I’ve ever published because people’s Internet usage habits dramatically shift around holidays.
I bring this up because these outcomes helped me learn an important lesson that I’ll share with you in order to hopefully save you a lot of wasted time. The lesson is this:
Don’t fight the current.
That’s why I didn’t publish any articles last week. Only a handful of you were going to see them, and it just wasn’t worth the effort.
The same will be true with whatever things you might want to do for your startup that involve other people. You’re not going to have any luck getting investors when you kick off a round of funding in December. You’re not going to sign a huge customer. You’re not going to make a big acquisition, hire a key employee, or close a major partnership deal. It’s just not the season for those kinds of things.
Instead, focus on things you normally don’t have enough time for. For example, try to get organized so you’re more efficient next year. Do some backlogged coding work or accounting work or reporting work. Spend some time pouring over your analytics. In other words, do things that can actually bring value during a time of year with lots of disruption around how and when people operate. This means focusing on work in December that only requires you rather than work involving other people. I promise you’ll be much happier with the outcomes.
Got startup questions of your own? Reply to this email with whatever you want to know, and I’ll do my best to answer!