Startup founder

Why do Startup Founders burnout ?

The past data about the survival of startups are not pretty encouraging. Statistics say 90% of startup fail in the very first year of their inception. One of the major reason behind that is burnout. Most of startup founders burnout at the very early stage of their venture. I have been mentoring startups since last four years and I have tried to find out the factors which contribute to the startup founders burnout.

 Goal and Objectives

Goal setting is one of the important and critical aspect for survival of new Startups. Startups must have their goals and objectives very clear. These goals and objectives should be SMART. It means goals and objectives should fulfill the criteria of being Specific Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound. Once G&Os are clear they must have structured plan to achieve them, how will they move ahead in startup journey, at what time which milestone to be covered etc.


Startup Burnout

Absence of road map and scorecards

Most of the startup founders fails in doing this basic homework. They start with an idea initially and jump in without any plans or blueprints. One must have clear road map before rushing towards launching, marketing, pitching, funding and scaling; failing to which result in burnout at the very early stage. Most Startups have have a fuzzy goals and maybe a general direction (if I sow seeds of a tree, eventually I’ll get wood if not the fruits), but they don’t really have a step by step plan worked out with goals and objectives. So they often work really hard without any idea if what they are doing is actually moving them forward. With no road map and scorecards, they waste their efforts on less worthy tasks and they often burnout. I recommend startup founders to use balanced scorecard to track the health of startups.

Imagine you are sailing a ship in a sea without compass and there is heavy fog all around. You know there is land somewhere but you are not clear where it is, you will not be able to see how far is land and in which direction you need to go. After days and days of exhausting sail , you’ll start to question why you are doing this at all. You’ll work half-halfheartedly , or maybe not at all because the goal seems so far away and some days it seems impossible.

Develop performance measurement mechanism

When Startup founders are clear about their goals, and they know precisely what steps they need to get there, they must develop a performance measurement mechanism to monitor the progress.  Achieving milestones one by one will keep them motivated and they wont feel burnout.

One man Army

Most of the startup try to run the show as one man army. They try to take care of all the aspects of their business right from strategy, operations, business development, marketing, SEOs, finances, supply chain and pitching to investors. It’s not a practical approach. You can not take care of every aspect. Try to hire few experts or outsource it specialized agencies.  Governments are spending lot of money on developing the startup ecosystems, take their help. Division of labour is a proven success factor for the growth of any business. Delegate the operational work and use your time effectively on important developmental aspects.

There are many other factors of burnout but I have mention what I feel is most important. I hope things mentioned will help you in your startup journey.

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