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Join our Mental Fitness Program

Negative emotions, including stress, are the result of self-sabotage. Mental fitness allows you to travel the startup journey with a positive mindset and boost performance.

There are two ways to experience this song as a founder. You may watch the movie scene, turn the volume up, and enjoy the goosebumps.

Or, you listen to the lyrics in the context of a dialog between a founder and a startup employee, maybe in a 1:1 setting. In this sense, it raises the everlasting question about being a boss and your leadership style. Why are you so tough? Isn’t that hard? Do you need to be like that?

Founder sings

Tell me something, girl (employee) Are you happy in this modern world? Or do you need more? Is there something else you're searchin' for?

Employee sings

Tell me something, boy (founder) Aren't you tired trying to fill that void? Or do you need more? Ain't it hard keeping it so hardcore?

Yes, the video to this song could be part of the new Barbie movie. BUT: every line of this song's lyric describes a founder's journey.

🎶 There's always gonna be another mountain

🎶 I'm always gonna wanna make it move

🎶 Always gonna be an uphill battle

🎶 Sometimes I'm gonna have to lose

🎶 Ain't about how fast I get there

🎶 Ain't about what's waiting on the other side

🎶 It's the climb

As founders, we have to love the uphill climb. Building a company means solving complex and unforeseen problems every single day. If we wait for the current big problem to pass, we'll remain stuck forever. We have to learn to embrace the struggle.

🎶 The struggles I'm facing

🎶The chances I'm taking

🎶Sometimes might knock me down, but

🎶No, I'm not breaking

🎶I may not know it

🎶But these are the moments, that

🎶 I'm gonna remember most, yeah

🎶Just gotta keep going

From my experience, there is no successful startup story without many little failures unseen by the public. Steve Jobs was kicked out of Apple, Paypal was voted the "worst business concept of the year," and Joanne K. Rowling was rejected with her first Harry Potter script from a dozen publishers.

For me, these turning points became great memories and learnings.

When founders reach the end of their runway, we see a significant shift in their priorities. Deals, costs, and cash become central, and strategy or mental fitness often slip into the background. Survival mode is on.

This confrontation with the brutal truth of startup life can be a healthy shock, but it shouldn't be a surprise. A startup is all about survival.

Building a startup is like racing toward a cliff while building a bridge with blazing wildfires chasing behind you. Either you get the bridge in place in time, or you will crash and die.

Successful founders share one quality: Focus. They don't waste time on fake work but are laser-focused on what contributes to their startup's success. Sam Altman, CEO of OpenAI and former president of YCombinator, summarized it well: "The main problem is [...] instead of relentlessly focusing on building a great product and growing, they focus on everything else."

Fake work is like sugar.

Fake work is like sugar. It feels great, but before you know it, you can't live without it. A simple test to address this is to measure the results of the activities on your calendar.

Networking: How many real deals did you secure at your last networking event?

Marketing: How many meetings did you book with your latest social post?

Tool: What incremental cash flow did your latest tool or "hack" generate?

Building a startup is like racing toward a cliff while building a bridge with blazing wildfires chasing behind you. Either you get the bridge in place in time, or you will crash and die.

Crashing is neither good nor bad, just a simple fact of (startup) life. It doesn't even define how good you are as a leader. As the founder, you may not control the destination of your business, but you control how to prioritize your time.

Don't waste your time!

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