I was recently asked this question in a private chat.
How do you Keep Yourself and the Team Motivated in a Startup?
I bring a first-hand perspective to this question having built a team from the ground up. I can certainly say that it’s almost like growing and tending a garden. There are no easy answers and unfortunately no amount of ‘self-help’ reading will help. This is especially difficult when you are supposed to be leading the team. Everybody looks up to you. The paradox is that the leader needs as much help as others expect from them.
1. Become part of a wider community where you can share your unique expertise. Regardless of whether it’s Reddit, twitter, focus groups, physical meetup events, etc. Think of it as community of purpose than a community of practice.
2. Present on topics of your interest. You will be surprised at how much clarity you gain in preparing for the talk as well as the satisfaction you get in delivering it.
3. Rely less on external validation of your ideas or opinions. As individuals, we all have a unique opinion of the world and that’s what makes the world a diverse and vibrant place. We don’t have to agree with each other all the time. Disagreement doesn’t take away the merit in each opinion.
A learning a day keeps the boredom away.
Lastly, keep the focus on learning and sharing what we learn on a daily basis. Encourage the team to share one-new-learning-for-the-day. A learning a day keeps the boredom away. “Boredom” here refers to the feeling of futility, monotony and lack of meaning in one’s work.