Drug testing

A Startup Never Closes

When it comes to a startup, the luxuries shared with established companies are few and far between. Chief among them is the luxury to close at the end of the day. Big companies have the benefits of capital, customers and receivables. Startups, on the other hand, have jack squat. They need to work twice as hard to make half as much, and even then they're not working nearly enough.

If you had any delusions going into this new venture that things were going to be easy and you were going to be on your own schedule then let me serve as your wake-up call. A startup runs like a casino ? it's all about making money, it's a huge gamble, and no matter what, a startup never closes!

Your new business hours: every waking moment

Working like a slave is the norm in a startup company, not the exception. When I started my first company, Blue Diesel, I didn't see my family, celebrate Christmas, or take a weekend day off for three years. After a while I forgot that people go home on the weekends and sick days shouldn't be considered a vacation. Sure, I was demented, but I wasn't alone.

Startups realize that in order to get ahead they need to trade their time (and their lives) for the good of the company. You can only accomplish so much by working smart ? the rest just comes down to lots and lots of hours.

Even if you've go the stamina to put this kind of time in, it doesn't necessarily mean the rest of your team does. Make sure that everyone is well aware of what is expected of them and what they're signing up for.

Set Clear Expectations, And Live by Them

It's always helpful to let people know what they are getting into before they get started. Inform potential employees during the interview that the demands of a startup are far and beyond anything of a regular 9?to-5 job. Let them know that you don't think twice about working weekends or into the evening and that you expect the same of them. You'll find that the clock-punchers won't return your phone calls and the truly insane will show up on Monday with a case of Red Bull. It's a twisted form of "natural selection".

And remember, the pace of a startup starts with you, so it's important that you set a tone by consistent example. Don't expect your team to show up before you and leave after you. You need to demonstrate that if sacrifices are going to be made, that you are as willing to make them as anyone. Action speaks a whole lot louder than words.

How to know you're working for a startup

Let me give you some indicators to let you know when you're truly working for a startup. I'll give these to you Jeff Foxworthy style. If you really don't know what day it is, you're probably working for a startup. If you know the number for pizza delivery to your office by heart, you're probably working for a startup. If you look forward to holidays because you'll miss traffic and get to work ten minutes sooner, you're probably working for a startup. Welcome to your new life.

Send 5:01 home

Not everyone will be on board with this "every waking hour" schedule. In fact, you'll inevitably hire the guy who will quickly become known as "5:01". We call him 5:01 because when the clock strikes 5:01, his stuff is already packed up and he's heading out the door. This is a problem because startups don't close at 5:00 - they leave when the job is done.

When the rest of the team is working around the clock and forgoing all sleep, 5:01 is going to be about as popular as cancer. This isn't to say that 5:01 isn't a good guy who can do good work. There's plenty of room for him - just not in a startup.

The Star that Burns Brightest Burns Fastest

There's a real downside to this schedule and that's burnout. You can only run the engine at red line for so long ? eventually it's going to explode. Knowing this, you need to give you and your team a well-deserved break from time to time. When your performance slows down all the extra hours in the world won't make up for it. Don't be afraid to take a pit stop from time to time and refresh. Get as far away from work as possible and just unwind.

It better be worth it

Needless to say, if you are going to make a sacrifice this great, you had better feel extremely passionately about what you are doing. In the end, when you make your dream a reality, the payoff will be worth it. Until then, put this column down, chug another Mountain Dew, and get back to work!

- Wil

Wil Schroter is a serial entrepreneur, author, and public speaker. Wil has been recognized as U.S. Small Business Person of the Year, twice as the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year (1999 & 2004), and is a member of the Business First Top 40 under forty. Connect directly with Wil at wschroter@yahoo.com. Visit http://www.goBIGnetwork.com.

limousine chicago service
In The News:

Entrepreneurship: What does it REALLY mean?

Introduction:In a world where ideas drive economies, it is no... Read More

5?4?3? 2...1?

A streak dating back more than three decades came to... Read More

Entrepreneurial Emotions or It Seemed Like a Great Idea at the Time

It's your first business or the next Great Idea in... Read More

Questions For The Entrepreneur To Be

Entrepreneurial e-gnorancePart 1: Questions for the entrepreneur to beIf you... Read More

Boundary Setting 101 for Solo Entrepreneurs

Select the best response to the statement below:As a solo... Read More

Have You Been Thinking About Owning Your Own Business? Or Becoming An Entrepreneur? Part 1

Almost every day, I talk with people who want to... Read More

How You Can Earn $1000 A Week Part Time

About 6 years ago I started to notice that certain... Read More

Top Ten Ways to Increase Your Profitability

1) Go back to basics. Take a couple of steps... Read More

Work vs Play: Which is the Better Way to Make Big Money?

If you want to make big money, you have to... Read More

Isnt it Time You Started to Fly?

I am going to begin this article by sharing a... Read More

Why Every Student Should Start a Business

With the economic downturn, students in all the major business... Read More

Oil Change Guys History; Part IV

One trait of franchisors and something you will find in... Read More

The Secrets to Becoming a Successful Creative Entrepreneur: JJK Secrets #19-21

Hello Creative Entrepreneurs!Welcome to the e-class on Creativity & Entrepreneurship:... Read More

Financial Strategies for Transitioning from Salaried to Solo

7 Financial Strategies for Transitioning from Salaried to SoloA 40's... Read More

Entrepreneurship Story; Over Regulation in Franchising Part I

Jim and Sally run a successful auto business, which they... Read More

Do You Have What It Takes?

I think it's fair to say that not everyone is... Read More

Will Your Business Survive Without You?

I had a health scare in December.As it turns out,... Read More

Dream It, Create It, Become It! Design a Dream Board

Have you ever heard of "Dream Boards" or "Treasure Maps"?... Read More

Six Steps to Guarantee Your Business Success

Many of us slave away for years for one uninspiring... Read More

Youve Found Your Guru, Now What?

In my last article, "Follow That Guru", I told you... Read More

Three Cs - What Startups Need to Get a Business Loan, Part 1

You want to get a good, solid overview of what... Read More

Executive Suites - A Way To Save Cash

Cash is one of the most important resources to a... Read More

Should You Write Your Own Business Plan?

If you are just starting a company and looking for... Read More

Staying Ahead of the Perils, Excerpt of Entrepreneurial Motivation Speech

Running a business is not an easy endeavor, it takes... Read More

The Heroic Entrepreneur: Profiting from Your Brilliance

If you look up the definition of hero in Webster's,... Read More

top led manufacturers dimmable led light bulb Pete's produce ..