Last week I had the opportunity to join a panel with Lisa Calhoun and Kyle Porter moderated by Godard Abel of G2. Near the end of the audience Q&A session, someone asked for advice we’d share with entrepreneurs and Kyle offered up the best answer: personally grow faster than the startup. While it sounds easy at first, it’s incredibly hard.
Everyone focuses on startup growth. What about this sales and marketing strategy? What about a freemium model? Should we invest more in this? While that deservedly gets attention, when startup growth is working, even more attention needs to be paid to personal growth.
So, how do you grow faster than the startup?
Invest in yourself.
Invest in a peer group. Join the Entrepreneurs’ Organization or the Young Presidents’ Organization. Search Meetup for local startup and tech groups. Ask your local Tech Village equivalent for organizations in the area. Seek out groups of other people that want to grow and get involved.
Invest in learning. Find entrepreneurs you admire and read their books. Find authors that write about topics you care about and read their blogs. Find conferences and programs where you can immerse yourself.
Invest in a coach. Find a business coach that you meet with regularly. Commit to a program and process. Let someone else help you maximize your potential.
Invest in yourself in a systematic way. Carve out the time. Put in on your schedule. Make the commitment.
Growing personally is one of life’s great joys. Doing so in a way that keeps you ahead of your startup’s growth is one of the secrets to success. Put a plan in place and ensure that personal growth is faster than startup growth.