Co-founder and chief marketing officer of Bulu Box gives her advice on keeping things hot with your startup.
By Stephanie Jarrett, (Co-founder & CMO, Bulu Box)
Any given entrepreneur has about five startup ideas in their back pocket. Sometimes they move onto the next one before they’ve given their first idea a fair shot. Maybe they just over-exhausted themselves. Maybe they made bad hires the first time around which resulted in a bad culture, leading them to an affair with their other startup ideas.
What happened? They fell out of love with their startup. Certain factors can lead to losing your passion for your startup. If you identify with any of the following, you may need some startup relationship counseling.
- Are you bored or not feeling challenged enough?
- Have there been setbacks or failures that leave you feeling rundown?
- Are you overwhelmed by the stress that accompanies a startup?
- Maybe you’re stressed from feeling overworked?
- Are you feeling overall unmotivated?
It can be tough to find that work-life balance and still maintain your love for your startup. After two years with Bulu Box, I'm glad to say I'm still in love with my job and my company. Here's a few ways to ensure you that you stay in love with your startup years down the road:
Make Time for Sleep and Exercise
Entrepreneurs think pulling all-nighters and working 18 hours a day is a badge of honor, but it can actually become a detrimental routine. After a solid three months of overworking, which is characteristic of many entrepreneurs, I finally forced myself to fit fitness and sleep into my schedule. I made a point to block out eight hours a day for sleep. For exercise, I go to CrossFit four to five times a week. No, I don’t actually have the time for these things, but I know that I need to make time for these things. Doing so keeps me alert during the day and allows me to give my best to the team.
If you’re feeling unmotivated and are having a hard time making the time to sleep and exercise, then stay motivated by doing the tasks you love. Reconnecting with the core of your business in this way can help recharge your passion and further drive your desire to feel better for yourself and your company.
Just remember to put aside work for a few minutes to hours every day or a few hours every week, and use that time to focus on something for you.
Keep Your Brain Engaged
If you feel that you’re falling into a rut, consider learning something new! Sharpen your focus and skills by engaging in different methods of running a startup or learning about industry related trends. You can find online classes and webinars for free or there are many sites and blogs to read that offer great information to help you get your passion back.
Clearly Delineate Responsibilities
My co-founder and Bulu Box CEO happens to also be my husband. From the start, we listed responsibilities for each of us and although we always ask for each other’s input, we always respect the decision-making power entitled to each other’s role. Clearly delineate your responsibilities so you don’t develop resentment for your co-founders or coworkers or step on each other’s toes.
Don't Neglect Culture
Whether your company is as small as five people or as large as 50 people, one thing is for certain: culture matters. Since Bulu Box is a nutrition and health company, we do things that fall in line with our active culture. We host a month-long office boot camp with a personal trainer, we run marathons together, and we bring in nutritionists to teach us healthy recipes. A solid company culture empowers people to do their best when they are at their happiest in an environment that cultivates creativity and expression.
Celebrate successes of each team member and the company as a whole. When experiencing something that might bring morale down, reflect on successful moments and pull from moments of inspiration. Pause and acknowledge successful moments. Celebrate these moments as they happen, and pull from them in the future for inspiration and motivation.
Write Down Your Company Mission and Talk About It Daily
A lot of companies have a mission statement or a core purpose. Very few companies reference, reiterate, or respect it daily. Remind yourself constantly why you decided to spend your time, energy, and money in this startup in the first place. Your team is integral to your startup and talking about your mission with your team regularly will set a positive tone. The team will build their own expectations and hold for themselves a high standard of productivity to meet your mission, which is now theirs.
Fire the Assholes
We have a policy at Bulu Box: fire the assholes. Yes, it's a strong, intimidating statement, as it’s meant to be. We strongly stand by it so there is no confusion, ifs, ands, or buts about it. Nobody likes working for, or with, a jerk. So we don't keep 'em around. One jerk, means negative energy that can bring down company morale, work against the company culture, and hinder the start up mission. Keep it simple, fire the assholes!
Don’t stray from your startup with those five simple rules. Understanding your role in the company and that of your team will lead to a company culture everyone will love.
How do you stay in love with your startup?
About the guest blogger: Stephanie Jarrett is the co-founder and chief marketing officer of Bulu Box, which provides vitamins, supplements and weight loss products to customers through a unique subscription service. Stephanie built her portfolio as an art director and interactive designer for big brands like LeapFrog, TD Ameritrade and Complete Nutrition.