An online workshop held on 30th March 2017, by the founders of Good Startups, Justin Milano and Daniel Cordaro, was an insightful session of how human psychology is more impactful than ever on the entrepreneurial mind. Product-market fits, organizational strategies, marketing tactics- of course, these are important- but as our concerns and span of responsibilities grow, nurturing the mind is just as crucial. Together, these two profound speakers extract top scientific research on emotional psychology and employ them into the world of entrepreneurship.
Entrepreneurship is indeed a rollercoaster ride of emotions which often takes a toll on the mind. After all, the search for accomplishment and achievement is a difficult one and the entrepreneur, as a leader, takes the brunt of it. This means a whole world of stress, fears and anxieties rest on the entrepreneur’s shoulders, who ends up getting overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude and may even face burnout. A day in his or her life becomes a vicious cycle of towering workload, responsibilities, decisions and the nagging fear of everything falling apart. This leaves zero time for self-reflection, relaxation or even a few moments with loved ones.
This event prods you to ask yourself: In what ways are you facing fear as an entrepreneur? As the speakers talked the audience through, it became apparent that most of our fears- the fear of a co-founder quitting, failure of a product launch, not raising enough funds- are deep-rooted anxieties rather than fear. The class covered the important differentiation between the two, reactive brain vs. the creative brain, how fear affects our decision making and the three cultures of fear.
An entrepreneur is dogged by the culture of aversion- one of the dimensions of fear. Nothing seems to be right, and things which bother are avoided. This doesn’t allow growth but rather breeds stagnancy and a sense of dissatisfaction and unproductivity. The class discusses more on how to transform this harmful aspect into a culture of acceptance to promote growth and emotional well-being which will again be reflected in the startup’s performance.
For more information on the internal state of mind, the audience was encouraged to undertake the free self-assessment test on the Good Startups website (http://www.goodstartups.com/). This encourages self-reflection to learn more about one’s mental state and where does it need that extra nudge to perform better. Besides, the speakers introduced the Breakthrough Program for entrepreneurs, an initiative by Good Startups to help entrepreneurs expand their time, transform fear, and break free from burnout.
The masterclass was enlightening and a necessary prompt to increase self-awareness and introduce a holistic approach to entrepreneurship. Our emotions, of course, nature’s way to trigger survivorship, can be debilitating under extreme circumstances and an entrepreneur, as a honed leader, needs to be in control to maximize performance.