As another crazy year wraps up, hopefully we are trending towards a little more return to normalcy in 2022! Here are a few of my reflections from this past year.
10. Change or be left behind
Change is inevitable, but the pace of change through COVID has really accelerated growth at some companies while destroying it at others. In business and in life, you have to adapt. Always be on the lookout for how to keep evolving or you will become a dinosaur.
9. Future of work
Most people didn’t really want to commute into an office five days a week; now with COVID remote and hybrid policies are becoming more the norm. It will be interesting to see not just how the physical location plays out, but also how leadership evolves, work is managed, and how people determine which companies to work for (or just work for themselves).
8. Job fulfillment
To the above point, I have met with many folks who were in a great job, but have used this time away from the office to realize it is not fulfilling. Many are looking to explore new options to start their own business or go after their true passions.
7. Find great people
As you are making the choice of where and how to work, I am continually reminded of the power of surrounding yourself with great people who share a common mission. Whether building out your team, being an entrepreneur involved in a community of other entrepreneurs, or listening to mentors/advisors, remember that being around other smart, talented people that can support you and hold you accountable can tremendously increase your odds of success and make the journey far more enjoyable and less lonely.
6. Growth, growth, and growth
The startup and fundraising market continues to be white hot, and the market is rewarding growth above all else. While historical metrics like Rule of 40 are still valuable in the long run, the market is currently placing far more emphasis on growth.
5. How much to raise
This is a common question of how much to raise, especially when the market is hot. There are arguments on both sides, but if you can raise money to accelerate and sustain growth that can be a viable path as you never know when those fundraising markets will cool down.
4. Ups and Downs
There are so many high and lows in a startup’s journey, many even in the same day! Remember to take a balanced approach and push on through all the crazy things that will inevitably happen.
3. Continuous learning
One of the core traits I see in successful entrepreneurs and business leaders is the ability to continuously learn and experiment with new ideas. Whether reading books, speaking with experts and customers, or listening to podcasts, find places to soak up new information that you can apply in order to continue to refine your thinking and mental models.
There are plenty of times where it is an all out sprint to get something done. But those sprints need to have a balance in order for you to recharge and finish the marathon. Whether that is sports, reading, family time, exercise, socializing, etc. make time to recharge your mind and body to be able to perform optimally over the long run.
A lot of success requires the right breaks, meetings, and circumstances that propel you forward. Luck plays a huge role, but remember luck is when opportunity meets preparation. You have to put in the time and work to be prepared in order to capitalize on the opportunities when they arise.
Here’s to a happy and healthy 2022!