Growth is about transformation.
Growth is about building new connections.
Growth is about creating new structures.
Growth is about conquering the unknown.
Growth is about balance of the growth process itself.
Growth is not a bet.
And the list might go on and on.
The market orientation and other variables are well understood by startups, or at least the necessity to understand those variables should be present. I think the most important variable is still often neglected: personal growth and transformation. You cannot coach yourself to exhaustion, faint, wake up and expect to be transformed. You have to do the work. You have to work for the growth to happen.
The growth of startups I am referring to is not short-term but is rather to long-term building process that does require a personal growth with fundamental personal transformation. There might be an endless list of references for personal growth. You name it! Here I can speak for myself and share my learnings with you.
Growth has to be for a good reason.
One of the best reasons is always a win-win. Because that’s what makes you feel good about the next step. Although personal transformation is about the “Alice in Wonderland” feeling, there are three aspects that can guide us and tell us that we are on the right path.
You have to let something go that held you back from the next step. This step is not painless, because you let something go that served you well in the past. It maybe the way you treat people in general or the way you react to conflicts or problems. But you know that you made the decision take yourself to the next level. It’s like writing. You cannot write the next sentence unless you make the full top and start writing a new sentence. You have to make your point and head toward the next point. So, growth cannot be only an accumulation of qualities and skills, it has to be also letting go the old ones.
Embrace the unknown carefully.
Startup life is fast. But in personal transformation, don’t rush. When you come to the point, where you want to make a decision to make the next step in your personal transformation, take your time to reflect. How much time? Here it is important to keep your feet on the ground and not get lost in fantasies. I think with two hours of focused reflection, alone or with a friend, should be enough, to bring you to the point, where you can make a decision, what to do next and what to leave behind. The situation will be new, even though the circumstances will be the same. Don’t rush. Adapt steadily, conquer the new terrain and be prepared for the high and the lows.
Perceive the immediate results.
It sounds like magic and it somehow is. You will see immediate results and you will feel different about things that will happen. And it doesn’t matter whether the perceive it in a new way because your perspective has changed or because things and people start changing around you. Both go hand in hand. Don’t overthink this. Be practical.
So next time you are stuck somewhere, and you are waiting for something to happen, recall to your mind that growth does not happen, growth is done and apply this: let go the old, embrace the unknown carefully and perceive the immediate results.
And most importantly: remember people, who helped you to get here and feel grateful about this chance to grow!