Why So Many Startups?

Startups? Well, a lot of people are leaving their jobs: 4.3 million in August, 3% of the workforce. “The Great Resignation.” There is much debate on why people don’t want the jobs they used to have, but here’s what I am seeing.

Think of it this way: Why did Beethoven write the 9th? Because he could. Same reason a lot of people are leaving their jobs, and founding Startups. Because they can.

They’ve already worked through their detachment from office life. And they’ve had a taste of a new kind of agency, adventure, work/life integration maybe…never before known to them.

Technology makes it possible to work from anywhere. And they like it. Instead of complaining about their commutes, they’re dreaming about, and figuring out, how they really want to spend the next phase of their lives.

Social Entrepreneurship

I’m also seeing a lot of Social Entrepreneurship:

Social entrepreneurship is an approach by individuals, groups, start-up companies or entrepreneurs, in which they develop, fund and implement solutions to social, cultural, or environmental issues.

OMG, what a thrill it is for me to be a part of these bold and brave journeys into such industries as worldwide renewable energy, insurance and financial products for the underserved…

Notice I said brave and bold, because not all of these endeavors are guaranteed to succeed. In fact, many do not. And one of the reasons given for this in Findstack’s report on Startup Statistics is a “weak founding team.”

Gregory Daco , Oxford Economics U.S. specialist, “noted that many new companies in the U.S. have a single founding employee.”

One or a small number of founders may feel more freedom to move and decide, yes, but also more responsibility than they have ever handled before as well.

The joke is I left my 9 to 5 job to go out on my own, and now I am working 24/7 instead.

And, I can tell you that way too much of that time is spent struggling with the kinds of decisions they never had to make before, which can lead to burnout. Not good for business. So here’s what can help.

3 Tips for Startup Success

Enjoy the Journey: Not just as a means to an end, but as an end in itself. And, know your BATNA, that is, your Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement, in this case the agreement you made with yourself to throw everything you have at this business you started. Knowing your plan for how you will be okay, no matter what, is the best way to help yourself enjoy the ride.

Create Your Own Advisory Board: Whether it’s a consultant, mentor, partner, coach…do check experience and credentials. Too many people are drinking the Kool-Aid that ‘your mess is your message’; as if, still being in the mess is somehow a credential itself. It’s not. And make sure the people you invite in are good company for you. As per Getting to G.R.E.A.T.: “A great life depends on a great fit between who we are and the environments in which we work and live.” So make sure your people provide an environment in which you can thrive.

Decision Making: Fredkin’s Paradox is that:

“The more equally attractive two alternatives seem, the harder it can be to choose between them—no matter that, to the same degree, the choice can only matter less.” Thus, a decision-making agent might spend the most time on the least important decisions.

Don’t do that. It’s what Buridan’s Ass did, when he couldn’t decide between the hay or the water, so he died of both hunger and thirst instead. The competition is all too happy for you to be dragging your feet while you hope for perfect information to drop out of the sky. But since there is no perfect information, there are no perfect decisions either. The harder the decision, the more trade-off there is, and so much of how things turn out really is outside of our control.

So, the bottom line in my view is this: It Is Not the Decisions We Make But What We Make of The Decisions Once We Have Made Them That Makes All The Difference in Our Lives. Let us know what you’ve tried and what you think!