Twelve Weeks In: Still Learning
About six weeks ago, Andrew wrote a post entitled “Six Weeks In: Lessons Learned.” The reason it was one of our most popular posts is that most of our readers know us personally at least to some degree. I thought I’d take a stab at elaborating and giving my own spin on Andrew’s sentiments from six weeks ago with an update, because this week marks our twelfth at Spogo HQ. While the lessons haven’t changed from Andrew’s post, their applications have in certain ways.
Lesson 1: Stay Focused
The two most written words in our office are TO and DO. With so many fast moving parts, allocating responsibilities and prioritizing assignments are critical to how we are building Spogo. As Andrew aptly described, being able to stay focused on launching and managing this season’s version of Spogo is, and will continue to be, at the forefront of everything we do. Beyond that, having the grander vision for Spogo in mind, is what helps motivate us to grind it out day after day, as we swim in a sea of to-do’s.
Lesson 2: Confidence is King
Looking back at Andrew’s post, he discussed how we should continue to improve our confidence in approaching and meeting with entrepreneurs, investors, partners, advisors, etc. Even more important, in my eyes, has been gaining confidence in our own entrepreneurial skills. We have learned so much in such a short period of time about startups, tech, mobile, sales, marketing, finance—these lessons have helped foster the confidence and belief we’ll need to actually do what we have set out to do.
Lesson 3: Get Out of the Office
Every day is different at Spogo HQ. Today, I was out at a handful of meetings with potential partners while Andrew held down the fort. When things started to slow down a bit at around 5:30pm, Andrew realized he hadn’t even looked outside all day. Getting out of the office for a breath of fresh air and a little exercise is important. For all I know, Andrew takes breaks outside to chain smoke because I stress him out so much (see Lesson 4)—but whatever it is, we have learned it’s important to get out of our desk chairs at least for a little while each day to maintain our own sanity, recharge the batteries, and continue to forge ahead with some energy.
Lesson 4: Fight With Your Co-Founder
As Andrew noted, I’m not a fun person to fight with. I’m stubborn, get angry easily when I argue, and some believe me to be big and scary. I’ve had to work at taking a step back, making concessions and having civil discussions, as opposed to having blow-out arguments when there are issues on which we take opposite sides. This has been a great thing for Spogo, not only for our own growth and development, but for that of the business. If one person got his way every time there was an important decision to be made, it would likely lead to poorer decisions.
It is pretty remarkable how true the lessons we learned so early on in this process have remained. However early on it still may be today, and however much we’ve learned in three full months, there is always more to do and to soak in from this experience. And while we stay focused with our lists of to-do’s, remain confident in ourselves and our work, and probably have a fight from time to time, we won’t forget to look outside once in a while.