Interesting post by Ryan Healy on Employee Evolution, A Bad Economy Is the Perfect Time to Start Over. Things were exciting during the barest startup days, he says, then got too easy after his company got financed.
But once you get funded, the headaches just begin, and it starts to feel like a “real job.” It’s easy to get comfortable, to forget about all the hard work you put in before there was cash in the bank. And strangely enough, you end up wishing you could go back to the beginning or sell your company and start a new one.
Ryan is one of the co-founders of Brazen Careerist, a Generation Y-oriented career site that, I gather from this post, has had its ups and downs. I’m aware of that blog because my daughter Megan posts on it occasionally, too.
Apparently Ryan’s too-much-success problem went away very quickly when the crash hit.
Then, before we even realized what was happening, the market crashed, investors pulled back, and we didn’t have salaries anymore. The whole company had gotten too comfortable; we weren’t prepared to handle the downturn.
But oddly enough, three months later, things are going really well. We made a decision to switch up our business model and bring in revenue any way possible. Every dollar we make is treated like gold, we’ve managed to cut our burn rate by nearly 50 percent without losing any productivity, and we’ve realized just how many ways there are to make money without begging someone for a multimillion-dollar investment.
He comes to a well-written and well-thought-out conclusion, which I’m happy to pass on. It seems particularly appropriate to the world of startups during tough economic times:
I’ve learned a lot from this whole experience, both personally and professionally. Difficult situations are the best learning opportunities; when things are good it’s very difficult to see how you can improve. But when times are tough, you have the opportunity to make difficult, life-altering decisions. Great businesses and great leaders embrace difficult situations and thrive when times are tough.
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