9. Managing a Board: “Setting expectations and over-deliver”
We all know that as soon as you take someone’s money in the business world, you need to meet or exceed their expectations of you. Having a company board can be a great thing, as they generally provide much of the funding and advice you need to get off the ground. However, a board can also be a strain on you personally and professionally.
In Jason’s experience, setting up reasonable expectations and over-delivering is the best thing to do. Picture this example – you’re told that if you sit through a lecture on eTrade’s new day-trading software you will be entered into a drawing to win the new iPad. Imagine now how you would feel if the presenter announced at the end that they were mistaken and were actually going to be giving away an iPod Shuffle. You would feel shorted.
Essentially, this is where setting expectations comes in. Imagine now if instead the presenter offered an iPod Shuffle, but then ended up giving away an iPad. When you set up lower expectations and over-deliver, people are generally happier.
10. Finding Balance
In keeping with the “uncensored” theme, Jason is open and honest when it comes to the toll that startups take on a person and their life outside of work. He himself found it difficult to make friends, date, spend time with family, and take care of his health while working full-time for his startup. As a result, he cautions others to create as much balance as possible while working hard and remaining productive.
One of the best pieces of advice he gave was to not let your startup venture become your identity. If you are the type of person that takes business failures personally, you may need to reexamine your priorities. The overall theme here is work hard, enjoy what you do, but be sure to make time for yourself and others while living life your way.
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