Why your startup may fail before you begin…

I like to go on interviews for fun especially if I’m sought out. I don’t see it as wasting anyone’s time, valuable information gets shared in these meetings behind closed doors. Market strategy and ideas are very valuable. I recently decided to meet with a startup, and politely declined moving forward in the process before they could even think about moving forward with me. Let me tell you what I learned:

  • Have a strategy: ANY strategy and if your strategy is “warm bodies in seats” this is not a very well thought out strategy. I always ask what the company’s strategy is for whatever year it is and their five-year plan. It’s only fair, I am expected to answer the same question, and it shows you’re interested. When the answer is “We’ll do any thing to fill seats”… STOP! RUNAWAY!
    • First of all that raises flags for me on ethics.
    • You do not have a market strategy? Do you want to be successful?
    • This is also usually a flag for “We’re hoping we get purchased by a larger company.”
  • To truly grow your company you will need top management and sales department recruits. Unless someone is personally invested in your business they probably aren’t going to take the job for less than they make. No matter how much “unlimited commission” you offer. If a person doesn’t negotiate or takes what you are offering:
    • They hate their current job.
    • They lied.
    • They are about to be fired.
    • They are not nearly as good as their resume says.
  • Speaking of pay, your management and sales team is where you need to invest. You already have the product or service now it’s time to convince others they do too. If you expect to offer an entry level salary, you are going to get entry level people.

I salute your endeavors to begin your own company and move out into the world. There are many consulting firms that assist with these projects, I suggest you hire one. You may not have a strategy at first or how you want to introduce your sales cycle but their are people out there, veterans of the marketplace, who are for hire to assist your goals.

Worklife

I’ve been doing a lot of self-reflection and mindfulness recently to counter my anxiety. Along with reading blogs and articles about what could be the root of my problem. I’ve been at my company for over five years. At first, I was getting my feet wet, and then I was promoted to a position I didn’t love, I felt underpaid and under apprciated. I was promoted again and it was better for awhile and then the rut started again this more quickly than the last. I realized it’s not the job itself, it’s the culture.

I then found this article on Forbes.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/ashleystahl/2016/03/03/hate-your-job-heres-what-its-costing-you/#589b73476630

Hating your job has negative health effects.

  • Weight Gain
  • Illness
  • Mental Health
  • Stress
  • Losing Sleep
  • It will hinder your personal life
  • Lower motivation and passion
  • It can kill your confidence and self-worth
  • It’s holding you back from what you really want to do

Everything I have been feeling in one article. I’ve never been the person who needs constant praise but a “Nice presentation” wouldn’t be too much to ask. My clients love me more than my company does. I have had some call to say “hi” and ask how my day is going, I’ve never had a manager ask how my day is going…

After much self-reflection the realization that it isn’t me or the particular job I am doing, it’s the company and the culture. The churn and burn, stay until it’s done, have a quota worth millions but yet make less than $40K. The truth of the matter is, I’m just horribly unhappy and need to start looking outside my company. Some of this realization came from when I applied for a promotion and received a robo e-mail from my own company, they chose someone else. I didn’t even deserve a “thanks for applying, we had some great candidates” (There were only ten candidates they chose four). Yes, I could ask for feedback which would be proper, but I’m just done the last straw situation. I’m just a warm body in a seat, I’ve made the company over a billion dollars in my tenure but I’m just a number. (Fun story, this is why I dropped out of the first University I went to. It was large and 500 people in my class, I couldn’t learn that way.)

So now the job hunt starts, but where to start…

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Burnout + Kids = Insanity

Emotional and Physical burnout is real with anxiety or not. We try to do so many things in our life and pack as much into our daily lives as we can.

  • Work 40+ hours a day
  • Take some graduate classes
  • Raise children
  • Tend to your relationship
  • Keep the house clean
  • Never ending laundry
  • Walk the dog
  • Blog
  • Agree to attend your mother’s third cousins party
  • Call your parents
  • Have dinner at the in-laws
  • Go to the gym

The list never seems to really end. Packed into all of this we’re supposed to have some self-care. For some people, the gym is their happy place and they can knock off two bird with one stone. For me it’s rest, I need to rest my brain because it never truly shuts off. Extra sleep, maybe a massage, these things make me feel better but trying to schedule something else in is daunting. There isn’t a lot of “me time” in my life. I’ve been searching for jobs that may not be more work life balance but allows for more time to myself even if it’s on a plane, just like running away but the adult kind.

I am happily married, two cats, work 40 hours a week in a cube, going to graduate school, and currently in therapy. I do my best around the house but sometimes it’s overwhelming for me and I need to not think about it. My husband helps out a lot sometimes more than his fair share with everything I have going on. I’m jealous of him most days. He works from home when his work is done he gets free time. If my work is done at the office I still have to sit there and twiddle my thumbs. (There are very few days my work is ever done, but the option would be nice) Oher days he’s getting work calls during dinner and at night, those are the days I’m less jealous.

I seem to be on the edge of a breakdown recently. For sure physically, I’ve had a cold for almost three weeks now. I’ve put my relationship on autopilot which is the worst thing I can ever do, I’m just trying to get through the day and the next day. When I first started grad school my husband looked me in the face and asked if I was taking on too much. Although I didn’t and still don’t want to admit it he’s right. My bigger issue is I want the white picket fence with the 2.5 kids and we are at the very low end of the middle class. We don’t own a home my car is almost ten years old and I’m going to cry when it needs replacing, not because I’m attached to it, but because of the payments.

Both our parents keep talking about grandkids and I want to scream “Will you pay for them?”. And then the anxiety kicks in again. What if I wait too long? What if grad school doesn’t lead to a better job? What if we never own a house? There’s this series of events that every generation before me has had and I have no idea how they were able to afford any of it. I emptied our HSA for Invisalign because it’s too hard to floss and dental upkeep appointments were draining me. I’m too young to think about losing teeth. <- That’s what’s on my mind right now not children. But my husband is ready so it feels like I’m just standing there surrounded by disappointed faces because I want our lives to be better. If we had a child and ACA went away, even though I have pretty good company insurance, and something went wrong… it would crush us.

These are the thoughts I have. Not the happy I want to be pregnant thoughts that all of my friends have. I’m already stretched to my limits, and I don’t want to pick a fight with anyone. If I bring up my concerns I’m told I’m crazy and it won’t be like that. But what if it is…