Recent Lessons Learned At My First Startup

I’m not an entrepreneur (yet), but both my parents are and I work with Ladies Who Launch, helping women incubate and grow their new business. I live in Boulder, Colorado where there are over 170 startups with a booming and supportive community around entrepreneurship. Oh I also work at a start up.

That’s my startup cred.

Officially, I will call Lijit my first *startup and now that I’ve been here 10 months I want to organize my thoughts into everything that I’ve learned. Believe me, it’s a lot and it won’t stop here.

Top Ten Things The Startup World Has Taught Me

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  1. Be prepared to wear many hats (and like it).
  2. Life moves fast, 100 mph is standard. Go for the ride.
  3. Working hard is your M.O. Nights, weekends, events, conferences.
  4. There are high highs and low lows
  5. Your mistakes shape and mold you. They’re necessary for growth. Let failure and the unexpected be part of the process.
  6. Company culture that is creative, **fun and funky are synonymous for a startup personality. **Must have foos ball, Wii, Rockband, Ping Pong table, company outings, etc. I will also mention that there’s a strong sense of connectivity and trust at Lijit and I’ve heard and seen the same with other startups. Our CEO and COO are approachable and interact with us daily. I know friends that have never even met the CEO of their large company, let alone sit down personally in their office to discuss a new idea or project you want to work on.
  7. Your mind must be elastic and bendable in finding a solution. Don’t accept “It’s not possible.” The best entrepreneurs and leaders will find a way.
  8. Talking and listening to your customers is imperative. There is so much to learn from them. Their feedback is viable and treating them with respect is of the utmost importance. Our customer support and service is often the most touted by our users. It’s because we value their needs. They keep us going.
  9. Exercise faith. You must believe in what you’re doing. The passion and faith drive success.
  10. Each employee is there for a reason. Micah, our VP of Business Development never forgets to remind me that “each employee bring imminent value to Lijit. The moment you stop bringing value, you’re gone.” You can’t afford an antagonist in your startup. Catalysts are the fuel for startups.

Do you have startup experience? What other lessons do you find useful-either that of your friends or own experience? Please share.

Photo Credit: CEONYC

*I worked at my Father’s startup business for years in high school, experiencing much of this but don’t think I’m counting it officially.

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