Being an entrepreneur takes a heavy toll on your mental health. Everytime a customer calls, and asks to be transferred to a manager … your first thought is … “shit, what did we do wrong now?”
No matter how confident you are of your work, how good you think your product is … it’s always the same … if a customer call cannot be handled by the support staff … then you are (and your company is) in trouble.
This is exactly the kind of thinking all those entrepreneural books talk about and show you how to occlumate against. It should work, you think. You wish.
Everything else aside, the one magic rule I’ve learnt about a startup company … customer service is your #1 goal.
Making money, feeding yourself, taking a holiday … they are all secondary.
I’ve identified an easy way to give myself quick, 5-minute pep-up talks (verbal/literary Red Bulls, if you want) everytime I feel my energy fading and asking myself “Why am I doing this … why not just get a 9 to 5 job and get a paycheck every month and live happily ever after?”
This is when I open the latest issue of Wired, Entrepreneur, Forbes or Business 2.0 magazines and read a few articles. There are so many positive stories, so many ideas that people worked on and made success stories that I cannot but get energized and get back to work with more vigor. After all, once a techy/geeky/nerdy programmer, always a techy/geeky/nerdy entrepreneur!
It’s been working since the last few months … and I see this as an excellent and cheap (5 minutes and a magazine costing $1 per issue, subscribed?!) way to make sure I don’t loose focus due to some small and inconsequential reason.
Now, why I use a Magazine, instead of websites … thats more to do with where I’m sitting/standing while I give myself the pep-talk … by the window, taking glances at the kids playing ball across the street, watching clouds moving or even in an empty conference room … or others!