3 tips on staying creative day in, day out

3 tips on staying creative day in, day out

I often find myself unable to dream or think outside the box during business hours. Day in, day out, I’m stuck in a ritual of fighting fires and managing chaos. Yet the startup relies on everyone, including myself, to innovate. So what to do? I’ve experimented with many different strategies to this effect: From watching a TED talk every morning to working at a coworking space once a week. Here are three tactics I’ve had success with: 1. Work somewhere else…

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A little bit of success is dangerous for startups

A little bit of success is dangerous for startups

It can be dangerous to think we’ve made it. Over my startup career, I’ve witnessed many instances where a little bit of success masked important problems and triggered precocious scaling. Resulting in costly mistakes. The following are three scenarios I’ve learned to watch out for. 1. Positive feedback ≠ Guaranteed sale Most startup founders have talked to at least one prospective client before building a product. If not a prospective client, then maybe an investor or industry expert. Insight from these individuals…

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Do you know “What you want to accomplish in your role?”

Do you know “What you want to accomplish in your role?”

I regularly ask this question to team members, colleagues, friends, and even my spouse. Why? Because I believe a clear goal should guide each step we take, every minute that we spend. I believe in living consciously. Ironically, in modern life, we tend to have the clearest visions when we choose to let loose, to get away from work, to go on vacation. Our weekend and vacation plans are sometimes more structured than our career plans. How do I know this? One in two…

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30 lessons I learned managing people for the first time

30 lessons I learned managing people for the first time

I joined a startup out of college, wanting to effect change and make an impact right away. Two years thereafter, I was thrust into a management role. It was exactly what I wanted. It started with a couple direct reports, and over time, I found myself leading 20 analytics professionals. Having no prior management training, I made many mistakes. People have quit, projects have failed, and targets have been missed. That said, I’ve also successfully helped the company grow from 12…

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Don’t let instincts get in the way of doing the right thing

Don’t let instincts get in the way of doing the right thing

I like to believe that I am an objective being, actively in control of my decisions and actions, especially at work. Yet time and again, I find myself less than proud of some of my past behaviors. I’ve had demographic biases toward people; I’ve opposed arguments without assessing their basis; and I’ve agreed to ideas that are against my personal values. Fact is, I am often a slave of my subconscious, of my brain running on cruise control. And I’m…

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