What are some startup strategies that people should implement into their daily lives? originally appeared on Quora - the knowledge sharing network where compelling questions are answered by people with unique insights.
There are several ways to apply startup strategies to your everyday life that I talk about throughout my book, but here are three to get you started:
Become an MVP: Startups build an MVP or Minimum Viable Product that delivers only the essential features. They keep it simple and lean. And you can become your own personal MVP by stripping away the unnecessary layers that bog you down - all the "shoulds" and "nice to haves" that cloud your judgement, and reconnect with the things that really matter. What's your personal mantra? What is at the core of everything you do? Let it guide you and give yourself permission to let go of the stuff that isn't in line with it. (You're never too old to become an MVP).
Make space for failure: The prevailing Silicon Valley sentiment is that if you aren't failing frequently, you probably aren't risking enough. And I'm reminded of Henry Ford's conception of failure: "failure is an opportunity to begin again more intelligently." If we look at our greatest minds and inventors, from Henry Ford to Thomas Edison, they failed more often than they succeeded. But they persevered and continued to experiment and learn from their shortcomings. It's our failures, not our triumphs, that shape us the most and make us better, stronger, more compelling. Giving yourself permission to fall down can be a win. It cultivates patience, teaches hard lessons, and, if you commit to analyzing what went wrong, makes you exponentially stronger the next time around.
But we've largely lost patience with cultivating success. We want instant gratification, but the arc of our lives is long and we need to calibrate our definition of success accordingly. Failure and success are not opposites; they are complements on the same spectrum. So redefine failure, what does it mean to fail? Failure is an opportunity to grow from adversity, but only through the sense-making process; we must actively, deliberately reflect on failure (because we don't grow merely from the failure itself, but from what we make of it).
Make space for failure by surfing fear. Constantly push yourself out of your comfort zone. Putting yourself out there is rewarding, even without a definite exterior metric of success.
Live a life in transition. Change is not coming: it's already here. And the sooner we accept that the stronger we'll be. Startups change course, or pivot, all the time when things don't go as planned. It's not perceived as bad or embarrassing, just necessary for survival. But we often don't give ourselves the same freedom to explore and hit refresh. Sometimes you're just a pivot away from a major breakthrough, professionally or personally. Living a life in transition and hitting refresh allows you to pull from your accumulated knowledge and to move toward something better.
You can be the boss of change if you adapt an "always be changing" mindset to keep your mind ripe and ready for change, making you less likely to become derailed when things ultimately don't go as planned.
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