I get exposure to a lot of start-ups. I get to see the good, the bad and everything in between. And I get to view it all as an outsider, unattached to the politics, personal conflict and ego that goes on inside of the company.
This year I have witnessed companies absolutely crush their numbers and others struggle to get momentum going.
So why do some succeed while others struggle?
Maybe the product isn’t as good as the competition
Maybe the sales team isn't closing at the rate they should
Maybe marketing isn't helping them stand out or drive any sort of demand
Maybe they are priced all wrong
But these aren’t the true reasons any of them fail to succeed. The real reason is a lack of honesty.
Don’t get me wrong - these are hard problem to solve. But they aren't impossible. A start-up can overcome any one of them.
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But that’s the catch, they can only be overcome if you run head first at them. And the only way you're going to do that is if you're honest about what the problem actually is.
I have seen time and time again leadership teams fail to be honest about the true reasons they aren’t winning. Maybe they are afraid to hurt someones feelings, or admit they were wrong, or admit what they built just isn’t good enough, or the founders ego can’t handle the truth.
It’s pride getting in the way of progress.
So what happens as a result is the team gets focused on the wrong problems, they dance around the real issue, the company loses trust in their leadership, resentment builds across teams and they fail to ever address the real reasons they are struggling as a company.
So if you want to solve the hard problems your business faces this year and truly unlock growth - set the ego and politics aside and have an honest conversation about what’s going on in your start-up.
Until you do that - don’t expect much to change in 2023.
I’m so afraid of you right now