Kelly Smith, founding partner of Curious Office, spoke at NWEN today on the first six months of a startup.
1. Most of your stress will be about people. (IE, don’t worry about the tech so much, because dealing with the people around the tech will be harder)
2. Don’t do a startup just for money.
3. Family, health, and friends (for Kelly anyways) are more important than work. Starting a company is probably not worth killing yourself over through lack of sleep, lack of exercise, poor eating, etc.
4. Months 3-6 are really hard because it is too late and too early to quit. You have put in a few months and some money, so you want to keep going, but you haven’t really put in enough time to say that you know it won’t work.
And the big one:
5. When I start a project, everyone knows that I will finish it. Doesn’t matter what happens- I’ll turn it into a concrete mixing company if I have to to make it work. I don’t fail and I don’t stop. (from memory, so not his exact words)
So keep your priorities straight, and don’t stop. Good advice from a serial entrepreneur.
Next question for Kelly- what experiences and skills does someone need before they enter the startup arena on the sales/marketing side?
Side note- Kelly helped work on SEOmoz, one of the most respected SEO companies, period, so props for that decision.