Power

Some of us are designed with more capacity than others. Excellent power supplies and batteries can deliver, like us, more juice than others without being damaged. All people, batteries, and power supplies are not created equal, and they all have loads they can comfortably support. Startup founder entrepreneurs put out a lot more energy than employees do, and they have to because they wear so many hats. In the beginning, when there are at least ten different hats to wear but a lot less than ten people to wear them, this can be an especially challenging time. It is sort of like trying to start your car when it is ten below zero. You had better have a really good and a really charged battery if you make a habit of this.

The bottom line is that when matching a power supply with a load, the technical name for what you’re plugging into it, you have to be concerned that they can work well together.  Not all power supplies can power all circuits. Not all couples can survive startups. Not all batteries can be overheated. And not all businesses can accomplish what they set out to do. There are many statistics about all of these, but let’s stick to the start-up business stats. This is a gigantic subject, with data being compiled by everyone from the US Department of Labor to every university with an MBA program.

Most mention the product-market fit, business capitalization, and/or poorly defined designed and implemented strategies for the 90% start-up failure rate. I think there is another less-reported reason, and that is power management. They simply do not have enough juice. They run out of energy, which can be as slow and invisible as the overheating power supply or battery.

So, yes, it is easier than ever to begin something new, than ever before. The lowering of barriers to entry due to the democratization of technology is enticing. But please pay attention to power management.  If you have considerably less energy than most of your friends think twice before launching a new anything. If you easily run out of steam, get paralyzed by failure, and rely upon external acknowledgment and accolades to get your engine started in the morning, you may either be simply in the wrong field or line of work, or perhaps you are not really designed to be a good match to attempt to do something new. 

On the other hand, if you are so much more supercharged doing your own thing than you ever were as an employee, you may not even have a choice. The thrill of manifesting a new business, a new market, or a new genre can be intoxicating. It can be so addictive that you barely notice you are working much harder than everyone else. This is the chief reason to think a bit about power management. You might be quite capable of overdoing it; most successful founders are. We can be difficult to be married to, or to work for, or even to work with. There can easily be a mismatch of power, energy, drive, or whatever you want to call it.

We are capable of burning ourselves and others out. But if you practice good power management and are considerate of those around you (you do have other stakeholders, right?), then you can be that power source that drives something bigger than yourself. Just try not to hurt yourself or others, and you can be in the 10% that succeeds because you will not get it right the first or second time. There will be mistakes. Everyone makes them. Innovation is built upon recovery from failure. But you do need enough energy to recover and recharge in order to prevail. This requires power management.