Thank you, @amogh, for asking this question.
There are always phases and days with exhilarating highs and “everything is falling apart” lows. I’ll attempt, here, to reflect upon how we’ve coped with some of those, especially in the first 5 years of our journey. I’m afraid of writing anything that might sound like “advice,” but I felt compelled to try and share my learnings.
Revenue not progressing at the pace you had wanted, a competitor raising a ton or releasing features you’ve been rigorously chalking out, core product updates getting stuck (frustratingly long) in the build phase, a newly surfaced security vulnerability, a fundraising push that sends upsetting signals of falling apart, a key team member quitting, a candidate you were counting on, not joining…The list of things that take a toll — one after the other, or sometimes, scarily at once — goes on.
A useful question I have learned to ask myself in such situations is: “what am I still excited about? what is working well?”
That jolts me out of a default mode of thinking we all engage in. Which is allocating mindshare solely to what’s broken even when there’s little we can act on, aside from dwelling on the equally unhelpful what-ifs and what-will-happens.
That doesn’t mean deflecting or avoiding a fuller analysis of whatever hurdle we’re up against. The opposite, instead. Knowing what’s going well gives me permission to objectively go super deep into what is not. And that, in turn, allows me to accept the obstacle for what it is and clarifies what I can really control, rather than going in circles around what it could/should have been.
Honestly addressing, ‘what am I still excited about?,’ leads me to answers that are often anchored around recent customer wins, the continuing significance of and an exciting obsession with the customer problems we’re solving, the very palpable impact people in our team are making every single day. It pulls me, in other words, into more sunnier, brighter directions.
As a founder, this has been among the hardest areas of personal growth for me — taking responsibility for my role in any situation and evaluating it thoughtfully, so that I can respond with exactly what it needs.
Hope this helps!