Starting a business is a huge undertaking. Many aspiring entrepreneurs not only fail to recognize the breadth and complexity of processes like intellectual property protection, financing, and marketing, but also, on a more basic level, fail to anticipate the incredible amount of time, energy, innovation, and personal commitment required to build something truly special.
Venture capital investment in startups in 2017 surged to $148 billion – its highest level ever. It’s a challenge to go a day in your life without using services like Uber or Facebook, billion-dollar companies that began as start-ups.
And some do understand that commitment – even more so, they seem built for it. Many entrepreneurs will tell you that knowing the hard stuff is important, but a majority speaks to the level of personal stamina required to keep your business running, especially during early stage growth.
Every Monday we will take it back to the basics and ask one of our clients a single question: when you’re working 80-100 hours weeks, have no social life to speak of, and consistently face rejection on all fronts, what keeps you going?
This week, we heard from Oatly General Manager Mike Messersmith. Mike is responsible for growing the Swedish oat milk business stateside – and this week, he brought us back to the basics with what keeps him motivated on Mondays.
“I have to strike a balance of practicality with this answer. I am on dog walk duty with our golden retriever Rhys every morning and he is an early riser – those walks with him help me kind of sort my mind and day for the week ahead. Beyond that, I have honestly always been an early riser. I was an Officer in the Navy for a number of years and it kind of got built into my routine. You are 99% more likely to ever get an email from me at 6:15am than 11pm. I love getting up early, making coffee (with OATLY!) and having some thinking and work time before the day really starts cranking. I genuinely love my job and it makes it much easier to get up and going even on Mondays.”
Moral of Mike’s story: If you don’t have an early rising dog, be the early riser, get in those inboxes, and conquer the world before anyone else can!