Why Founder’s Need Boundaries
By Jacob Espinoza
1) Don’t forget about you
Being a founder is a stressful job.
These stats my friend Alex Friedman shared are concerning but not surprising.
Being a founder requires being willing to take on tremendous risks–credit card debt, responsibility to investors, ensuring your staff is paid, keeping the lights on in your building, etc…
My challenge for all of you is to be proactive in building self-care systems.
Even if you are feeling fine right now, plan for hard times–because they are coming.
Kim Scott, the author of Radical Candor and Just Work, said she learned she was at her best when she walked in the morning
It gave her time to clear her head, relieve stress, problem solve, and prioritize the day.
She made a decision not to allow a day to start until she went on her walk.
The question you have to ask yourself is, what are the things you do to take care of yourself that you can’t let be negotiable?
We all need to set boundaries.
Create space for you so you can be at your best for your business, your team, your community, your family, and you.
- Add it to your to-do list
- Put it on your calendar
- Talk to your coach about it
Do whatever it takes to make this space real and not an option.
Setting boundaries and taking time off won’t kill your business but burning out will.
2) When is it time to let go of an employee?
This tweet by Steph Smith created some conversation this week–mostly from founders saying they’ve never seen an employee turn around after struggling for their first three months.
I want to take a step back and look at this from the employee’s perspective.
Imagine this situation:
You got a new job and are excited about the opportunity. Someone at this company saw something in you and believes in you enough to bring you on staff.
But after the first couple of weeks, things aren’t going as planned. You know you aren’t living up to your boss’s expectations. There are obstacles in your way, but you know the boss already isn’t happy with you, and you don’t want to risk providing them with unsolicited feedback.
You try to make the best of it, but things aren’t getting better. They are getting worse. The additional stress at work carries into your personal life, and so you start looking for reasons to miss work.
Nobody wants to spend 40 hours a week being bad at something.
So as a leader, what do you do?
The first step in helping is taking the time to understand WHY they are struggling.
Don’t jump to conclusions and immediately start firing off fixes to the problem.
To create change, you need to understand two things:
- Their perspective of the problem
- The obstacles that are getting in their way.
Do they not understand their expectations? Do they not have the tools they need for the job? Is something happening in their personal life impacting their ability to focus?
To inspire your team and help them grow, challenge yourself to assume they are doing their best and something is getting in their way of success.
Collaborate and find solutions.
Will this process always work? Absolutely not. Sometimes people aren’t a good fit.
But by skipping this step, you risk the potential of losing a great teammate who could have thrived in your organization with a minor adjustment.