Everyone that lives in the startup world has heard the cliches about embracing failure, pivoting, relentless pressure, long work hours and the highs and lows that come with building a business. Its 11: 48 a.m. right now and I’m taking a shower. I woke up at 4 a.m. to get on the phone with China.
Business has taken me to Asia, Europe, Minnesota, Boston, Colorado, and several other U.S. cities in the last two months. Sounds pretty awesome right? While parts of being the Founder of an international startup are great, it’s also a grueling endeavor that will test your mind, body, and soul. Everyone that lives in the startup world has heard the clichés about embracing failure, pivoting, relentless pressure, long work hours and the highs and lows that come with building a business.
In the international startup world take those same clichés and add to them a massive amount of travel, the need to learn a foreign language, ability to adapt to new business cultures, the added temptation to self medicate in order to fight off jet lag, focus, and get deals done and this becomes a lot less sexy than it sounds. However, if you have what it takes to avoid the temptations, travel like a pro, and adopt different cultural norms and values it is highly rewarding.
Here are some tips from someone that’s doing it:
1. Get used to weird hours.
2. Travel like a pro.
3. When sleep is elusive, problems happen.
4. On the ground be a chameleon.
5. Be patient, but don’t be weak.
6. Don’t overestimate knowledge of your country and culture.
7. Give back.