Startups aren’t about big announcements. They are about being in the trenches every day getting just one more small victory.
We all love celebrating the big wins with big announcements. We celebrate when we raise a big funding round. (By the way, you shouldn’t – that’s like celebrating taking on more student loan debt. It may help, but now you owe someone a whole lot more money.)
We celebrate our big product launches.
We celebrate key partnerships.
All of those sound amazing, and sometimes they are. But what gets lost are the victories that actually matter – the small victories. The small victories are what lead to the big announcements, but they often get overlooked.
The first paying customer you signed.
The first month you broke even.
The first customer acquisition campaign that actually yielded positive results.
When we talk to startups they often hide these victories as something that’s insignificant because it doesn’t compare to Airbnb raising $850 million on a $30 billion valuation.
That doesn’t matter. That didn’t come out of the blue. It came because that company focused on incredibly small victories and won.
Startups aren’t about big announcements. They are about being in the trenches every day getting just one more small victory. Making a customer happy because you answered an email immediately. Convincing that one person you know to trust you just enough to do some design work for you gratis. Making payroll.
Those aren’t small achievements. Those are the most important achievements and they shouldn’t be overlooked – or worse – ignored.
The only way to endure the day to day struggle that is starting a company is to truly appreciate every forward move, no matter how slight. They add up quickly.
If you’re waiting for home runs all day you’re going to be waiting a long time. That’s not how this game is played. It’s a daily struggle, but in the end, it’s how big victories are won.