When my Most Exhausting Day was Also my Most Positive and Productive Day
It showed me the Signs of Growth + Accountability Partner.
Every week, I write an article to share my learning or discovery during my startup journey. Here is the link to my reasons for penning these articles for myself and for many others like me.
Today I felt so exhausted. It was an aftereffect of two long hours of one-on-one brainstorming sessions with entrepreneurs.
Interestingly, I met both over two different slack channels. The first message from them was something like:
“I am working on my startup. I have a broad and general idea of what I want to build. But I feel like I am completely lost. Where and how can I connect to relevant people? Writing in different forms hasn’t helped me yet.”
When I saw this message, it felt like my own story. It pulled me to respond to this message with my introduction and an invitation to discuss each other’s journey.
I will share my experience from these two conversations and some nuggets that I would like to share with my fellow entrepreneurs.
First brainstorming session — Signs of Growth
When we talked for the first time, we just talked about each other’s expertise. We also talked about our aspirations and how we are trying to get new ideas for our startup.
At that time, none of us had any concrete ideas in our minds, but we were sharing our learnings on this journey so far.
Last week, I thought of an idea and started exploring it. I gained more confidence and belief that this idea would work.
As this person is a technical person, I connected with him again to share my idea — receive his feedback — invite him to collaborate with me on this idea (In the same order)
He responded to my message on slack and readily agreed to talk, and the very next minute, we were talking on the Google meet.
As I shared my idea, he gave me positive feedback about its viability. It added to my confidence, and finally, I asked him if he would be interested in joining me in building an MVP for this idea.
But he mentioned that he would not be able to work at this point in time. He explained further that he had also started working on his idea. He also shared his idea with me. We brainstormed on his product idea for the next ten minutes.
I will be honest here and confess that I got disappointed for the first few seconds when he declined my offer to work together. But thankfully, it was a momentary feeling. I felt happy that he had found an idea and was passionately working on it.
At the end of the conversation, he remarked on one thing, which I think was the gist of entrepreneurship camaraderie. He said- “In our first meeting, both of us did not have any ideas to explore, but today both of us have our own product idea to work. This is GROWTH”.
I chuckled at his observation. It was so profound, sweet, and interesting. We promised to reach out to each other whenever we needed some help in our respective journeys.
“Give and take is fair play”
Second brainstorming session — Accountability Partner
Three hours later, I was on a Zoom call with another stranger. We connected in the same way over the slack conversation and agreed to have a meeting.
She sent the meeting invite. I was baffled by the 1.5 hr. duration that she had set for that meeting invite. As we came online, we shared our product ideas.
We spend 10–15 minutes brainstorming each other’s ideas. I suggested a few steps through which she could start to explore her idea. I noticed that she was vigorously taking notes.
As we ended our call, she summarized the next action items for her and suggested having a follow-up call. At that moment, it struck me, that we could be each other’s, accountability partners. So we decided to send each other a list of action items for the next two weeks. In the subsequent follow-up meeting, we will check our progress so far.
Before joining this call, I did not have the faintest idea that I would get an accountability partner who would check my progress.
Here are some more attributes of this new partnership — My accountability partner is 11.30 hours behind me, which means we have AM/PM schedules. Her morning meeting is my late evening meeting. We are into entirely different domains. She is in the entertainment industry, and I am into information technology.
Reflecting back on this meeting, I want to salute this entrepreneurial spirit in both of us. We did not care about the country, knowledge domain, or the time zone for selecting each other to be the accountability partner. Instead, we want to HELP and be HELPED.
“Help others achieve their dreams and you will achieve yours..” — Les Brown
These two conversations started my week on a very positive note. All of us can achieve our dream together. Here are the few learnings that I want to share with my peers to expand this positivity.
Reach out to strangers
Even if you feel you do not need any help right now, just listen to their journey. They might tell you about some tools or articles that would also help you.
It is better to talk than to chat. At least one virtual meeting should happen. I am an introvert, and a little voice always pops up in my mind, telling me to run away from that meeting with some excuse.
But entrepreneurship is all about challenging your comfort zone. So this mantra helps me kill that little voice and attend meetings with strangers.
Be receptive to others’ ideas
It should always be a “Give and Take” conversation. When you share your ideas, be receptive to their feedback. Try to clarify their doubts, concerns, and questions.
This could be a rundown of your future pitch meetings with investors. Also, listen to their ideas and provide genuine feedback.
The motto of this startup ecosystem should be “To Grow Together.’
Though I felt completely drained out by the end of this long day but it was one of my most productive and positive days.
Wishing everyone a great week and hope you get more positive vibes from your network this week.
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