We knew our late nights weren’t ending any time soon. Taking on any big project can disrupt the balance, but by keeping open lines of communication, being flexible, and working together, you can make the project better and the relationship stronger while avoiding resentment and fatigue.
Thanks to technology, the pace of life and work has never been faster, and this is doubly true in the world of startups. While we were developing our technology, there were false starts, changes in direction, reworks, and rewrites, but we took them in stride. As with many startups, the idea that started it all was based on not accepting “the way we’ve always done it.” Your ideas can drive disruption and change, but you have to take on disruption and handle change internally as well.
After leaving Deloitte, Tanya became the first member of SevOne’s sales team. In the fast-paced and nebulous world of startups, being able to fluidly adapt to what the company needs are is critical; while Tanya didn’t have much sales experience, she’d been invested in the company from the beginning, and believing is the best first step to convincing someone else of a good idea.
As the company grew, so did the sales team, and it became clear that we needed someone to manage operations and keep us all on the straight and narrow–Tanya took on that challenge and many others along the way including the development of our quality assurance program and the creation of our global support organization. That eager, entrepreneurial spirit has infectiously spread throughout the company.
It’s very easy to get lost in work, especially when there’s so much personal investment in the business, and I’m sure most people in the startup space use the term “work-life balance” with some degree of facetiousness, but it’s important to step away and take personal time.
Tanya and I are avid skiers, and I can assure you we’re not discussing PNL on the ski lift. Even short breaks can help people feel reenergized when they get back to work, so we play ultimate frisbee on Fridays at the office. Remember that even if it’s your life’s work, it’s still not your life.
While I wouldn’t treat business like marriage or vice versa, experiences from each can definitely help both, and the secret behind this is recognizing people’s strengths so that you’re enabling them to do what they do best: be themselves.