Motivational Challenges in Start-Ups

Posted in Human Resources Articles, Total Reads: 1375 , Published on 24 January 2014

Entrepreneurship is a way in which individuals can start their own business and venture by giving their dreams to become a reality. People who have certain ideas, who want to break out of the shell or routine the world follows, become entrepreneurs and make their own career in the field of their choice. But it’s easier said than done. Start-up entrepreneurial ventures face a lot of issues. Some of the major issues faced are investment, lack of revenue, marketing of new start-up values and offerings, marketing etc. But apart from this, the most important and toughest challenge is to remain motivated or to ensure your team is motivated.

Initially when the idea of a start up floats, it seems a very lucrative and well defined value proposition. Individuals only see the brighter side as they compare their business or idea in comparison with a successful idol or businessman. At this point at the initiation of the project, people might be over-enthusiastic and motivated as they visualize themselves as a successful entrepreneur as they seem to having things under control. But attitude becomes dangerous in the long run.

Image Courtesy:, Stuart Miles

In the infant stage of the start of a business, people appear over-enthusiastic and give in as much as work as possible in creating their own brand. They work round the clock, constantly come up with new ideas, rush around place getting work done etc. At this point the mere excitement of creating something of their own keeps their interests alive. Gradually, when things get streamlined and workload increases after establishing oneself, this is where people feel pressured and become de-motivated.

When an individual keeps on performing the role of an initial 'struggler', it takes a toll on him physically as well as emotionally. Performing repetitive duties in ensuring you create a brand or value for your startup becomes hectic and monotonous at times, and that too without any reward, revenue or recognition. This continued phase where no reward for a person's efforts take place leads to the individual becoming complacent, lose hope, feel demotivated and thinks about quitting.

The feeling of being demoralized is intense when the startup is made up of a team. Each person in the team starts at a same level with their ideas and vision. But over a period of time, when people within the team appear disinterested, reckless or less- motivated, it causes concern in the team. The teamwork appears to crumble as those who still believe in the idea of the startup still work round the clock with no 'effective contribution' from the demotivated members. This causes a sense of frustration, loss of hope and trust in the partners, and eventually in the project.

In case such a situation arises in a startup, the team should frankly discuss the priorities that an individual has as that would be best in the interest of everyone. Those who feel that the work in the startup excites them every morning when they wake up to the last thing on their mind when they sleep, they should continue, as for them motivation doesn't seem an issue. However, if in a period of a year if a team member has given limited contribution to the startup, knows little about the operations, doesn't give the work utmost priority, doesn't feel an integral part of the joys or sorrows of their startup, lacks responsible nature, then the team needs to constantly perk him up. But even trying that, the attitude doesn't really change for the better of the company, probably he needs to move on newer avenues. Because lack of contribution and low motivation would be visible for all team members to see, and the volcano of frustration erupts, it won't benefit anyone.

Initiating your startup is a comparatively easy task. An individual feels he is fully prepared to fight the obstacles and challenges that are thrown his way. But as the days progress the tension, workload, responsibilities keep on multiplying. This overburdening often pulls down the people emotionally. But if an individual love his brand, respects his vision and is willing to face the world, not force in the world can demotivate him in achieving his goals.


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