25 Best Practices for Startups from the Front Line

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Tomorrow on Startup Saturdays we will feature – The Foundation for Global Collaboration and Peace –  and when we received their response to our questions – the advice was overwhelming, so instead of putting everything into one long post, we decided to split it in two.

As such here are the majority of best practices as coined by the FGCP.

1. Try to be as transparent as possible (nobody knows you when you’re a startup, show them who you are by your actions)

2. Only make promises you can deliver

3. Take time to think over decisions before making them

4. Make time for yourself and your loved ones

5. Listen more than you talk/do

6. Give credit where it’s due

7. Refuse to be taken hostage by seemingly immediate needs–other solutions will come in due time

8. Keep your eye on both the long-term and short-term horizon

9. Be your own best cheerleader and loudest critic (when in doubt, choose the first)

10. Learn to admit when you’re wrong (what’s more important to you, having a pristine ego with no one around to give a hoot or a good team that appreciates you as a fellow human being?)

11. Correct mistakes whenever possible and feasible

12. Be open to unanticipated opportunities and leave room for unforeseen errors–give yourself some breathing room

13. Treat people like intelligent human beings, until proven otherwise

14. Know the difference between assumptions and facts and be especially vigilant toward assumptions underlying other assumptions

15. Do your research: make sure that expert advice you’re getting is suited to your organization’s needs.  If that’s unclear, ask the person to clarify and get a second/third opinion.

16. You are NOT your enterprise: we want our business to grow bigger than ourselves, so learn to let go when the time is right.

17. Check in with yourself once a day to take stock of how you’re feeling

18. Be honest with yourself: don’t put on a happy face just because you think you should.  It’s better to realize that things are going wrong and deal with them than leaving them to get worse and become unmanageable.

19. Know your cash flow.  LOVE your cash flow.

20. Get enough sleep

21. Have a good sense of proportionality: a) setbacks are not the end of the world; b) you are not god; and c) neither are your expert advisers

22. Trust reason above good delivery

23. It’s better to do and fail than to do nothing at all

24. Celebrate small victories, even if no one else appreciates them

25. Get to know your limitations and learn to say no

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