MYNDWAY LEARNINGS WITH GRATITUDE
The beginning of a new year is around the corner. Together with you – our appreciated readers – we would like to reflect on what has made 2019 a special year.
Gratitude is a powerful emotion. It triggers serotonin and adrenaline and, thus, makes us feel happy and excited. A constant practice of gratitude can help us foster a positive attitude towards life, a higher sensation of well-being, and a more optimistic outlook on life.
That being said, we would like to take a look at our past year and the learnings it came along with under the umbrella of gratitude.
OUR 5 MOST APPRECIATED LEARNINGS IN 2019:
1. FOUNDING A COMPANY CAN BE A LOT FUN:
Even if it means paperwork, dealing with legal challenges and many people at the same time, founding a company has been fun. We had the great fortune to have an amazing support system of friends, family, and people who genuinely wanted to help.
Make sure to surround yourself with people you trust, you can rely on and who give you the feeling that they genuinely want you to succeed.
2. IT IS ALL ABOUT COMMUNICATION:
The moment you start a company, everyone keeps asking what it is that you are doing. While the first couple of ‘pitches’ seem awkward and you meet a lot of questioning faces, it gets easier after a while. We noticed how with increasing clarity of our value proposition and USP, our communication got smoother, too. And yes, we had people ask us where our mynd:ways, i.e., our myndful journeys, travel to since they mistook us for a travel agency. But that, too, helped us re-phrase and learn as we went.
Our take-away from this:
Encourage questions in every way and make sure to provide answers for yourself and others. Every question is a gift.
3. USE YOUR TOOLS AND GIFTS:
Every instrument, tool and piece of knowledge that you gathered on your life’s journey is a gift, which you can build up on during the process of starting up. Use your tools and invite everyone within the company to bring in their capabilities, i.e., gifts, too. For us this meant, using the business model canvas a thousand times over and over again, going back to our entrepreneurial expertise, making many mistakes we always talked about as we coached startups ourselves. It meant talking about these mistakes. It involved building on intuition, using mindfulness methods for team building, business model development, for (complicated) communications and as a baseline for our central values.
Use your gifts and make sure to invite every new member of the company to share theirs with others on a regular basis. No judgement needed!
4. DARE TO BE MINDFUL:
Mindfulness is the core DNA of what we do. And you know what they say: “Hairdressers often have the worst haircuts.” We are working hard on trying to avoid a bad haircut. This is why we have regular sessions on our values, on how we intend to work at mynd:way, on how we want to do mindful sales, and what mindfulness really means to us on a daily basis.
It may not come as a surprise but this approach sometimes appears to be counterintuitive in a startup world of scale and growth. To be honest, sometimes it is also hard for us to be mindful with our energies or with each other. It is also challenging when we are faced with questions like how to scale our product or the company itself.
But we want to stay faithful to what makes us us. This is why we regularly dedicate time to work on and adapt our purpose statement. We try to be very honest with each other and we have implemented tiny rituals of mindfulness in our daily routines (e.g., silent minutes, sharing time, application of the myndway methods…)
Entrepreneurial mindfulness can be learned by continuous practice. It gives us energy and focus, and the ability to keep the spirit high in times of challenge.
5. WORKING AS A COUPLE:
Initially, we weren’t quite sure whether it would be a good idea to start a company as a couple. We had heard a lot of stories of the complications that come with combining work, leisure and private time.
It is important to validate whether you want to take on the challenges of dealing with entrepreneurial uncertainty as a couple. We did, to some extend, but we also noted at some point: We are ready to jump into the adventure. Who, in fact, knew at the beginning of founding a company that it would work out?
We realize now that we grow together every day. We are learning to positively challenge and question each other. We are letting go of trying to maintain harmony over a discussion that we need to have and we are motivating each other to move beyond our comfort zones constantly, too.
It certainly helps that we had had a clarity on our shared and individual values and goals in life before. Now more than ever, we support each other to strive towards those. In addition, this clarity is increasingly becoming the foundation of our mynd:way values, purpose and visions towards contributing to a human and digital working world.
We are grateful for the many ways in which we complement each other in both, private and working life, and the ways we do not. We are learning to positively challenge each other every day and we grow a little every day, both as co-founder team and as a couple.
To sum this up for founder couples as well as founder teams:
Every day is a new chance to grow individually and together. So, try to communicate honestly, openly and respectfully. Challenge each other and give each other the space to grow. And most importantly: Dedicate time to celebrate your achievements as individuals and as a team.
Find out more about our mynd:way method in our book “Achtsamkeit und Innovation in integrierten Organisationen.“