• Apoorva Pande

Nerves, Lack of Progress, and Trouble Focusing

If you're nervous about growth:


There's usually that there’s something holding you back, and that’s totally normal. That’s a part of running a startup. You just need to sit down and identify: 1) What are the stressors in your life - what’s causing you stress?

2) What’s the stress in your body? Do you have a process for removing stress from your body?


Usually, addressing those two things will help you get rid of that anxiety.

If you don’t know it, you’re going to have anxiety surrounding it. Once you start staring at it, that anxiety goes away. It’s really that simple.


Any time when I was young and going to a bakery, I never knew how much money I had in my wallet and so I’d be nervous - and I’d walk into a bakery and I’d only check after I had already picked out what I wanted to buy. It was so nerve-wracking for me to check how much money was in my wallet after I had done the picking already, and that anxiety, that nervousness would last from entering the bakery to checking my wallet. That nervousness, that anxiety doesn’t exist if you’re walking in knowing how much you have in your wallet.

So with a startup, it’s the same thing. If you already know what your metrics are, if you already know what you need to hit - that’s the preparation that will help get rid of the anxiety.



If you feel you're doing a bunch of activity, but you're not booking calls or getting sales:


The single biggest unlock I’ve seen for people in that scenario has always been where their focus is.


If your focus is internal: why is this happening to me, why can’t I get more sales, why can’t I grow my business - there are certain things in your tone and your conversational style that will come out when you're interacting with prospects or potential customers that will stop them from buying.


When you can approach it from a place of service: I want to make sure that this group of customers in my market gets anything and everything they need for them to achieve what they want to achieve - that’s a very different conversation, a very different tone, a very different interactive style. If your focus is from a place of service, if your focus is external, your prospects and potential customers will feel that. When people can feel that space of safety, or appreciation that you have for their situation, they’re more likely to transact with you and do business with you and consider you as a partner long-term.



If you’re having trouble focusing/ getting more done:


There are 3 main states that your brain is going to be in:

  1. Memory

  2. Cognition

  3. Imagination


What you need to do on a daily basis is identify what category your thoughts fall into.


A lot of founders get caught up in their imagination- “this is the vision, this is what I’m going to create, this is how great it’s going to be” and it’s fine to have that. It’s not fine to live there. If you’re living in imagination, you’re going to feel the pain of living in reality because when you imagine things, it’s your own world that you create - obviously, you’re going to love it and that’s never going to compare to reality. You want to bring it back to reality - to cognition.


Regrets or going back in the past and asking yourself what happened in a situation falls under the memory state. If you live in your memory, it can really really mess with you - because again, it’s not reality. Any decisions you make from that place are not going to be sound decisions.


Cognition is actually your brain processing facts in such a way that it can prioritize and act on certain things in the right order. That’s something you need to be doing on a daily basis, especially as a founder.


As thoughts come in, you need to identify which state they’re stemming from and bring it back to cognition. You have to stay in reality to think cleanly.

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