Why working at a startup is like a hell of strong fire


Startups are not like the movies. Life in the startup world can be brutal. It forces you to abandon everything that is known and comfortable – you are constantly on the edge. Nothing is yours (at least not yet). Expect and plan for that feeling and you will achieve success.

At the same time, it requires your full dedication and the will power to fight in order to reach your set destination. However, the biggest advantage of working in a startup is the pace of learning, and it is impossibly fast. This can be likened to CrossFit — where you have to perform “functional movements that are constantly varied at high intensity.”

During my personal experience with CrossFit I have found more and more analogies that lend themselves to the startup world than I could have ever imagined. Startups and CrossFit have a lot in common.

Polish investor, Marcin Szeląg express it well:

In order to have chances in startup world, you need to be absolutely the best. Startups do not forgive weakness. […] The bar has been raised very high. The best startups fight for the best investors and the best employees. At such a high level there is no place for errors. The weak lose very quickly.

The same is said of sport – you are a winner only when you give it all. Only then do you get satisfaction, because you have done everything in your might in order to achieve your goal.

I would have never expected that my company would evolve into a technology startup. I’ve always associated that word with an exotic form of conducting business which only appears in American movies.
When we created two divisions of your business, and I took the responsibility for a fledgling SaaS business, I soon learned about the startup struggle and what it meant to work in such an environment.

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Post launch, we quickly concluded that many of our business challenges were due to the fact that we were simply doing too many things at once. So, we separated a large part of the business and I became the captain at the helm of the ship.

I understood that we could no longer expect “free” cash injections from the EU or investors. We had to start working really hard. This however was the very hard part that is often left out of the attention-grabbing plots of American movies. And this is how our journey began.

Like CrossFit, the startup world is not for everyone. Both areas focus on cause and effect. People who exercise possess one common trait: they are willing to push their mind and body to the limits in the face of weariness and seemingly defeat. They constantly strive to find their limits and conquer them. This is the mentality of a high performance – in athleticism and entrepreneurship.

When you run a startup, every single day is different. The necessity to create an effective business model forces founders to constantly iterate. Without elasticity and openness to change you will quickly be defeated. You need to love it.

In order to achieve success you need a love for quick tempo, the ability to motivate yourself, and empathy. The rest is a matter of endurance and consequent work and development of ourselves.

But this is for sure, once you are able to cross this hell, bear all the pain and tensions, you are ready to rule this world with your strategies, management and skills. Working in start-ups polish you, make you strong, bring a strong leadership qualities and gives you a sense of responsibilities.

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Ref : Bartosz Mozyrko, Product Manager



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