Chai with CEOs

The Psychology of Startups

by Mehrien Shawl


How can my team reach peak performance? This is likely something you ask yourself daily. And that’s likely – because the answer to it is overwhelmingly complex. However, just because something is complex does not mean it is difficult to comprehend. To analyze entrepreneurship performance, it is necessary to define the term. Entrepreneurship is the creation and operation of a company that introduces a new product or service. Entrepreneurship is a process that takes time and involves a team of people; it is not a person or an event.

To define entrepreneurship performance, it refers to an individual’s ability to be effective in a variety of occupations (e.g., medicine, retail, e-commerce, marketing, etc.) in order to improve negotiation outcomes and achieve firm success. Entrepreneurial performance entails promoting core firm concepts, producing new goods, spotting market opportunities, creating a modern atmosphere, cultivating good investor connections, and being able to react to unexpected market patterns.

Eight pillars of entrepreneurship –



1. Vision & Strategy

Strong visions and strategies are crucial. Not just because they provide a roadmap for businesses, but they also offer employees with an innate sense of meaning and purpose in their work, which inspires and motivates them.

A vision is a mental representation of the “end game” that changes throughout time. Leaders frequently simplify their vision to a statement, but it is so much more. It is a live blueprint for the company’s future. It is the reason for the company’s mission, cause, and values. Strategy is the competitive approach taken to accomplish the vision.


2. Execution & Operations

Successful startups need to have at least one person on the team who can drive the execution and operations. Developing processes and systems to effectively carry out daily operations is critical for a company’s long-term survival. It enables the firm to maintain quality control, set staff boundaries, and save time. Startups with solid operations have a better chance of increasing productivity, profitability, scaling up quicker, and surviving longer.

3. Self-Discipline & Intensity

Entrepreneurial success requires self-discipline and intensity. It is the ability to direct our willpower and stay on track. Entrepreneurs manage a multitude of activities and functions on their own and must be the ones to keep the momentum going. Entrepreneurs that excel in this area devote themselves to their work and use their passion as an internal driving force to motivate them to take action toward building a successful firm.

They take the initiative to set lofty goals and devise strategies to achieve them. They work to achieve high performances.


4. Problem Solving & Decision Making

It is a set of behaviours related to analyzing and processing information to solve problems and make decisions. While all leadership roles include problem solving and decision making, entrepreneurs have distinct obstacles in this area. Entrepreneurial decisions are high-stakes and are made under conditions of uncertainty, time pressure, and emotion. Entrepreneurs who engage in the Problem-Solving and Decision-Making Pillar ensure that they make decisions utilising a logical and analytical procedure.
They enlist the help of others to get feedback and gain buy-in from the staff. Furthermore, when making decisions, they consider both short- and long-term objectives.

5. Collaboration & Allyship

Collaboration entrepreneurship involves a group of firms with a common strategy to facilitate innovation processes through the construction of collaborative partnerships and allyship is similar to being co-conspirators; it’s a constant exchange of calling each other in, growing compassion and awareness in one other, and conspiring to lift up the other leader.
A good ally understands different levels of privilege and recognizes that not everyone starts from the same place. A good ally will also sacrifice their own power and position in order to help you.

6. Direction & Influence

Direction is an important function for any entrepreneur. It helps in the stability and growth of the organization. Such a function requires motivating the employees to perform better and communicating with a clear and effective for upliftment of the organization.
Influence is the ability of an individual to transform and shape opinions of others. It reflects upon empowering people, accelerate results and ultimately ensures an easier working environment. When one connects with other’s emotion, they are likely to get involved in the things that you want to do. Small actions like these help one influence other people and give a sense of accomplishment and power.

7. Innovation

Innovation is about the process and organization needed to generate ideas in any context. The ability to innovate in this sense isn’t just a vital component of a thriving business, but can be seen as an essential aspect of entrepreneurship itself. Innovative ideas which are full of life are what make a start up competitive. Resourcefulness is a core concept of entrepreneurship and is frequently invoked to explain how entrepreneurial actors “find a way” to innovate, create, and turn ideas into reality. Exploring resourcefulness is critical given its potential role in addressing a fundamental question of entrepreneurship.

8. Tenacity

Tenacity is where you put the work. It is a key characteristic of any successful person, and in general the mindset of successful entrepreneurs. One reason is that it gives perspective by simply placing short-term issues into context with a higher goal. Great leaders aren’t just tenacious in general; they are tenacious for a specific goal. Their dedication to a cause allows them to see past a setback and see it as an opportunity to grow.

Performance expectations are the assumptions of leaders about the actions, behaviors, and outcomes they hope to see from employees or team members in order to contribute to the team’s goals. They are essential for a company’s and organization’s success because they provide employees with clarity about what they need to do to perform well. And an understanding of performance in the entrepreneurial context lays the foundation for performance expectations.

Specifically, it allows the following vital steps:

a. Communicate Well -

The team would want to know what you expect from them for each step. In other words, unless you tell your team clearly what good performance or high achievement is and looks like, they wouldn’t know what exactly is required.


b. Monitor Key Performance -

Improving performance is indispensable to track and measure the performances over time so that one can identify opportunities for growth as well as save them for future roles. It also provides with information for the team to know where they lack, and how to perform better.


c. Identify areas for Growth & Development -

Once you understand where the team is experiencing an abrasion in performance, it will be easier to diagnose, address and improve their stats, and a track of their work will ensure in greater stability of the organization.


These are pointers that should be kept in mind by entrepreneurs while building a start-up. You should never deter from following your achievements and goals. At first, the thought of starting a company of your own can be a little scary, but by taking an onus and following the points will keep the thoughts on track and will also help creating a better and confident you.
Good luck out there!