What's Your Biggest Nightmare?
Being the head of a company is no cakewalk. From thinking about the next successful strategy, and prospective clients, to ensuring that employees are happy and productive at work — there are several aspects a leader has to manage. Still, when the world stops for a while at night, a lingering fear keeps founders vigil. We asked founders of startups in the Asia Pacific region what keeps them awake at night when it comes to work.
Here’s what they said:
CEO, Prem Merch and
Bloom Ventures, Australia
Meeting customer expectations. I put my heart and soul into each product I sell. So, the one thought always lingers in the back of my mind: “What if the customer isn’t happy?” Inevitably, sometimes the customer isn’t satisfied. You can just learn from your mistakes and work incredibly hard to improve.
Managing director and owner, Genesis Motion
Not doing my job right. Whether or not I can keep the company afloat, whether or not there are enough jobs to keep everyone busy or whether I am helping my employees grow as individuals. These are my responsibility, and there can be so many things that can go wrong. So, I constantly worry about losing sight of what I intended for my company. I’m afraid that there might come a day where the creative interests of my team won’t be taken care of.
CEO & Founder, Yeelight, China
A sense of crisis keeps me alert. When the business is in its early stage, you think more about survival, which is the top priority. Since you are not just responsible for your own self, you shoulder the trust and livelihood of a group of people. Even when the business sets on to the track of rapid development, how to survive well and realize long-term survival remain issues that keep me awake at night. We need systematic strategies in products, R&D, sales and marketing, supply chain to match the rapid changes in the internal and external environment.
CEO, Lymbyc, India
The risk of stagnation. When a formula works, it’s easy to focus all your energy and resources on it. But when it doesn’t, then it’s usually hard to resist one’s instinctive urge to only use proven assumptions. If we believe we know the best way to do something, we are less willing to unlearn it or try something new. The key is to experiment and explore new ideas and formulae for success in one’s good times, and not wait till one in the middle of a rough patch.
(With inputs from Komal Nathani and Pooja Singh)
This article was first published in the November 2018 issue of Entrepreneur Magazine. To subscribe, click here