The fictional Groundhog Day made its debut in the 1993 romantic comedy of the same name. The film told the story of Phil, who gets stuck repeating the same day over and over until he finds a way to make it work in his favour. For most of us, this year has felt like Groundhog Day as lockdowns, quarantine, and working from home became the norm.
For founders and CEOs this Groundhog Day feeling has often been magnified as they set into a daily routine which isn’t to their advantage. Whilst, you’re not literally reliving the same day, following bad patterns of behaviour and leadership, can leave you feeling like you’ve had a bad case of deja vu.
We know, because most startups have been there (lockdown or not!). So, to help you avoid living your own Startup version of Groundhog Day, we asked a FemTech CEO and FemTech Leader the most repeated mistakes they have seen, and how to avoid them.
Trying to do Everything
“This is hard to answer without sounding very generic – but I would say trying to do too much, and not focussing on doing a few things really really well.” says Alice Pelton, Co-Founder of The Lowdown – the world’s first review platform for contraception.
Alice honed in on her niche “after spending over a decade trying to find a method of contraception that worked”, now she says she’s “on a mission to make this minefield easier for women”.
Not saying No
Alice also says, “don’t overcomplicate the process of testing and refining those few things”. Once you have found those things you can do really well, focus on those.
In order to do this, Alice points out, you need to “make sure you’re saying no to stuff”. Without doing so you’ll end up trying to do everything.
Hiring the wrong people
“Not hiring the right people is one of the biggest mistakes” says Marija Butkovic, founder and CEO of Women of Wearables – a leading global organization aiming to support, connect, and mentor women and allies in emerging technologies such as wearables, IoT, and health tech.
Having expanded the Women of Wearables teams substantially since its humble beginnings, she understands just what it takes. Hiring the right people is “also the hardest thing to do as a young company. The right team makes all the difference at the beginning of your journey.”
Viewing Success in the Wrong Way
“Success is learning” says Alice, reflecting on her favourite piece of business advice.
Thinking about success in this way was a real game-changer for the Co-Founder and business leader. She says, “once you reframe everything around that [message], it’s much easier!”
Never Stop Hustling
As a lawyer-turned-entrepreneur, innovation consultant, feminist, and advocate for diversity and inclusion in the tech sector, Marija is not shy of making the best out of every situation.
Marija’s favourite piece of business advice? “You can never stop hustling, it should be in your DNA as a startup!”
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Marija Butkovic, founder and CEO of Women of Wearables. Marija has been selected as one of the Most Influential Women in UK tech by Computer Weekly in 2018, 2019, and 2020.
Alice Pelton, Co-Founder of The Lowdown – the world’s first review platform for contraception.