By Hari Julka
In these times of extreme polarisation and negativity all around due to differing political scenarios and unemployment, it could be hard for a startup founder to focus on building or marketing a business online, even when his or her entire social feed is filled with negative world views.
It can induce a negative bias of the current and future world. In her image she could form the image of a society that is unjust, violent, unsafe and thus not trustworthy.
Events and incidents highlighted across social media feeds, when her entire set of friends are talking about politics, violence and injustice, it becomes hard for a startup founder to focus on business.
In extreme cases, she could project a negative view of the society where there will be trust issues between even clients, vendors, employees or even suppliers.
It is hard for a human being not to get impacted by such negative social media feeds. It also creates a sort of guilt not to speak or react about an injustice happening around him or in his country.
In such scenarios, mind space of a startup founder is often taken away by such events and the startup takes a backfoot. As a result, she falls into the trap of negative bias of the world she has created.
To get out of this trap, startup founders should put themselves in the shoes of a mother. A mother is just focused on the well being and growth of her child, even during a war, or with bombs exploding in the vicinity. She always thinks of a world where her child would be blooming, and a society that is peaceful and harmonious.
While she is sensitive to things happening around her, even helps the victims whenever she can, her immediate priority remains her baby, which if not given immediate attention or food could fall sick and die.
While saving the world is important, mothers realise that saving the immediate families around her is more important. Often women leaders are heard talking about creating a sense of diversity, culture, tolerance and humanity, while men are heard talking about war and military expansionism.
Even as the world falls into a chaos, startup founders found should learn from a mother. The should focus on creating a happy and harmonious workplace inside a society that could be falling into chaos.
This diverse, peaceful and colorful culture inside a startup, very different from the schisms of the society, could attract more employees and customers interact and avail your services.
Creating such a workspace and culture inside office (and now virtual workplaces) will help even a founder find mental balance and peace, even when things go astray in society. And a happy startup would be able to help suffering people with money and resources needed in times of a crisis.
The founder can compare her startup to a shrine where discussing politics is barred but which welcomes all to find peace amidst chaos. This includes avoidance of political discussions with vendors, suppliers, investors and most importantly co-founders.
A mother makes her child strong enough to stand in front of the world. She instills in her child values of humanity, compassion and truthfulness. Similarly startup founders should make their brands stand for such values and refuse to entertain toxic, racially abusive customers or even employees and create a culture of harmony. This could mean not discussing politics at the workplace. But there could be other avenues such as through charities that a startup could help society every week.
While a mother protects her child from all the dust and bombs falling around her in a war, a startup founder should also shield his startup from all the negativity and create a cocoon of peace, which will attract all the wealth.
Some of the steps Startup founders should undertake:
- Curate Your Social Media Feed: Remove all the negativity and fake news spreaders from your social ecosystem feed.
2. Separate Personal and Company Social Feeds: Company social feeds should just focus on the products and offerings and no comments and linkage should be to politics of any kind. Keep the company social media clean.
3. Un-friending Toxic Handles: There are a few friends or activists who would appear on your social feed every few minutes ranting about an injustice done. While they would be sitting just marketing the injustice, there could be dozens of organisations who would be working to correct such injustices in society. Join or donate to such organisations than join to market the negative event from your own handle.
4. Avoid Joining Many Social Media Platforms Personally: While your company handle will need to have presence on all platforms. So if you think you are missing out on activity on those platforms just access them through your company handles.
5. Leave Old & Uncontrolled Platforms: While some platforms through their inbuilt algorithms and technology, prevent fake news and toxicity, some cannot handle it despite advances in tech. It’s best to leave such platforms and focus your presence on just one – that enshrines in you positivity each day. Try new ones.
6. Avoid Emotional Guilt, Clear Mindspace: Not reacting to an injustice to a person that happened in your own neighborhood or city, might make your lose sleep. It is but human and natural. But reacting in a few characters will just make your anger ripple through all of your social feed than suggest some positive solutions to create a better society and world. Pen your thoughts down and use your emotions to create a positive solution. It will clear your own mindspace, will clear emotions and will abrogate the need to talk or vent your negative emotion on your close friends.
7. Keep Your Company Purpose & Mission In Mind: Across world history, there have been eras when gross injustices, oppression, wars or pandemics have led to chaos in society. However it has not stopped mankind’s success. Scientists have continued to invent and discover despite being hounded by dictators. Artists, poets and authors have improved their art depicting history through their works. Businesses and businessmen have created opportunity despite chaos, survived multiple wars, learnt adaptation and contributed to a positive society and built charities working in the areas of uplifting societies. Find your mission and purpose and build upon it.
8. Focus on Customer and Reinfoce Positive & Humane Qualities Through Social Media Platforms: Re-inforce positive and humane qualities through your company and personal handles. It will create a positive image as only light of knowledge can dispel darkness and ignorance.
9. Curate the Social Feed, Do Not Let It Curate Your Thoughts: Every algorithm of a social media platform is designed to keep you logged in and spend more time on it. Follow positive and wise people and let that feed, supply you with positive thoughts each morning. If still the feed and platform is getting toxic, try a silent feed. It’s better to communicate with yourself than with a negative social feed, even it is from close friends.
10. Build Social Connections During A Chaos: With unemployment rising and startups failing, people have a lot of time at their hand. And often a social media feed helps them to be emotionally charged and avoid falling into a depressive state. If your career goal is to join an NGO, a human rights foundation, focus full time on a political front, then helping build positive connections might enlighten you to solutions and help build organistaions that may last many a crisis.
11. Perfect Your Emotional Intelligence: It is said that people lose out on opportunities and potential business as they tend to bombard their suppliers, employees or partners with their own emotional reactions towards negative situations and events. An EQ can be developed slowly by attaining mindspace and balance even in times of chaos. Not reacting when your social media feed is turning into chaos might be the best way out. And if you wish to react, react with a positive quote or message which contains wisdom or a solution to the crisis. Start by not reacting at all to emotions of anger in your workspace.
12. Think Long Term With Mindspace: Your social media feeders will forget about the event that happened today and will be feeding you something different tomorrow morning. Learn from the events, pen your thoughts, clear your mindspace and you will have become a positive person, even from negative events. It will help you offer positive solutions to society, colleagues, employees, and btechnologyusiness stakeholders whenever such events repeat in the near or far future.
Connect with author: @HarsimranJulka
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