Running a start up is full-frontal. Things come at you from everywhere.

You have no money, no time, half the team you need, half the product you need and all the pressure to succeed.

The LAST thing you need is more distraction.

It comes in so many forms — often disguised as “things that could help” but, let’s be honest and clear here, they don’t help. They hurt. That’s why they are called “distractions”.

As a founder, CEO, someone in a leadership position, it is your biggest job to keep everyone focused on the company mission. No side-quests allowed.

As a founder, CEO, someone in a leadership position is it ALSO your biggest job to keep yourself focused on the company mission. You DO have permission for side-quests, as long as they support the mission and don’t distract anyone else from that focus.

As leaders it is easy to send mixed messages about what the focus of the company is. I’ve done it. It started so honestly as a small conversation but there is no such thing as a small conversation in a leadership position in a startup.

We were on the hunt for a series A investment so we let the team know what our plans were. We talked about it at every team meeting, we kept everyone on top of all the pitches and VC meetings we were having. Doing this MADE it important enough to be everyone’s top agenda item. It became our North Star…by accident.


When we realized the gravity of this mistake, we stopped talking about it everywhere.

Then THAT became the topic of conversation. Another distraction.


You can see how this type of distraction can escalate and tower over everything else.

There are so many opportunities to take your eye off the reason for the company. Shiny stuff trumps all here. It is your job to make sure that doesn’t happen.