Founders First Steps: From Making Your Bed to Changing the World!

December 31, 2023 3 mins read
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The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.

Lao Tzu

Dear Reader,

If you want to change the world, start by making your bed. If you can’t do the simple things, you’ll never do the hard things. (𝕏 Tweet This)

Why start with making your bed? Small wins theory (Atomic Habits). Celebrating small, achievable, and seemingly inconsequential tasks builds momentum. It sets the tone for how you operate, doing the little things right makes the big things possible. The dopamine release from these wins reinforces positive behaviors and motivates you to do more. It’s that simple.


The StartUp Rule For 2024: Don’t Quit – Sometimes, you can’t tell the difference between the market getting easier and you just becoming a better founder.


Making your bed doesn’t have to be literal, it’s just a view that discipline and consistency will always outlast emotion, passion and effort. It’s about starting with small achievable adjustments, that over time have a compounding impact.

Facing the monstrous enormity of the task ahead. Think of it this way, “How do you eat an elephant?” While some think about the impossibility, founders know the answer: “One bite at a time.” Monumental feats come through small, consistent steps.

As you kick off 2024, watch these ten rules from Navy Admiral William H. McRaven’s commencement speech, each a lesson in leadership, resilience, and the art of overcoming challenges:

To Recap:

  1. Start Your Day with a Task Completed: Make your bed.
  2. Find Someone to Help You Through Life: We’re stronger together.
  3. Respect Everyone: The value of every team member is crucial.
  4. Know that Life is Not Fair: How you respond to adversity matters.
  5. Failure Can Make You Stronger: Embrace the lessons it teaches.
  6. Dare Greatly: Take calculated risks.
  7. Stand Up to the Bullies: In business and life.
  8. Rise to the Occasion: Be your best in the darkest moments.
  9. Give People Hope: The most powerful leadership tool.
  10. Never Give Up: Persistence. Never ring the bell.

As you wake up on January 1, 2024, you face a simple choice. Forget radical changes. Instead, opt for one small, easily manageable, almost underwhelming change. Commit to it. Share your commitment. Put it on record here.

Here’s to a year of getting it done, one step at a time. As always, you are welcome to grab time with me.

— James

(LinkedIn | Twitter | Tiktok)​

The StartUp Rule For 2024: Don’t Quit Next: Does Your StartUp Have The Right To Exist?
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