Lessons Startups Can Learn From Halloween

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It’s that haunting time of the year when zombies, ghouls, princesses and werewolves march up and down the streets in search of tricks and treats.
But it’s also a time for reflection.
After all, Halloween is the eve of all hallows day or Day of the Dead in Latino culture. It reminds us that we’re all mortal. We’re on this earth for a fleeting moment in time. So this time of the year, we should remember our ancestors and also give thanks for the life that we have today. Gratitude will carry us through some of our darkest moments.
And if you’re running a startup, you’re going to have dark moments. You probably barely notice Halloween or Thanksgiving or Christmas for that matter because you’re grinding away and working on the business without a thought to the calendar changing and the marching on of time.
But that’s the wrong thing to do.
Throughout two decades of covering entrepreneurs and tech companies I’ve learned that the happiest entrepreneurs tend to be the most successful. So here’s a few treats:

1. Take time to have fun. All work and no play makes for one miserable entrepreneur and no one wants to buy products and services from someone who looks like a sad Panda. So don a happy Panda costume and eat some candy. If you have kids, go trick and treating with them. If you don’t have kids, go trick or treating anyway.

2. Let those creative juices flow. Carve a pumpkin. Bake a pumpkin donut. Create a costume from scratch. Look at Pinterest and attempt to recreate one of those perfect Martha Stewart-like arts and crafts projects like cake ball brains with oozing cherry blood. It doesn’t matter whether it works out. In fact, if it doesn’t then it’s just as much fun.

3. Don’t be stingy. Give, give and give some more candy, your time, your money, your expertise, your attention and yourself. When you give to others, you receive so much more in return. It’s that warm fuzzy feeling that lets you know you’re human.

4. You always hear people tell startups to get out of the building – well this is your opportunity. Go to a party, a bar, a neighborhood gathering. Talk to other people outside the startup world about what they are doing and you can also ask them about what they think of your product.

5. Don’t forget to say thank you! Studies show that saying thanks is good for business. It’s cheap. It’s effective. Don’t miss an opportunity to say thank you to coworkers, partners, clients and investors. And studies show that trick or treaters who say thank you receive more candy.

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