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Unconventional Startup Advice You Need to Hear | Humour in the Workplace

Entrepreneurship development comes from learning and understanding how to handle your clients, employees, friends, and family. Entrepreneurship is serious business you can do with a smile.

Starting a business is serious

Hi there, it's Patrick from Eleu Health Technologies, a not-so-young entrepreneur. Building a business is no walk in the park, and the best piece of advice I received revolved around an unexpected tool: humour, which is integral to my hustle. Transitioning from a conservative banking career to launching a startup in the health and wellness sector was challenging. However, integrating humour into my daily routine significantly eased this journey. Let's dive into how this piece of advice for first-time entrepreneurs shaped my entrepreneurial path and can help you too.

From Banking to Health Tech: A Major Shift

Leaving a 20-year banking career to start Eleu Health Technologies was a leap of faith. Banking, with its conservative and structured nature, was worlds apart from the dynamic, unpredictable environment of a health and wellness startup. One piece of advice I received was that in order to be a successful entrepreneur I had to understand every aspect of my business thoroughly—from legal to operations to marketing. However, the best advice I ever received that truly transformed my approach was simpler: bring a sense of humour to work every day.

Understanding the Importance of Humor

Initially, the idea of incorporating humour into a business setting seemed counterintuitive. I was worried it might signal a lack of seriousness. However, I soon realized that humour does not diminish the gravity of one's purpose or mission; it's in fact sage advice for entrepreneurs. Instead, it helps manage the immense weight of entrepreneurship—the investments, time, and opportunity costs involved in running a small business.

By lightening up, you not only ease your own burden but also create a more positive atmosphere for your team, clients, and even your family—really it is the best business advice I got.

Humour in the Workplace

In the early stages of Eleu Health, meeting deadlines was a significant stress point. For example, developing our application involved high use of technology and constant adjustments, which is a common business hustle dilemma for any successful business, when building a new product or service. When timelines weren't met, it was easy to come down hard on the team. However, the delays were often due to unavoidable hurdles, like adapting to new AI developments.

Using humour helped lower the temperature in such situations. Instead of projecting frustration, I learned to address issues light-heartedly. This approach ensured the same critical message was conveyed, but it was received more positively and helps you work towards your goal more effectively. It fostered a cooperative environment, crucial for a startup, yet not something you will learn in business school.

Connecting with Clients Through Humor

Building relationships with clients as a startup founder involves more passion and personal investment than working for a large organization. Clients can sense the pressure you put on yourself as a small business owner. By using humour, you can alleviate this pressure, making discussions more meaningful and authentic, a strategy every entrepreneur should consider. Humour isn't about being a comedian; it's about being approachable and easing the atmosphere, which helps in conveying your vital business idea.

Clients working for larger organizations don't share the same intense drive as startup founders. Their goal is to find solutions for their organizations, not to collaborate on projects simply to share in your entrepreneurial zeal. Humour helps bridge this gap, allowing for better communication and understanding, which is essential advice for all entrepreneurs. Of course, you will learn from your mistakes along the way too. Early-stage startups are landmines of emotion and volatility, and any successful entrepreneur requires patience to see their journey become successful.

Humour at Home

Entrepreneurship often blurs the line between work and personal life. Bringing humour home helps manage the inevitable stress that comes with running a business. It ensures that your family, who are already supportive of your venture, are not overwhelmed by your entrepreneurial rollercoaster. Instead of focusing on the intensity of the battle at work, take the time to be in the moment with your loved ones when you can. Creating a successful business isn't about just a great business plan, it means having the energy to see it through to that success. 

Many entrepreneurs define success as having a profitable business. They focus on building business models to put themselves and their family in a position of financial freedom. They focus on the business needs and won't waste time on the extra noise of life. These are commendable values I share, but don't forget that business success comes with family sacrifice and stress. Simple acts like sharing dad jokes or light-hearted banter can ease the tension. It helps keep my home a sanctuary, free from the volatility of business life. My fear of missing my children grow up in front of my eyes forces me to take that breath. I want to accomplish my success with my wife and children by my side. So, smiling, laughing and making a lot of jokes helps me focus on the things that are important to me. 


The best piece of business advice I received when starting Eleu Health was to integrate humour into my daily routine. This approach has been invaluable in managing stress, fostering positive relationships, and maintaining a healthy work-life balance. To the new entrepreneur: humour doesn't negate the seriousness of your mission, it doesn't diminish your brand, nor stop you from taking the business forward; it makes the journey more bearable and enjoyable for everyone involved.

Take care, embrace humour, and watch how it helps you build your business, stay on top of your personal life, and may even help you succeed as an entrepreneur. You need to smile a little - the world won't end if you do.



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