Startups are full of uncertainty, which typically gets (a little) less as the business grows. Lots and lots of questions about almost everything that the founder doesn't (yet) know the answer to. To me, the uncertainty makes working on a startup interesting, challenging and also frustrating at times.
My theory is that people give up on their business ideas because they don't know how to progress when they meet uncertainty - as they inevitably will.
So my question is, what do you do that is effective at helping you through times when you are facing a lot of uncertainty in building your business - beliefs, behaviours, other?
Great question. I'm sure the answer will vary for each person, and perhaps each person within a given startup. For me, the foremost strategy is always keeping an eye on the greater goal.
For instance, if WordPress was my startup, my goal might be something like: "To give everyone a voice; to allow anyone to publish anything at anytime." That's a broad enough goal that ties back to a personal passion & belief. The exact execution of a goal will vary because of the inevitability of uncertainty. But if the greater goal ties back to something I am passionate about, and is broad enough to interest me, then that motivates me to continue despite setbacks.
Some tactics I've used to reinforce a goal is:
Other strategies for dealing with uncertainty:
One last note: one of my mottos in life is the Serenity Prayer:
"Grant me the courage to change that which I can, the serenity to accept that which I cannot, and the wisdom to know the difference."I think this applies directly in entrepreneurship. As you said, there will always be uncertainty. It is inevitable. The best you can do is accept the factors you cannot control (the economy, natural disasters, etc), exert control in the factors that you can change (product features, prices, etc), and know which is which.
Measure, Measure, Measure. Uncertainty is a way of life in startups. Agree to what outcome your effort should produce, and define what metrics you will use to determine success or failure. Analyzing data, feedback and insights is where the true value comes from - and allows you to move forward.