Startup Turn of Events

I’m back to being a full-time startup founder, and the job never disappoints.

Starting a company is an emotional roller coaster. The highs are high, and the lows are low. Hard not to take it personally when an investor cancels a phone call, or a potential client decides to “go forward with another option” just after a product demo that I nailed.

(I nailed that demo.)

So my every day now is a race to achieve product-market fit before the company runs out of cash. Startups need to build a product that people want to buy, and then find enough people to actually buy it, so the company can pay its bills and stay in business.

Reid Hoffman (the more famous one of the LinkedIn co-founders) repeated his quote to death, but hearing it too often doesn’t make it less true & awesome: “An entrepreneur is someone who will jump off a cliff and assemble an airplane on the way down.

Myself included, CEOs tend to take on too much work, inevitably isolating themselves from others. Loneliness is as real as self-doubt is, and neither of those make for a healthy mind. So what’s a founder to do if they want to succeed?

Now my personal routine involves weekly check-ins with three mentors who help with different aspects of the business. Others have found mastermind groups helpful. Talking to mentors and peers is helpful to find loneliness, and can help separate the signal from the noise.

Your mileage may vary, but even if work is your passion, working seven days a week for sustained periods rarely does your health any good.

Take time for self-care and for your support system, and you know what to do if there isn’t any time to take. Make time, my friend.