Through An Entrepreneur’s Eyes: What It’s Really Like
If you follow this blog you know that I like venture capital stuff. A lot. I’m not a venture capitalist. Yet. I’m currently into FMCG and influenced by marketing, advertising, manufacturing & retail. Yet I learn a whole lot from VCs who talk openly about being an entrepreneur. A lot of my posts, and thoughts, are inspired by VCs & what they teach me. Odd I know, but we are who we are.
Most people in my field don’t blog / talk much publicly about business life & in time I’ve come to learn that you don’t have to be in the same industry with someone to learn from their core business experiences. The specifics may vary but there’s a lot of common ground among entrepreneurs in different fields. Goes to show how business has common basic fundamentals no matter the sector (I’ll write more on this someday).
I was quite tickled by Mark Suster‘s post on what it’s really like to be an entrepreneur (he’s a notable tech VC out in LA that I love following). I read it at 2am & was laughing all through. Not loooling but actually laughing out loud. The post caught me at a time when I was thinking about failure in business & the things entrepreneurs endure.
If there were things I could have told the young, doe-eyed me eager to get into business, these would have been some of those things:
“•Being an entrepreneur is about finding your inner self confidence.
•To be constantly told “it won’t work” but to keep plugging away anyways.
•To be kicked a lot and still keep standing.
•To hide your demons so that you don’t scare the bejesus out of your employees.
•To inspire others to join your cause when by all rational accounts they should not. And having the cojones to have them join you anyways. Pottery Barn rule. You hire them, you own them now. As in you’re responsible for these lines on their future resume.
•To swallow your stresses and insecurities and keep your optimistic game face on in the office. And on your home front. Maybe even try to believe it in your own head.
•It’s about wanting the right speaking slot at an important conference and hounding the organizer until he lets you do it.
•It’s telling your creditors that you need 60 extra days to pay. Please. Yes, most entrepreneurs will be nodding their heads right now. Not fun, hey? But that’s what it takes.
•Firing? Hell, get used to it. It’s a necessity. You better be good at it. Develop a thick skin for it. Not put off the difficult fires. You don’t have the spare budget to suffer fools. Hire fast, fire faster.
•Friday night in the office while others are at the bar. Sundays in the back of a plane. Center seat. Smelly dude next to you.
•Investor emails. They are forwarding you yet another link to an article about your competitors. And wondering why the hell are we not doing THIS like they are. Enough already!?! I told you not to worry about their move into Latin America. I promise you that won’t be a bit market for us. What? No, I’m not worried that they’re higher in the App Store charts than us. They’re paying for traffic. Paying I say! They can’t have a positive LTV on these downloads. You want me to throw around my money like that too, bro?”
You can read the whole thing here . It takes guts to be not just be an entrepreneur but to stay an entrepreneur. What’s your experience so far?
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