No matter how much you have read about starting your own company, you have missed any number of irrefutable truths that will impact your business-building efforts. How do I know? Every single one of these has been part of my journey from MapQuest to 77 Capital to Rand McNally and The Startup Factory. Your or our personal fear drives most business angst.
Your job as founder is to navigate through the treacherous startup waters with one goal in mind; stay afloat as long as possible giving you and your company an opportunity to actually discover a repeatable business model.
Here are 15 truths that you will wrestle with:
- That adrenalin that you operated on for the last 6 months will fade and then you have to actually build a business.
- Your co-founder is both brilliant and an idiot and you imagine the business both with them and without them.
- That one special feature that you have dreamt about for months is probably not going to be the core of your business next year.
- The number of micro-tasks that invade your day is overwhelming.
- You will have a moment every day where your inner voice will shout, "you have no idea what you are doing".
- Your current customers are 1 Nano-second away from abandoning you for some other product or service.
- That one mentor that has many many years of experience and that you rely on for in depth, personal, expert advice is only right half the time.
- You are completely overestimating your ability to raise outside capital.
- Sales people lie. (Well ,modestly fabricate a version of the truth.)
- Your first hire will be a complete bust--and it will be your fault.
- You have never spent more time on email in your life.
- Your family has no idea how to support you to the level you want.
- Some days you are so tired that you cannot even think.
- Your employees expect you to have very specific answers to their questions.
- It's 5x harder than you ever expected.
Ready to leap? I hope so. The journey is magical and terrifying all at the same time. But you cant get better at this without actually doing it. Expectations set? Ready--set--leap!