What is the best advice for first-time entrepreneurs? originally appeared on Quora: the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world.

Answer by Mike Volpi, Partner at Index Ventures, on Quora: What is the best advice for first-time entrepreneurs?

  1. Before you get started make sure that entrepreneurship is right for you. These days, especially in Silicon Valley, entrepreneurship can be a "lifestyle" - it is not. Being an entrepreneur is tough, solitary at times, the highs are high and the lows are low, and it requires a lot of short term sacrifices. Make sure that you are ready for the journey and that it's for you.
  2. Surround yourself with good advisors. Other entrepreneurs, attorneys, mentors, etc. There is a method to the madness and it's great to have people around you that can coach you through it.
  3. Build a great team with a healthy culture. Collect a great group of people around you that can be the foundation of your business. But don't compromise on culture. Whatever the culture of your business is, it will get ingrained early in the life of the company and will be harder to change. Make sure you think through what your culture should be early on.
  4. Obsess over Product/Market-Fit. Probably the single most important concept in building a business is product market fit. While this is an elusive concept, it is founded in the iteration of your product until it fundamentally satisfies the users' or customers' needs in a good market. Without this, you are not starting on the journey of building a great business.
  5. Focus on the few really important things for your business. There are a million little things that you can worry about when starting a business. Don't worry about 99% of them. Prioritize ruthlessly and give your time and energy to the most important issues: Great product, great people, great market, etc...
  6. Last, but not least, enjoy the journey. Entrepreneurship is at the heart of so many things that have made our world and society a better place. What an amazing thing to be an agent of that change!

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Published on: Jul 2, 2018