Startups are hard. Prepare for pain. It isn't all glamorous. Don't do it unless you're passionate about the problem you're solving. Better to be a missionary than a mercenary.
Do a few things well. It's better to do a few things well than many things poorly. Focus on the few things that truly matter and move the needle. This is true of your company strategy, your team, and your own personal time.
Play to your strengths. Be self-aware of your strengths and your weaknesses. Align your role with the things you're good at, hire to complement your weaknesses.
Personal example on this one: When I was Polyvore's CEO, I had to come to terms with the fact that I was strong at vision and evangelism, but not the greatest operational leader at scale. It was tough to admit because I had prided myself on being a PM who was good at project management and organization. But I realized rather than banging my head against a wall and trying to become great at process and making the trains run on time, it was better to hire a great COO who could do it in their sleep, and focus my energy on what I excelled at. One of my mentors Cheryl Dalrymple told me you can only move 3 points on a 10 point scale, so focus on where you're a 7-10, not on where you're a 2.
Don't believe the hype. Every company has its warts. Every CEO has their insecurities. You're not the only one.
Find your founder community. Find a good support network of other founders you trust that you can turn to for advice, support, and just someone to vent to. and helped keep me sane.
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