What are the most important pieces of advice for a first-time startup founder in 2016? originally appeared on Quora - the knowledge sharing network where compelling questions are answered by people with unique insights.
As an entrepreneur who has founded two businesses (one I sold and myI run) and helped other startups, here is what I have learned:
- Make sure your basic needs are taken care of first (food/shelter/basic payments). This prevents your decision making being compromised to forgo long-term gains for short-term benefits. Startups are typically a long-term play unless unforeseen circumstances suggest otherwise.
- Accountability for everything that happens in the company is ultimately yours. Without exception.
- Anything you delegate to someone else should be something you would be willing to do yourself if necessary. Important characteristic of leadership.
- Be prepared to learn many things.
- You possess the catch-all role. No matter what happens, if no one can solve the problem, it falls to you.
- Stay open to pivots. They happen, they are necessary and often can greatly shift to better directions not previously accessible due to a lack of understanding at the time the original decision was made.
- Expect that the end result can be very different from where you started. As you learn, you evolve and so does your vision.
- You are not alone. You may feel it at times. When you do, there are places to connect with like-minded entrepreneurs. This may require you to go outside conventional circles. Worth the journey.
- It's tough, but it's worth it as long as you are pursuing something you enjoy and genuinely believe in.
- You will naturally want to "get things done." Take time to strategize and understand what needs to be done, why it needs to be done and what needs to be done first.
- Process precedes software and tools. Figure out the process first.
- When it comes to sales, you are looking for predictable revenue, then sustainable revenue, and then scalable revenue.
Well, that should do; good luck and welcome to entrepreneurship!
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