Fear – Overcoming the circumstances
Fear – How to overcome the circumstances before they overcome you.
Fear… Flight or fight.
You have two decisions that you can make when you’re afraid and those are the decisions. The problem is sometimes you can’t run away. You have to fight. I think they’re many moments to which I’ve been overwhelmed and stress and I felt sick and nauseous, like the circumstances are bigger than me, I don’t know what to do, I can’t fix this, I’ve tried everything I know how or I know what I think I’m going to do and I don’t think that even if I give it my best it will work, there is such a small chance.
And I think either you overcome the circumstances or they overcome you. If you do the former you’re a hero and if you do the latter you’re a victim.
You don’t have to be omnipotent; you don’t have to necessarily have the power to control the outcome. You just have to make a decision about what you’re going to do and response to circumstance and come to peace with your decision. And what your role is in the story and sort of transcend the near term outcome with the long term outcome.
What I mean by this, let’s just say that you’ve raised three hundred thousand and it’s the start up capital to get business set up and hire first couple of people, and you know u need more money to build a team to launch to whatever…and when you raise this money you know that six month from now you’re going to run out right? and then it’s five months, and then it’s four months, and then i’ts three months, and then it’s two months, and it’s one month. And then you’re like, ok we’ve hired people and they are not going to get paid if I don’t do something, that is why most founders are freaking stressed, that’s why. And that scenario is built in to the nature of a startup. Until you basically build a self sufficient business where there’s a model, of growth that investors know that you’ve got some crank that you’re turning right.
There’s growth in the rate of user growth, and there is a graph that looks like this, or that you’re going to get to break even in six months. Until you are there, there’s capital that goes in the business to get you there for a lot of these high growth startups.
Can you imagine if Larry and Sergey had to bootstrap Google? Right? It’s the role of a Venture capital to do this stuff, but it’s not on the founder, the universe is just not going to throw you money for startup capital, like no. It’s a very aggressive conversation between the startup and the capital markets, the investors, about why it deserves to live, and why not, it deserves to live, that’s how the startup thinks about it, why it’s a good investment for the investors given all the opportunities cost, of all the places they could allocate their capital.
And so, I think a lot of founding teams, you hear in Silicon Valley, you go to these conferences, they say you know, great founding team have amazing technical co-founder and engineer, software engineer. They have great designer, they have these roles. And those roles are really important. But the role of the CEO is, should be, I mean, is traditionally the business founder. And in those areas, in those situations where it’s not the business founder you need, to do a really good job in importing talent around that person to do this role. The number one job for a CEO is to make sure people get paid. And so, yeah I mean, fundraising is like top priority. Either fundraising or getting to break even or revenue, these are very much on the mind of a founder.
And the thing about being that salesperson is that you could always be better. You could always work harder. You can always probably fit more meetings into your schedule. You can always be more organized. You could always create better materials. You could always position the company better. You can always have a better narrative. You can always have a better plan.
But at the end of the day, when you walk out of a meeting, it’s the investor’s decisions to invest. It’s beyond your control. And if you can surrender to that, if you can’t give it up and come to peace with it, then you will be miserable.