I was thinking about what it takes to be a really good startup founder. And I realized the number one thing you need is persistence. It’s the ability to just understand that this whole journey is a frickin roller coaster ride, one minute you’re up, one minute you’re down, sideways, upside down. But the point is, you know it can change. And you know you have the power to change it. That’s the only thing. The single belief that even if things are down now, they can get better. They WILL get better. Because that’s why you’re there. Making sure they do.
It’ll be 4 years in August for me doing the whole running a startup thing. And that’s the one big thing I’ve learned. One minute, you’re positive you’ve landed your next big client, the next you find that you have to pay back taxes of $25K (with another $25K lawyer bill still pending from 2 years ago). One minute you think you’ve just cracked your big pivot on your business model, the next you realize the sales cycle is crap, and scalability is next to nill.
I think after persistence, it’s perspective. Perspective gives you the ability to persevere. That (practically) insane voice in the back of your head saying no, I think we are on to something. Forget what everyone else is saying, or what our own data shows, I feel it deep down, this is the right thing. Maybe we’re not doing it the right way, but damn are we close. We need to tweak it yes, but give up? No way.
I think that sometimes, running a startup is structured insanity.
But at the end of the day, I think it takes a very insane person to change the world.