By Yashika Sharma
30 September 2020
10 Startup Founders Tell Us: The Best Advice I've ever received
When you're thinking about starting a business, or first in
an entrepreneurial trench, every nugget of advice you can get from someone
who's been there before is like gold.
But as time goes by, you will realize that some of these
tips are better and more important to your business than others.
So, to get you started on the right foot, no matter where
you're on your start-up journey, we asked 10 founders to weigh in on the very best advice they got when they founded their businesses.
1. Get Comfortable With the Unknown
You're never going to know enough. You will still be
pressured to make a decision without completely knowing what's going on. As a
creator, that's just something you need to be comfortable with.
2. it’s not just About You
The best advice is not to give you too much credit when
times are good and blame too much when times are bad. When you know that chance
plays a necessary role in performance, it makes you both humbler and more
optimistic at the same time.
3. Show, Don’t Tell
'Show, don't say' is a dynamic axiom, but it's a strong one.
For a startup, being proof of
the value proposition is big. Instead, talking about what your organization
does and has done sets the tone for your vision in a way that is honest, and
far less high-faulting. Always be a value maker, so that you can illustrate
current and translatable evidence of what you can actually do towards what you
strive to become.
4. Know When to Let Go
As a founder or
everyone who feels proud and near to the product he or she creates you're struggling to get the right perspective
on your company. It's quick to get too close, and it can be distracting. Here's
the good and the bad news: nobody is looking at your job as closely as you are.
So, note that when you're on hour four, you're asking about the shade of navy
blue that fits best with your logo. Yes, specifics are important. But at a
certain stage, you've got to let go and move on to the next thing.
5. Know the Startup Hierarchy
Think of the startup culture as a high
school: you have a freshman, a sophomore, a junior, a senior, and then a
teacher and a team. When you first join the group, whether you're a founder or
an employee, you're a freshman. Build relationships with mentors and more
senior, seasoned individuals, but also develop relationships with people just
one or two steps ahead of you. Ask them the 'stupid' questions and the stuff
that seems stupid or small; soon enough, you'll be the sophomore or junior, and
you'll be dragging the newbies up the ladder with you.
6. Find the Balance
Give it to the group before you get it. Do deep research on
your ideas, but trust your intuition. Actively seek guidance, but know the
advice is always contradictory, so you need your own conviction. With the
commodity, think expansively, and then transform it back to basics. Be proud of
what you are creating, though there will never be perfect. Be mindful of
competition, but don't think about competition. Be frank with your staff, but
still kind, empathetic, and self-conscious. Understand that the world does not
need your idea, so know when to move on. Luck and endurance are just as critical
as ideas and talent. Don't trust your own press, either good or poor. Don't
take yourself too seriously, even though you are trying to change the world.
Never lose sight of the important things: love, friends, family.
7. Do Anything and Everything
The best advice I've ever got was from Stacy Blackman, who
runs a popular MBA consulting firm: 'Definitely do anything and all. No coffee
or meeting, no speaking engagement, was too tiny when I began. A lot of people
were wondering what gave the most leads. I've had hundreds of alliances and
marketing campaigns, but our success has been accomplished. I had
collaborations that I figured would be the one big thing.
8. Don’t Worry About the Noise
Ignore the speculation you see in the news for another startup. Usually, it's a pack of lies, and all of them will be
dead in a year. Focus on building your company to make you the one left
9. It's Your Company—You Decide
We've been blessed to have a lot of amazing mentors on our
road to building Ever True. But these mentors also offer contradictory advice.
'Go for the big accounts! 'Go after the tiny accounts! 'Go B2B! 'Mentors have a
point of view based on their professional experience and a narrow perspective
on our industry and customer base, I realize
that while input from mentors is incredibly important, we ultimately need to
make crucial decisions ourselves.
10. Don’t Seek Risk
The best entrepreneurs are not looking for risk.
They are trying to minimize the risk.