Never Let them See you Sweat!

Entrepreneurship requires leadership (so what’s new?) and sales skills, but more than anything it requires the ability to get up every morning, no matter what, and infuse everyone you meet or contact with a sense of the inevitability of the success of your deal. Here are some things that the VentureWrench team learned (the hard way!) that may help you.

  1. Attitude is everything!
  2. Never let them see you sweat
  3. Be nice to assistants
  4. Entrepreneurship isn’t an event, it’s a lifestyle
  5. And perhaps most importantly:
    When you ask an entrepreneur how things are going, everything is going great! If they say otherwise, their deal is already dead…

That sounds pretty cold. Can’t you be honest? Can’t you tell people your worries? In a word, NO. Investors, partners and employees can smell fear or see fear in your eyes. And you will be afraid. But courage is pressing forward even in the face of (justified) fear.

I had someone (okay, lots of someones) ask me as we started DoBox if I liked running a startup (we eventually raised $2.6 million from angel and venture investors before selling DoBox to a public company).

I would reply “As long as you can get past the reality that you may completely fail, it’s great!”

That stopped most of them in their tracks – few people can get past that reality.

If you spend your energy wrestling with that fear of failing every day, no one will ever believe in the inevitability of the success of your company and your vision – you have to put that fear aside and focus instead on making your success inevitable.

The major part of your job as a founder is to go from “nothing” to “everything you need”. You need a product or service, you need a place to work, you need partners, customers, employees, a web and social media presence. You need it all and if you’re like most entrepreneurs you start with almost nothing. But, it is possible, and it is the most rewarding work available. Don’t give up and remember….

Entrepreneurship isn’t an event, it’s a lifestyle!


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