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Thinking of becoming a founder? Welcome to club fear!

by Mina Radhakrishnan

Mina talks about the life of a startup!

A startup founder entrepreneur is signing up for long hours, negligible pay, high stress, not spending time with family and friends, no time for balance and excercise and great uncertainty. With chances of success minuscule 

Welcome to club fear!!

Why do we do it? The graphic below nails the reason …..

Let me tell you – successes don’t happen overnight – it takes many years of blood sweat tears and failures to become an overnight success.

Mina identifies 3 core problems of a startup and share some insights on how these problems can be overcome 

Problem 1 – what you portray is not your reality 

If you ask a founder how they are doing – they will invariably give the impression that they are “crushing it”. 

They are doing great. 

The reality – More often than not – they are not crushing they are being crushed. 

Rarely do they discuss what’s not going well. 

Whether talking to your co-founder, investors, or family and friends, try to be open about what’s going well and what isn’t. 

Solution – show your vulnerability 

Your answer to “how are you doing?” should probably more than people want to hear, but tell the truth and feel healthier as a result.

People like to help 

Problem 2 – time is scarce 

You have a small team – there are millions of things you have to do and you have no time to focus on what you are doing 

Solution –  Share the load and be laser focussed 

You can’t do it all: There will never be enough hours in the day to accomplish all of your tasks. Time is critical and your scarcest resource.

Identify the key tasks of you and your team and do them really well. 

Be singularly focussed.

If it’s not critical to your mission, dump it.

If it’s critical to your mission, are you doing it as well as it can be done? And if you’re doing it as well as it can be done, have you figured out how to scale it?

Problem 3 –  constant fear of losing everything 

You live in constant fear of losing your reputation , savings , ego, family and friends, a fear of “can it be done”

Solution. -Have a founders mindset 

It’s not a job: A founder requires a different mindset than doing a job well. 

Your personal reputation, your savings and your ego are on the line in a way they’re not when you work for someone else.   

As Travis from Uber says – 

Don’t say “can it be done” 
Say “how can it be done”

Once you scope the solution, and determine if that will contribute to your mission . You can make an informed decision whether to go ahead or not.

It’s not just about you, it is also about all the people you employ and their futures. It’s about creating something that will making your world a better place. 

Starting a company is both a choice and a responsibility, and you owe it to yourself and your team to aim for something big. 

In The Lord of the Rings, on the eve of a battle, one of the characters says: 

“Certainty of death. Small chance of success. What are we waiting for?” 

Being part of the startup ecosystem is our choice, and in spite of the enormous risk – we do it anyway, embracing the good and the bad to become one of the 2%ers

About Mina Radhakrishnan

Mina Radhakrishnan is co-founder of property tech start-up “Different”  and previously global head of product at Uber.

“Different” attempts to solve the pain of property management , owners, renters and tradies – who currently communicate in an ecosystem of pain and hate. The business uses technology and customer service to change this paradigm – to help people build trust with each other through collaboration and transparency.

Posted on August 28, 2018

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