It’s not easy being a startup founder.
Most don’t have what it takes to succeed with a startup.
Heck, it’s difficult to hold any position in business where you’re responsible for sales and the bottom line. You have your own well being to care for and you have that of others if the company has employees.
That all goes on top of the family you might be responsible for.
It’s at this point where most people with a good idea for a business simply go back to their regular job. It’s too much risk and that’s understandable. Being the founder of a startup can be very rewarding, but it does come with trade offs.
I’ve been lucky over the years to have family members and friends that have been successful in business. I’ve also been able to observe the success others have had. It’s usually not the overnight success that you read about on Inc. or on Tech Crunch.
Those are simple snapshots of things that have taken a long time to build or simply one item in a long line of failures.
Through observation I’ve become convinced that startup founders possess certain traits that make the capable (crazy?) of handling the life of running a business.
Let’s go over them…
This is the biggest one.
There are countless stories about successful business people that have failed and failed. At the point when others would have given up they kept going and ultimately found success.
I read music biographies all the time. It’s incredible the number of artists that have failed and failed even into their later years, which is well after most would have given up, only to find success.
Brooks & Dunn were one of the most successful acts in music in the ’90s and ’00s. The interesting part was that both guys were in their 40s when they finally hit it big together. They had been struggling on their own for decades until that point.
There are going to be times when things get tough. You might lose all your money. You might be going into debt. Most people would give up. If you’re different you’ll forget the excuses and you’ll keep pushing forward until it works.
2. Chip-On-The-Shoulder Syndrome
This one is kind of unique. We see it often in sports. Some of the best athletes have chips on their shoulders. Someone slighted them along the way and they use that to fuel their drive to be the best.
There has to be something that pushes you. Motivation can come from a number of different places, but having a chip on your shoulder can be a good thing. I’m not sure if you can force it. You probably can if you keep focusing on something that went wrong or on someone that told you you weren’t good enough.
The ones that are persistent have usually heard that they should give it up. The put that on their shoulder and use it as motivation.
This one is kind of unique. The good ones; the ones that keep finding success for the long-term are the ones that are never satisfied. They might even reach the top and become the best, but they are always looking over their shoulder. They’re well aware that someone is coming up behind them to topple the current empire.
It’s good to enjoy your success when you get it, but life goes in cycles. When things are good they’ll usually turn bad. Paranoia or an awareness of these cycles can make you more prepared for when things go bad. You can weather the storm and come out stronger than the competition and stronger than you were before.
Do you possess these qualities? If you don’t then you might not be cut out for life as a startup founder. I do think you can build these traits, but that can take a while. You have to be willing to do what others are afraid of doing if you want to succeed in business. Most people are trained to avoid failure. This will also keep them from finding great success and satisfaction. Buck the trend and go find your success.