LC015: What makes a good startup founder?

launchpeer - June 15, 2018

Today’s question:

Today’s question comes from Kim. The question deals with how you can tell if you are going to be a good startup founder or just a startup employee as well as if startup life is right for you.

Jake’s answer:

How do you know if you’re cut out to be a startup founder? You don’t. You won’t know if you’re the right person to be a startup founder for an idea you have until you get started.

People will often focus on whether or not you have the right skills to be a founder. Whether that’s development or design skills or other execution-related skills. Rarely do people think about the emotional aspects of being founder.

Even as I began this startup, I wondered if I was the right person to lead it. I wasn’t sure if I was going to be a good founder or not. There are going to be times you hit roadblocks and you can lose your confidence as a founder because you feel as though it’s only up to you to make it succeed.

There are a couple of things you can do to figure out if you’ll be a good founder or not.

1) Look internally

Do you know what your strengths and weaknesses are? Right them down. If you can do that, you are self-aware enough to understand that you will have weaknesses and even just the act of writing them down means you are probably going to be a good founder. If you have trouble finding any weaknesses, then you’ll likely struggle to lead your startup.

2) Know how to use self-awareness to your advantage

Knowing where you potentially fall short in your own abilities is a great way to understand how to best grow your business. When you know where the gaps are, it makes it easier to hire others who can fill in where you truly need help. But it’s crucial that you continue to ask yourself the question of what you’re good at and what you’re not. Often what we think we may be good at and what we think we aren’t good at can change over time or evolve as the business grows. Continue to do self-assessments to know what your next steps should be.

Just get started

If you have any inkling that you want to start a company then you should do it. You can always go back and work for an established company or a startup that’s raising money but you won’t always have an opportunity to start your own business.

When you get married or start having kids or other life moments happen, it becomes harder to take the risk of starting your company. Once you realize you want to start a company, take the leap. If you work on your company for a year or 18 months and it doesn’t work out, what will actually happen? You may have an adverse emotional reaction, but logistically, you’ll simply go back to getting a job similar to what you have right now. It’s a greater emotional risk than a financial one and most of our emotional risk is based on internal fears rather than actuality.

If you have any inkling that you want to start a company then you should do it. You can always go back and work for an established company or a startup that's raising money but you won't always have an opportunity to start your own… Click To Tweet

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