“When you become a startup founder, you have to believe in yourself" is one of the pieces of advice Dave, our CEO at Symph, shares.
It’s normal to be intimidated or scared when founding a startup. The journey is a lengthy one with lots of brainstorming, finding customers, and building the actual product… then all of this all over again… many times.
If you want to succeed as a founder, you have to face your fears. In the process, things get hard, and when it does, you have to dive into whatever fears you’re facing, and eventually, you will have to face reality and be brave.
There are many unknowns in building a startup.
If you’re really feeling incapacitated, or have an extreme fear of trying new and unfamiliar things – take a step back, and introspect. “Why are we doing this again? Is this the best way to go about this? What are my other options??”
It’s also beneficial to look more deeply. Ask yourself why you feel a certain way about certain things. For example, if you have an upcoming meeting, you notice you feel nervous, ask yourself, “Why am Inervous going to this meeting? What are the things that make me feel uncomfortable?”
Asking yourself these questions helps you identify the root reasons for how you feel, enabling you to address them effectively.
Fear is often caused by uncertainty – we don’t know if the things we’re going to do will work or not.
For example, you have an idea for a new feature or you are considering to pivot your product from one direction to another, and you don’t know if your market will buy it. Instead of being paralyzed by the fear because of this uncertainty, try going ahead, testing it out, and seeing how your market actually responds.
Run this experiment (with calculated risk) on a small scale and see how it performs. If it doesn’t work the way you thought it would, identify why it didn’t work, then iterate again from the new things you learned.
One of the best communication skills a startup founder should have is listening.
Go out there, and listen to the people you want to build a solution for. What real problems do they have? What have they tried to solve their problems? Have multiple intentional conversations, explore with them, and dig deep into the challenges they experience.
To make this work best, learn how to ask good questions: one tip is to watch interview videos and observe how they ask questions.
Most importantly, be genuinely curious. When your curiosity takes over, you will be asking good questions naturally. The more you do this, the more your listening skills will improve, resulting to more productive experiments that aim to solve your customers’ problems
Things are gonna get harder and you’re gonna face big challenges. This is reality in entrepreneurship whether you like it or not.
The good news is that once you start practicing these skills and growing, you will eventually get the hang of it. It will still be challenging, but you will learn to manage the situation and your responses to these situations better.
Lastly, don’t forget to ask for help from people who can guide you.
Got any questions on being a startup founder? Have a chat with our Symph Startup Labs team ➡️ firstname.lastname@example.org .