Skip to main content

Entrepreneurs and Artists – What Keeps Both Going

I recently met an author of several books and also had a startup some years before. She lamented how her beauty product was probably too early – timing, indeed, is an important factor in startups. She also shared how many of her books failed to be commercial successes.

Knowing what my own book was about, she asked me, “When did you know it was time to stop?”

I get asked this a lot. Perhaps everyone believes an author on startup failure knows the moment. Perhaps I know the signals, the omens of impending startup doom. That, sadly, is not true at all. It’s not true because there’s no answer. It’s up to the entrepreneur(s).

Steve Blank used a comparison in “Venture Capital is ‘Liquidity Ponzi Scheme” that I often use: “entrepreneurs are like artists”. Both can accomplish great things and be wildly successful. Both can be wildly misunderstood, too. Both, likely, must overcome the roller coaster of ups and [many more] downs before finding success (if ever).

Entrepreneurs and artists are driven by a mission and passion. That’s what keeps entrepreneurs and artists going.

Entrepreneurs, like artists, see the world in their own ways ("different"). Often, they misunderstand or meet odds and antagonists all over. To entrepreneurs and artists, the challenges are opportunities.

When I looked at the author, I responded, “you stop when you’ve lost the passion” referencing what happened at Body Boss. We had lost the passion to keep hitting and overcoming challenges.

A Google search of “failure” and entrepreneurs returns thousands of results, and indeed, entrepreneurs. Jack Ma, founder of China’s Alibaba, is one such example of extreme grit and persistence – his failures are well-documented. When entrepreneurs ask, “when do we know when to quit?”, they are looking for reasons to quit. Many are looking for outside influences to signal to stop when the true answer lies within.

You’re going to run into challenges (opportunities) as an entrepreneur or an artist, no doubt. What will keep you going is passion and a belief in your mission.

Comments

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Vertical SaaS? Horizontal SaaS? It’s All News to Me

Not sure why, but I have only recently heard of a term called “Vertical SaaS”. Okay, there’s also “Horizontal SaaS”, too. Based on some light research, looks like vertical SaaS is also a growing trend and the number of companies fewer than horizontal SaaS providers.
Vertical SaaS borrows its moniker from the concept of vertical integration whereby there is more control over a supply chain from raw materials to point-of-sale. Here, vertical SaaS companies focus on a niche market (industry) offering a solution that enables more process control.
Horizontal SaaS providers get really good at a particular offering, and widen their market to reach scale. Their focus is on breadth of market, and thus, its sales and marketing strategies can require more resources.
Many vertical SaaS companies (such as Veeva Systems, Guidewire, Fleetmatics) are doing well usurping legacy systems of traditionally slow-tech-adoption industries. Here, vertical companies develop a best-of-breed product, and focu…

My Life-Defining Moment Happened When I Failed to Make Varsity in High School

Ever stop to think about who you are? What makes you tick and tock? How about what you truly enjoy and what you’re good at vs. not good at? Or what/ who has shaped you into the person you are today?
I’m at this stage of figuring out whether to continue independent consulting while iterating on ideas for the next startup or take on some full-time employment (consulting, product management, or otherwise). My recent post about my daily/ weekly schedule was an interesting exercise in stepping back and recognizing what I’m actually doing in a day, and made me really think at the macro level.
In one of my recent reflections, I thought about defining moments in my life. One of those watershed events that truly transformed me was my failure to make the Varsity soccer team in high school. I won’t rehash the whole story here – shared the story almost a year ago in my post titled “Getting Through Dark Moments and the Most Vulnerable Story I've Ever Told Publicly”. It’s this moment that I w…

De-Risk for Investments

I was talking to a Producer and Director recently who is starting out his business. He’s got his business set up, and is seeking investors for a film. He’s got the script. He’s ready to go. Except, the investors want him to slow down. The investors wanted to “de-risk” the investment. New to being an entrepreneur, the Producer shared the nuances he wasn’t quite prepared for. Expected ReturnsSaaStr states that a 10% return on the total venture capital (VC) fund is good while aiming to earn its total VC fund in profits is the goal. Understand what the goals of the investor(s) are, and have the model to illustrate goals can be met with even conservative achievement.Legal Collateral – The Producer was shocked to learn how much he had to spend to validate the authenticity and originality of the script. Investors are looking at legal terms and insurance to not only cover risks of copyright infringement, but also the leveragability for greater valuation.Long-Term Strategy – Are you a one-h…