Moving Forward: Six Principles for Making the Most of Entrepreneurial Passion

As you continue on your startup journey, the core patterns and cog­nitive biases described in this chapter will continue to play a role. You cannot completely erase them, nor would you want to. They will help you cut through the noise and clutter of the startup process, and your passion for your business will bring the energy necessary to ac­celerate your startup forward. But if you agree that passion poses dan­gers as well as benefits, you can apply a set of six principles to squeeze the most out of your startup enthusiasm while not being trapped by it. These principles also correspond to, and offer solutions for, the six areas of negative impact discussed earlier in this chapter:

Area of Negative Impact

подпись: area of negative impactCorresponding Principle

Founder Misalignment

подпись: founder misalignmentFounder Readiness. Chapter Three will show you how to take an honest look at yourself and what you bring to the table as a founder; how to align your skills and your role to achieve your startup goals; and how to purify your passion, taking it to a higher, healthier, more productive level by understanding it, connecting it, strengthening it, and directing it.

Missing the Market

подпись: missing the marketAttach to the customer, not your idea. This principle addresses the primary paradox facing entrepreneurs: Passion is an inner phenomenon, but all healthy businesses are rooted outside the founder, in the marketplace. Chapter Four will explain what a market orientation is and how it will bring your venture an edge over product - centric startups.

Rose-Colored Planning

подпись: rose-colored planningEnsure your passion adds up. Chapter Five will illustrate how your business can be reduced to a simple, clear, and compelling math story. You will learn the power of clearly articulating your business model and plan, how to think about

Profitability and returns, and a few principles for funding your venture so that your passion has room to thrive.

Unforgiving Strategy Agility. No amount of planning can accurately

Predict the unexpected twists and turns imposed by reality. Chapter Six will focus on the importance of finding ways to test and adapt your concept as early as possible, iterating rapidly and continually improving the fit between your big idea and the marketplace.

Reality Distortion Field Integrity of Communication. Agility enables

Success only if your decisions and discussions are grounded in reality. Integrity of communication places a premium on the quality of early-stage conversations and sets a tone for truth-telling and healthy debate. Chapter Seven will focus on how to cultivate high-integrity communication and will outline four personal attributes that help founders burst the "feel-good" bubble: curiosity, humility, candor, and scrutiny.

The Evaporating Runway Staying Power. In an immediate sense, most

Startups fail because they run out of money or time. Chapter Eight will outline two sets of approaches for extending and strengthening your available runway: (1] venture-level strategies, such as launching close to the customer, addressing big risks early, raising more money than you think you will need, and committing resources wisely, and (2] founder-level strategies, such as feeding your fire, focusing on achievable goals, balancing performance with recovery, and persevering without attaching.

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Resources and Readings

Thanks to Internet search technology and social media interconnec­tivity, answers to most entrepreneurial questions can be found with a few clicks. I have attempted to list sources beyond the usual …

Startup Readiness Tool

This tool can be used to: ■ Evaluate and improve a founding team’s readiness to launch a business ■ Calibrate the timing of a startup effort (accelerate or delay) ■ …


The deepest form of entrepreneurial commitment acknowledges and accepts that there are forces in the marketplace that are beyond the founder’s control, forces that will impact the venture’s destiny for …

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