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
Founder 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
Attach 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.
Ensure 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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