You might be expecting a checklist style write up of all the potential challenges that plague founders.
I am truly sorry to disappoint you, but someone needs to reveal the truth about entrepreneurship:
The top problem boils down to one universal issue…
Balancing emotion & intuition against data.
Allow me to explain:
On the one hand, there is a very real need for entrepreneurs to follow their gut.
You know, have an intuitive sense for
who to work with,
how to structure their company, and
what needs there are to fill in the market.
We love to point to beloved rebels like Steve Jobs and Elon Musk as the sorts of roguish visionaries who buck the trend, and somehow, as if by magic, see something the rest of us don't, won't, or can't.
It is as though they have dreamt up the ultimate solution to humanity's current ills, made it look amazing, and then sold it for a 10X return.
Who needs market analysis and consultants when such visions are granted by the great tech muses?
Well, we do.
All of us.
“ ‘All of us' who?”
Anyone willing to bear the horrifically heavy burden of entrepreneurship.
Only a fool would ignore available data.
And neither Jobs nor Musk (nor any of their successful peers) were ever so foolish.
No, my friend, we need market validation, as they did.
This takes time.
Which costs money.
Which burns runway.
Which means more risk.
Which is, frankly, kind of scary.
And that is the kind of emotion that halts progress.
So, on the flip side of this scales we have the emotional response of irrational confidence & self-assuredness, bordering on narcissism.
Do not fall for it!
Overconfidence is a shallow replacement for genuine preparedness.
And plowing through on pure bravado is actually an expression of self limiting belief.
A form of self sabotage.
Setting up unrealistic expectations, and writing proverbial performance checks that your business cannot cash.
at some point,
consult the data.
“But won't the data tell me that I'm never ready?
That there's never a right time to launch?
That I probably shouldn't ship my product?
That I'm a fraud for even trying?!”
Yes it will.
Welcome to the one true problem that entrepreneurs face.