Going For It – The Startup’s Story

13 Jun

By Dennis Ford, Founder & CEO, Life Science Nation; Creator of RESI Conference Series

As I stated in a previous installment, the story is the be-all-end-all in the life of an entrepreneur. Here is the challenge for the folks developing the story: It has to be good enough, and bulletproof enough, that the story on its own can make an impact. Of course, the person who delivers the story will never be truly separate from the story, as the teller is part of the storytelling dynamic…it just doesn’t work that way. However, I do believe that once you get the story crisp enough that anyone in the company can give a lucid and cogent version of THE STORY, the message will be heard.

The past articles in this series we can covered how an entrepreneur has to be up and running from the get-go. You must be ready to take on all comers in the journey of getting your company launched. Predictably, you’re in for the fight of your life, so you better be ready to defend yourself. This also means going on the offensive and attacking, too. Please notice the words we are using here are not fluffy, namby-pamby, kind of, sort of, maybe words. On the contrary, these words are solid, committed and meaningful. I’ll take my idea, my passion, my invention and dedicate my life to it and go for it. Just do it. I’ll fight for it. So this is the crux of the matter: What does “go for it” mean to you? Is your idea of going for it and my idea of going for it the same? Maybe it is, and maybe it isn’t. Read on and hopefully I can help you answer that question. Are you in? Will you fight for it? Or, are you out?

My idea of going for it means putting it all on the line. Commit. Do what you have to do, no matter what. Sell your house? Take out a loan? Get some extra credit cards. Beg for cash from friends and family. All the aforementioned is just the ante into the game; playing the game involves pain, suffering, anxiety, stress, self-doubt, but it is the most exhilarating and empowering time of your life: the ultimate adventure, the stuff your dreams are made of…do this entrepreneurial thing right and become unequivocally empowered. It’s how you feel about being on the edge of the important fundamental aspects of your life. Welcome to the Entrepreneur Elucidated, in all its glory – the good, the bad, and the in-between. I dare say after reading this, a fair number of entrepreneurs may just decide to hang it all up and go back to the safety and security of a stable and meaningful life…please do, as this ain’t gonna be all that much fun, but what true adventure is? It’s always the journey, right?

If you choose to strap in and go for it, the first monster you will encounter in your perilous journey of starting a company is time. Time is not your friend, and time keeps ticking by; it cannot be wasted and will never be recovered. Time owns you, your employees and your company from the get-go. Waste time and you are dead. Adjusting your being around the monster of time is a pivot every entrepreneur has to make internally; they need to start living by the time monster’s clock.

The importance of timing to entrepreneur can be compared to surfing and catching a wave (a market for your product and company). You cannot sit on the sand and catch a wave. You need to learn how to swim and paddle up to the wave and maneuver you and your board through the moving waters. You need to paddle to catch it and then you need to stand up and ride it. Then you need to learn all the tricks of riding the wave to become an adroit surfer. Pick your metaphor and pick your sport…but timing engulfs every nuance and subtlety.

There is the other monster that is always lurking about ready to pounce and that is the Money Monster. So welcome to your two new best friends. Two monsters who will live night and day with you…time and money. No one starts, launches, or grows a company without spending lots of time and capital. No one.

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