Why Founding a Startup is Blood & Sweat for Years not Glamour, Awards and Success

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The romanticised vision of the Startup founder popularised by the media couldn’t be further from the truth. Glamour, awards, public recognition and freedom might eventually come to a select few but what about everyone else?

Some give up salary indefinitely while they get things off the ground. Others move in with parents in order to reduce expenses. Most deal with huge stress and fight through challenges which should kill the business on a daily basis.

The default mode of every startup is death. Your ability to defeat this and build a team that can solve big problems is incredibly hard. You need an idea but you can’t do it on your own. You need world-class partners but you can’t guarantee everyone will positively impact the business. You need flexibility but you can’t guarantee the world will stay the same and let you flourish.

The reality is that every startup founder has to not only endure this phase to ever achieve anything worthwhile, but they must also emerge through it bubbling with inspiration and the appetite to fight even harder than they did to establish the business in the first place. That is tremendously rare.

Every phase is a fight to the death which weeds out you and your competitors. The victor is the team who lives longest and gets to write history, meaning to win you only have to not die. Easier said than done, business is ruthless.

There are only difficult routes to doing useful things

Expectations must be reset — overnight successes take a decade to occur and any wisdom to the contrary undermines the path that founders take the realising their vision. Amazon never became the behemoth it is today in a few short years, Bezos laboured for years to get to where he is today, they hired some of the smartest people in the world, and the had a tremendous amount of luck.

100% of luck comes from doing things that others weren’t willing to.

Party Like it’s the Last Night of your Life 🥳 🥳 🥳

Tomorrow we pick up our first award and I couldn’t be prouder of what the team has achieved in the first 6 months and what we are striving towards in the next year. The key lesson to learn here is that you must celebrate even the smallest wins like you’ve won the World Cup/Super Bowl/Wimbledon.

Startups are hard, let yourself enjoy when you’re not getting punched in the face.

It’s still early days, there are huge obstacles to overcome, but the overwhelming sense of purpose we get from trying to help people every day is what keeps us fighting to deliver it. That is why we do it.

If the myth of 9 out of 10 startups failing is to be believed then no rational person should ever make the choice. That’s offset by the reality that the world only evolves when people are brave enough to work on the biggest problems in the world without any guarantee that there will be a successful outcome.

My contribution to this is in trying to disrupt banking. We want to bring a level of transparency to the world that guarantees you always pay the lowest price for every bill or expense. Nobody likes wasting money, it is our mission to fight for every pound and dollar in your pocket to keep more of it in there instead of allowing large businesses to take it when it’s undeserved.

The world needs more risk takers trying to solve the biggest problems. Thinking about or already started a business and need help? Feel free to message me.

💰 Received investment from the founder of a Scottish 🦄
🏦 Participating RBS FinTech accelerator
🏆 Scottish EDGE wildcard winners

Any Q or ask fair game

Written by

CEO / Founder / Coach @FirstbaseHQ Empowering people to work in their lives not live at work ✌️✌

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