We will keep this blog as PG as possible while not censoring the important nature of this subject. This subject came up in our discussions with other entrepreneurs and the difficult path leading to startup success. The reality of entrepreneurship is that it is not for the faint of heart. C.R.A.P. is an acronym for all the issues that all entrepreneurs face:
Criticism - As an Entrepreneur, you will have a lot more critics than the average businessperson. The successful Entrepreneur has to have a very thick-skin and be able to filter out the bad criticism from the candid feedback. The critics will come in all forms including your family, relatives, significant other, investors, the Media, your competitors, and basically anyone who has an opinion on startups. It may sting even more that the people closest to you will be your biggest critics. The key to judging critics is filtering out opinions versus actionable feedback you can use to grow your startup.
Rejection - The favorite word for investors and venture capitalists is "NO." So if you don't like rejection, don't become an Entrepreneur. My favorite rejection is when an investor states they only invest in startups founded by "white nerdy males that graduated from Stanford." As in sales, entrepreneurship and funding is a numbers game. Mark Cuban said it best that "you only have to be right one time." Cuban was right when he sold Broadcast.com to Yahoo for $5.7 million. It lead to many of his other successes as an entrepreneur and an investor.
Assholes - In business, you will deal with many nice people and a lot of assholes. The assholes come in the form of your competitors, other entrepreneurs, investors, venture capitalists and even the Media. Assholes are so pervasive in business that a Stanford professor even wrote a book on it titled "The No Asshole Rule." The best advice he gives in this book is "However, the best cure for assholes is preventing them from working in your organization in the first place." If you believe in karma, the best advice is not be an asshole or even have them in your circle of advisors or friends. The old adage is true that you are who you hang around with. So don't be an asshole by hanging out with other assholes!
Pressure - Pressure is the same as rejection for an Entrepreneur, get used to it and develop a thick-skin to overcome it. You have to be somewhat of a mythical hero to overcome the pressure of 100+ hour workweeks, demanding investors, and rejections from everyone. Most Type-A entrepreneurs thrive on this type of pressure. It's something that, as a startup entrepreneur, you have to build into your DNA. You have to be better than others around you and have a higher code of ethics and integrity.
In NLP (NeuroLinguistic Programming), you are taught to focus on those items you can control. The items above are generally not within your control but you can control your reactions to them. So don't focus on the C.R.A.P.!!! You will have much more success focusing on your positive actions moving your business forward and channeling your mindset for growth opportunities that will present themselves to you. Success will come to you when the student is ready. As an Entrepreneur and student of Life, you have to be a voracious reader and learner to keep up with the changing times.
There is a quote we wanted to modify for this particular blog when we say, "Don't let the bastards (or C.R.A.P) wear you down!" Be persistent and live your dream BIG without any regrets. If you don't create your future, someone else will create it for you.
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