Generally I have found out I will write about how to be a founder, but I have seen an article and I think it is more important to share “How not to be a founder?”
Why would anyone write about how not to be a founder?
It is because I think it is important to share not just the spark, glam and charm what can come with founding a startup, new business or company, but to understand that there in some cases traps and in some cases this life it not as glamourous what others would think from outside.
So this article will be about how not to be a founder?
I am a blog founder and I am sure this is a bit different what everyone thinks about startups and companies. Blogs are a different piece of cake.
Being a founder is quite exhausting and tiring.
There is a lot of
- small successes, and wins, and
- a lot of failures too,
- never give up attitude and
- infinity energy to find out something new all the time which will create something for you in long-term as return if you are smart and lucky or just teach you sometimes you need to give up not to be homeless and be able to feed yourself.
Being a founder means if you stop to channel your energy into that something you build it will have an immediate effect . The building will stop working AKA the development stops and you need to find new resources to build further. It is a fallback and then need to find more creative ways to make it happen and build further.
It is DIFFICULT and a lot of energy.
Especially if you are not a young person, full of energy, or have kids, or have a full time job etc. or you just lost your job, or this is your side hustle. It will not work out all the time.
We have to write about luck, just as in life in this game you need to have luck too.
If you have good education from a top-tier university, or you are very well connected, then you can be a little bit more lucky than others. Life is not fair. Some have luck early, some later, some in relationships, while others in business. health, friends etc.
Yes some people are simply lucky, well no they not just lucky but been trained several times to be lucky AKA their family might had businesses, small, medium or large, companies, startups, so they have seen a “good example” in terms of building something. It it is only a good example if they want to create a business, and it was a successful one.
Others just simply been lucky or built something for years.
So there are all kind of founders.
Lucky and unlucky too.
Why do founders found startups, companies, small businesses or blogs etc.?
- the material wellbeing,
- others because their childhood was not the best,
- others to show up,
- others to create or build something because they have an idea how a world should work according to them,
- sometimes people build because of their EGO that who else if not me,
- or to prove to their parents or something to the world etc.
That’s life 8 billion people can have 8 billion or more different reasons why they are doing what they are doing in life.
No, just because you have found a company, you will not be Paris Hilton or Conrad Hilton (founder of Hilton Hotels).
Being born to something and working for it is a different thing. Working for something will change you in all kind of ways you do not even think of.
You will meet all kind of people from evil to super cute. These experiences will change you in one way or another or in every way. But this not a glam life you would think of usually.
Zero to Hero
Millions of reason why someone start to build something, and it not always that glamourous as you think.
In several cases people need to do something because they do not even got a job, so they start a business to be able to feed themselves, then they practice that much because they need to survive, that they start to love and so on, but this is not the founder’s life most people dream of.
You can start from zero to be a hero, but most people not dream about this usually.
They usually have a comfortable life and trying to do from that something.
That most likely won’t make you a hero, just saying.
Money will not pour in endlessly.
If you are not a good owner or you do not have responsibility for what you have already then it will not work well.
Most people would think these are the best to make money fast or a lot.
In one hand that is true, but on the other hand you are so wrong.
How startups built?
There are different actors in a startup environment you need to know about.
- people who found startups, these are generally the FOUNDERS, they are not always the sole OWNERS of their startups, if they have founded with someone else then there are
- CO-FOUNDERS as well and they need to work together to build something.
- Investors, VCs, LPs etc.
There is bootstrapped and venture backed startups. Obviously there are other types of investments as well but these are very important. Regarding this article.
Basically means you found your startup with your own resources, family, friends, connections or all alone and foundings AKA money, as long as you have it. If you are smart and risk taker and lucky well then you are able to build a startup all alone or with your network.
VC or venture backed
Venture backed means that you find AKA pitch investors or venture capitalists who will probably owns at least partly what you are building most likely in exchange for their investments. VCs have responsibility too LPs, who will provide the venture funds to make investments.
Being a founder
What does being a founder means?
Well, a lot of responsibility, for the
- company, startup etc. you are building,
- people you are managing too or working with,
- resources aka investments, aka money you are pitching for,
- for your own problem solving skills to develop continuously.
To be a
founder usually you need to have a good track record, AKA
- either an already bootstrapped company which generate enough income,
- or very out of the box ideas to pitch investors or
- you need that education from a top-tier university.
- Or need a good idea and work hard or having good connections and be lucky.
Startups a bit like poker, you need to be lucky just as in life.
That is the reality even if you like or do not like it.
So if you are a risk taker and responsibility lover you could go for it, but if you are not then different sources suggest to invest into
- real-estate or
- ETFs, as it might be a bit less risky on the long-term.
According to a source Myers-Briggs personality types play a huge role who would be a good founder for example en ESTP what is an Entrepreneur Personality Type (like the founder of this blog), ENTJs and ESTJs perfect materials for finding out startups or leading a big organization.
Others think core values have bigger roles in building a company.
“We believe that it’s really important to come up with core values that you can commit to. And by commit, we mean that you’re willing to hire and fire based on them. If you’re willing to do that, then you’re well on your way to building a company culture that is in line with the brand you want to build.”
– Tony Hsieh, CEO, Zappos
Being an investor
If you like a lot of responsibility regarding money and you have been in the game as a founder before I think you should try. Otherwise learn more.
Investors are people who will invest into
- your startup, or
- new idea.
Investors usually diversify their invesments AKA they invest into different
- founders, because even if you have a nice idea but they have no idea about you well then you just can not tracked down well. That is risky.
Investors are like founders just on a higher level, most of them were founders first, which is why they can be trusted more than an investor who do not have a track record especially if they are VC or LP backed.
Being a fraud
Since money is in the game or on the table and several time a lot of money there will be people always who drunken from it and want to cheat, or use others to cheat.
In some cases the cheater is the founder of the company all alone, but in some cases investors make founders to cheat or fraud others.
Since this is a high stake game and some people are so naive especially if they are beginners others might use them for their own entertainment and gain.
The results of being a founder
Successful or unsuccessful
- You can be a dollar millionaire startup founder if you have a 7 figure exit, but that is kinda rare like unicorns. 😀
By the way in the venture capital world, the term “unicorn” refers to any startup that reaches the valuation of $1 billion.
So yes this is kind of rare.
You can be
- a less successful startup founder who still can exit well, or
- a failed founder of a startup realize in the process might want a smaller company, business or a job,
- or a fraudster (not recommended).
These are like in the movie Catch me if you can but with a higher bids and stakes.
Go to jail
Frauds are either going to jail
- for 115 years as Sam Bankman-Fried needs to because he was the founder of the collapsed crypto exchange FTX and was sentenced to prison. Read more about the story here,
- for 11 196 years as the Founder of Thodex: Faruk Fatih Ozer (former crypto exchange) needs to, more about this story here.
As his statement shows EGO played a huge role in his bad luck or stupidity.
Ozer was a high-school dropout who founded Thodex in 2017 and fled to Albania after Thodex went bust, at his final hearing stated
- “I am smart enough to lead any institution on Earth,” state-run Anadolu Agency cited Ozer as saying in court. “ That is evident in this company I established at the age of 22. I wouldn’t have acted so amateurishly if this were a criminal organization.”
Well it was a “criminal organization” according to authorities
- “The total amount of losses investors suffered when Thodex collapsed remains unclear.
The prosecutor’s indictment estimates them at 356 million liras ($13 million), but Turkish media have reported figures as high as $2 billion.”
Go to “hell”
- going to “hell”, AKA you need to change your face and everything just like the Devil did in the Lucifer series to run and escape from authorities.
Perfect example for this is Ruja Ignatova, the CryptoQueen who created OneCoin in 2014.
It is one of the biggest known scams, with the FBI estimating its value at $4bn (£3.2bn) The 42-year-old Bulgaria-born German national disappeared on 25 October 2017 after she scammed the world. Just in the UK, newspaper estimated that investors lost more than £100m.
According to authorities OneCoin was a pyramid scheme. That defrauded people out of more than $4 billion as Ignatova convinced investors in the US and around the globe to throw fistfuls of cash at her company. Federal prosecutors describe OneCoin as one of the largest international fraud schemes ever perpetrated.
Ladies and gentleman
- being a FOUNDER is not just glam, girls, boys, Lambos, and fun.
It is a risky, dangerous and sometimes against a (healthy) or life game. And a lot of RESPONSIBILITY. You do not have to play by the rules but then do not be disappointed if you do not find that FREEDOM in life what you are looking for.
So before you start ask from yourself
- does it worth to sacrifise my whole life, for a few good or exciting years in exchange for lifelong prison?
- Is life that boring that I want to throw away aa “boring life” for a kind of freedom, which by the way will not exist if you risk jail, death or running forever from the police.
By the way freedom is different for everyone on Earth. It depends HOW YOU define freedom obviously, but not everyone aching for that freedom, what some people want or define as freedom…
So why to start then?
Why to create something and be a founder?
Why to be still play by some rules?
Even if you will not be a
- successful, a
- 7 figures exited or
- a unicorn founder, still I recommend start as you will learn a lot in the process.
Being a founder is a journey.
An amazing self-development process and you will enjoy a lot of moment, but never forgot
“All that glitters is not gold.”