loserMarket collapse, better competitors, lack of interest, failure to bridge the gap, lack of talent, out of runway, your product sucks, blah blah blah.

*The most likely reason is because of you. *

The only chance that you have of survival is if the title of this post pissed you off and made you want to prove me and everybody else wrong.

I’m assuming you have talent (or at least think you do). Hey, who doesn’t have talent nowadays? There are a lot of talented people out there with some really amazing ideas. That’s great when you’re still in the honeymoon stage. How do you deal with things when it really gets rough.

How would you deal with somebody saying “This idea really sucks. Don’t you have a better one?” to your face? I know that you just told yourself “I’d find out what they don’t like and take it into consideration.” Great, we’d all do that. It’s logical. What I’m asking is what that does to you. As a person. As an entrepreneur. Does it piss you off? Does it deflate your sails? How much?

If you can’t learn to steady your aim, and keep the boat stable, you will fail. That’s the entire thesis of leadership. Your internal strength is what gives strength to what you do and those you lead. At the end of the day, if you can’t fan the fire inside yourself, then it’s going to go out. Validation of your idea and progress is great, but if it’s something that you need in order to keep going then it might be time to have a little sit-down with yourself about what you’re doing.


State singular, well-defined goals. Set timelines for when you want to achieve them.

Do nothing that doesn’t directly help you achieve those goals. Encourage others to call you out on anything you do that doesn’t do that. Anything else is procrastination, no matter how productive it feels. Keep it to 3 goals at a time. If you really need to work on something that doesn’t further a goal, re-visit your goals.


Captain the ship.

Even if your startup is just you, treat it like it is bigger than you. Hold yourself accountable. Stay the course, or consciously change course. Do not run things “on a whim.”


Chin up. Stay the course.

6 billion people don’t see the potential that you see. Many of them will kindly tell you every problem they see with it. If your idea was easy money, they would have already done it. Prove them wrong.


When somebody rails against your project, there is no taking neutral ground. We’re not robots, and that emotion has to go somewhere. Instead of letting it lower your enthusiasm, let it be fuel on the fire. Make them eat those words. Envision them in 12 months saying “Wow. I guess I was dead wrong. This is amazing.”

“Changing the conversation” works for PR and ad firms. Don’t fall into that trap. Cherish the roller coaster ride and make it work for you. If you hate roller coasters, this probably isn’t the right game for you.