What is the best advice for struggling entrepreneurs?

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JASON LEMKIN

I’m not sure how much I can add to this thread … but having struggled a lot myself … just a few thoughts to summarize my learnings:

1.  Get help & upgrade the team.  Others have said this as well.  This is the #1 thing you can do to move the needle.   And don’t be ashamed to ask for help.  Especially if you are struggling.

2. You may be doing better than you think.  This is a mistake many entrepreneurs make once they have the tiniest bit of product-market fit.  I know you aren’t doing as well as Uber or Slack or whatever.  But it’s possible you are doing better than you think.   If you got 10, 50, 100 businessess to actually buy Yet Another SaaS Product — that is something.  Real.

3.  Get a (better) mentor if you can.  This doesn’t have to be Marc Benioff.  What it does need to be is someone at least 18-24 months further down the road than you.  They’ll help you see what’s working and what isn’t.  More on that here: SaaStr | I Don’t Know about CEO Coaches.  But We All Could Use CEO Trainers.

4.  Buffer for more time.  Great founders almost always find a way to pull it out in my experience.  Running out of time becomes the enemy.  So find an extra 8-12 months of time.  Of runway.  Of capital.  Of committment.  Of everything.

5.  The 1.0 isn’t supposed to be great.  Final advice if you are a perfectionist.  It’s supposed to take iterations.  The first version doesn’t always work, nor sometimes, the third.  It can take longer than you’d hoped to ever really understand what your customers really want.  And then even longer than that to convince them to somehow buy from you.  Don’t quit.  As Auren Hoffman wrote in another post, of all his seed investments, the only ones that have truly failed are where the founders quit.

>> Don’t quit. <<

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Published on January 26, 2016
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