You can’t really prepare, which is in part, good. It’s so much harder than you can imagine “just” being a VP or a lay employee. If I’d really known how hard it would be in either of my startups, I probably still would have done them. But man. It was so much harder both times than I’d ever imagined.
But there’s one good hack to start, to start to prepare. It really works.
Figure out how you can sustain it for the next 24 months — period.
Figure out how you’ll recruit the team you need, the co-founders you’ll need … and pay for them … and survive yourself, working 100%+ on your startup … for the next 24 months.
Not just for the few months. Not just “if you get funded”. Not just as an experiment.
But — How the Heck you can sustain it for 24 months until it gets off the ground.
It will seem impossible. It is close to it, indeed.
But when you find the answers, at Day 0.
Then you’ll start to be mentally prepared.