Many people believe that being a founder of your own company is a glamorous job. That’s what often attracts people to the startup world; because it gives you the freedom to build your own company from the ground up. Many are attracted to the idea that you can be your own boss, and there’s no one to tell you what to do. In a society where the economic infrastructure had once been built on aged businesses with generations of people passing through, we are now seeing a rise of startup companies and the competition between them even more aggressive than before.
I’m here to tell you that in reality, the everyday life of a founder is not so glamorous. As much as I love my job, it’s harder than most people think. The framework that I follow: Lead, Create, and Execute, comes with tons of responsibility and hard work.
There are a lot of leadership skills that you gain from being a founder. It’s my responsibility to inspire the team, and to figure out how to bring everyone together with the same mentality and interest to build. Courage is important to inspire in your team, and with it, you can encourage people to create amazing things. Be a catalyst to help people become the best person they can be.
It’s important to be creative, and to think outside of the box, at the same time being mindful of the future. Think of innovative products that no one else has put out into the world. Fill the void. Pablo Picasso once said, “Others have seen what is and asked why. I have seen what could be and asked why not?” There are no shortcuts when you want to build a sustainable, lifelong business.
In that same vein, it’s important to use your creativity to look at the long-term picture. If you don’t utilize your idea and let it sit in the corner and die, it’s a lost cause. Here’s another quote: “It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer.” – Albert Einstein. Without execution, nothing happens.
A personal example of execution exemplifies the not so glamorous side of being a founder. The day Modabox launched, an intern and I hand delivered our Modaboxes one by one at the sites. Wearing our Modabox shirts, and using a rental car, we visited offices and apartments to meet our customers and deliver their boxes. At one office, the doorman wouldn’t take the package, and we had to call the customer on her personal number, in which she sent us to her friend’s apartment. There was no glamour in having to hunt down our customers around the city, but the upside to this was that we were able to meet our clientele and find out who they are.
Being a founder is definitely no easy job, but at the end of the day, the ability to be in charge of what you do and what you put out in the world, is definitely worth it.