I have read this article about 10 times already. It really struck me since it was published a day after my birthday. Unfortunately, once I hit 40 I tend to think a lot about myself around my birthdays. Pretty easy to realize that I have already spent quite a few years on this planet and not all my “plans” have quite worked out.
I think being a VC is one of those gigs where it is really easy to get inside your own head and constantly tinker with yourself. It’s a long game and given that you are not always able to see the fruits of your labor in real time you might question your actions more due to the lack of feedback. Anything I am working on will most likely take years to go the right way or even fail. I am not complaining as much as learning how to adjust to this new normal.
I find it is helpful to just admit that I don’t actually know everything and that I will make mistakes. I just clear out the evils around worrying so that I can adjust my confidence level to a good medium point knowing it is important to move forward and have a plan. I was listening to Howard Marks on Tim Ferris and admiring that with his experience and wisdom he advocates just moving forward knowing you will make mistakes. Don’t get hung up on it.
There are 6 major points in the article. All of them hit me straight on.
VC is amazing work but it is difficult. I am doing my best to redouble my efforts around focusing on what is truly amazing about it- the founders, the products, my team and the notion of being in service to all so that I can help achieve the best outcome.
If you check you ego at the door and see yourself as being in the service industry, you can focus on where your time and efforts really matter.
I am going to keep remembering this for now:
So the following should not detract from how hard it is to build a company. The founders are and should be central. To them belongs the glory. They are in the game; we are on the sidelines (if we’re doing it right).