Keep holding on

Few days back I had a conversation with a fellow entrepreneur based in Singapore. So he is raising funding for his startup. One of the things which came across our conversation was the topic on funding and validation.

So here’s his story: He is looking to raise fund. Approached a couple of investors, not a lot of response. He wonders why? Some investors said that they need to see bigger tractions from his company. But because of the nature of his business, traction and scale can only be achieved through new injection of funds. So, what next?

He said this: “It’s hard because without the investment, things are moving slow and with no significant progress, it could be challenging to manage team morale.”

Things would be different if you received an investment. It’s a vote of confidence. A vote of validation. It removes all your worries. Almost all.

My friend, is still a current undergraduate.

So what would you do if you were him?

Recently I came across an article titled “Failure is not the worst outcome, mediocrity is”. Great piece on Dropbox’s CEO Drew Houston.

So back to my friend, whom is sort of struggling whether to call it or to keep on pushing. If you follow the footstep of Drew Houston, mediocre traction/growth should send you a signal that you should throw in the towel. After all, there are a lot of great ideas everywhere.

Then again, success seems to be largely a matter of hanging on after others have let go. More often than not, when you are at the verge of giving up, you are actually two steps from succeeding.

So the key is, how do you balance this?

Personally, I think this is where surrounding yourself with great and experienced people helps a lot. I probably have had shared this again and again, having an accountability partner is important too.

Read also: Accountability Partner

These are the people that can help you redefine your vision and help keep you on the right track. Accountability partner is somewhat like a casual version of a mentor.

Of course, it can be hard to come across one. But they are somewhere, and they are looking around too. Make it known that you are looking for one. Be proactive in looking to be someone else’s accountability partner. It’s very much like courting: you have to put efforts into it. Be proactive in maintaining that particular professional relationship.


2 thoughts on “Keep holding on

  1. Ray Wu (@raywu) says:

    Drew Houston also took it into his own hands — figure out a way to demonstrate the market exists; chicken or egg, traction needs to come first (identifying who the customers are that want this)

    • Jacky says:

      For sure!

      I think what I wanted to share was, for first time entrepreneurs, its important to have mentors and surround themselves with people that can help keep them on track from time to time.

      ultimately it still comes down to the founder himself.

      just a random thought over the weekend. 🙂

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