AN INSIDERS’ PERSPECTIVE
There is an element of phoniness in the world of entrepreneurship. The idea of faking it until you make it has been stretched too far beyond healthy limits. Chronic insecurity, disillusionment and hints of arrogance have created a culture in which it is very hard to meet a “down to earth” entrepreneur. Many of us have aspirations and visions that are so high in the clouds that we forget we are just people. Unfortunately, this epidemic isn’t limited to up and coming entrepreneurs. The ailment has rampantly infected established businessmen and women as well as those who consider themselves investors.
The bulk of this qualified rant is a result of recent opportunities I’ve had to meet several investors and entrepreneurial peers over the last few weeks. 80% of those interactions were simply no fun. Now let me clarify, I know when we get rejected by investors or our business model is criticized by peers, we entrepreneurs definitely can get overly defensive in response but I’m not referring to those situations. I’m referring to the interactions you have with entrepreneurs outside of accelerator programs, outside of networking events, etc. Why is it, every conversation is about your updated pitch deck, your latest traction, the investor you’re courting, or how many hours you spent coding last week? Even worse, why do you feel like your better than anyone else?
The trendiness of entrepreneurship is making it cool to lack integrity and character as long as you can raise a seed round.
I personally don’t think that I nor any other entrepreneur should be given any passes if we act like jerks. There are so many documentaries and interviews about various “legendary” business icons that reveal unappealing descriptions of their personalities or attitudes. Why is it that if you treat people like trash but run a innovative start-up, its acceptable?
Here’s my proposed solution. Those of you who are the friends, family, co-workers and even employees of entrepreneurs; I beg you to hold us accountable. If I’m being a jerk, call me out. If I’m spending more time working on my start-up than with my with precious family, slap me. If I’m treating co-workers and employees as if they ought to be thankful to live in the shadow of my being; … I don’t even know what to tell you.
All in all, we entrepreneurs need your help. Keep us from following the slow and steady path to this:
“MY PRECIOUS… BUSINESS…”