What It Means To Be CEO feat. Emil Davityan of Bluedot
Being a startup founder means that to get the idea off the ground, you have got to do
An Entrepreneur is a Truth Seeker
"Seek out the truth, the more you seek out the truth, you'll follow a path that's meaningful." - Will Peng CEO of Northstar
When we heard this from Will on the podcast, it was truly a discovery moment. The great entrepreneurs are willing to find the truth when it comes to their idea, product, and pitch deck etc. Following a path of truth means taking the feedback and being willing to iterate and work on something. It's not necessarily natural for everyone to be receptive to feedback when a sale would mean the most but it's the only way you're going to hear back and move the needle. We think that having a trait of relentless curiosity combined with the passion for ie (building a product, marketing it, selling it) are the core drivers of startups.
It's important for the entrepreneur to believe in the value their product/service provides when trying to get users even if there's little proof of concept. Even Will has said that he thinks the product can be 10X better but you just have to work with what you've got at the time. Lastly, we think it is valuable to have the desire to improve internally and on the product side.
If you are able to be inherently curious by doing things like talking to customers constantly you'll follow a path that is meaningful. This is often a challenge for most people because of the fantasy idea we tell ourselves in the beginning starting a business. Great ideas are only great if you can get people to pay for using them. In the case of Northstar which boasts users like HR departments and employees from Zoom and Snap, CEO Will, dealt with many rejections from prospective users before landing big customers. It is important to remember just because someone said no, that is not a referendum on you as a person.
Seeking out the truth requires courage and being willing to work through the inconveniences and hassle of asking for a "Yes or No" to an answer. Admittedly, it is scary to think that your sales rest on other people's choices, but at the start with early users there's no other way to "Magically" land them. At the end of the day, curiosity drives our action and fear holds us back, likely to keep us "Safe." However, if entrepreneurs can work past these initial mental blocks and just go for it, they increase their odds of success by at least fifty percent. As our previous guest and sales connoisseur, Whitney Sales, puts it "Rejection is just information."
Now take that information and build on it.