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What It Means To Be CEO feat. Emil Davityan of Bluedot

by Dan Gonzales
Entrepreneur & Podcaster

Growing up we all have this perception that a chief executive officer happens to be a rich person who orders people around and takes credit for a company's success. It's not uncommon because movies and general assumptions would indicate that having the highest title within an organization yields power and influence. Moreover, CEOs are either glorified or vilified in the media. In this article, it is important to delineate and specify that being a startup CEO is quite different from holding the same title at a well-established organization that enjoys not having to be as frantic.

In my time working in venture capital and watching stories of successful founders on the news and in books, it has become apparent that being a startup CEO, in particular, does not always share those qualities. Let's breakdown what the title means within a small innovation-driven organization, a (startup).

Being a startup founder means that to get the idea off the ground, you have got to do everything. This can mean being an engineer at night and a sales person by day aka a jack of all trades. Chief executives in big corporations don't have their work scattered across different business functions as much but do manage the company as a whole. Transitioning into a CEO that oversees the company is what happens when a startup evolves from a survival mindset into a stable growth mindset.

On the latest podcast of Startup Mindsets I spoke to Emil Davityan, CEO & Founder of Bluedot and absorbed these key lessons 💡

5 Key Lessons Leaders can takeaway:

  1. Transparency Breeds Resilience: In a 5-10 person team, everyone from interns to associates can see when things go awry. While a natural reaction would be to shield the team from disheartening news, like a deal falling through, Emil states that when you let your guard down, people see it and then they're not shocked by bad news and they can contribute to solving the problem.
  2. Develop Founder Amnesia: Constantly refine your story. Having pitched over 200 venture capitalists and received hundreds of no's to funding, it's important to refresh your mindset and not let the past affect your head.
  3. Place Rejection in Context: Use your judgment into why that no happened. Once you breakdown most of those reasons, it's hard to take those personally. Take the time to take the emotion out of it and assess why it is happening.
  4. Motivation/Determination: to get through all the uphill battles has to come from another source. It cannot come from that one person that is validating either a VC or a major customer.
  5. Baggage Kills Creativity: Things are going to go awry and not always work out. "Laying down all the events that went right and wrong with the team and embrace it, celebrate it, but move on mentally. Don't let those experiences affect what decisions we make." Learn but don't let it kill your creativity.

Recently, Bluedot has closed a 9M series B led by AutoTech Ventures (investors in Lyft)

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