Put it on the line

Yo Ron, remember that time? It was 2015. You and your wife had been sleeping on the floor of your one-bedroom apartment for the last 8 months because you could no longer cohabitate the bedroom with your baby daughter. You hadn’t slept a continuous night in months with her wakeups. Not only were you trying to launch Bizly, but you were also trying to close your last deal at Jina Ventures so you could sustain your family for a while. Tensions were super high. Oh yeah, then in the middle of it all, that funny thing happened when you tore your achilles tendon and it put you out of commission right before you were scheduled to launch! OH YEA, THAT TIME WAS SO FUN!

Yes ladies and gentlemen. The above is what I hope to hear sometime in the future, laughing back at what i’m going through right now. I’m a soldier, right?

My conversion from VC to entrepreneur has never been more real than right now. I thought that raising the capital would be a walk in the park, given my expertise, connections and experiences in the investment world. But the reality is, while I’ve had tons of experience as a ‘producer’ of tech ventures, this is my first rodeo as the artist. All those ‘daps’ that I have as an investor don’t hold the same weight. I’m the underdog now. And I‘m starting to be ok with that. I can feel what Kanye went thru when he moved from producing beats to rapping — no one respected him and he couldn’t get a shot, until he finally did. That’s how I feel right now. This is my big shot.

A friend recently said that launching a startup is like getting repeatedly punched in the stomach. A fellow entrepreneur preferred the analogy of the Shaolin monk’s iron egg… repeated torture until your soul is adequately trained in the fine art of detachment. This guy knows what I’m talking about:

ah-ha yes, i will provide more data

I emphasize the word detachment. I think the art of entrepreneurship is to deeply love and be passionate about solving a problem, and then finding a way to immediately detach yourself from emotional ties to it. This allows you to keep the critical honesty that is required to raise the capital and get to the next stage. On top of that, you have the X factor of timing which means you may have to be willing to proceed even when things aren’t perfect. You may not get the capital exactly when you wanted it (to feel secure and all that good stuff) so then you have to go into the wilderness naked. And if those circumstances aren’t enough to detach you, then maybe you will be handed even challenges more until you reach the perfect point: the place where your skin is just thick enough to get through all the challenges of actually doing what you need to do to battle through all the challenges that lie ahead. All the early stuff is just groundwork for that bigger mission.

And that, my friends, is precisely what winning is all about.
Are you ready?

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