As a First Time Founder
I believe that the most important skill for a startup founder is to be able to make decisions.
It sounds simple until you’re the one who has to make all the decisions. The ability to make decisions is not only about making them quickly, but also about knowing when not to make them. It’s like being a good judge of character. You can’t be too careful or too paranoid. You have to know when you’re overthinking and when you’re underthinking things. You have to know when you’re making an emotional decision and when you’re making a rational decision. I think mastering decision-making has been one of the hardest things for me to learn as a 26-year-old entrepreneur.
When you’re young and inexperienced in your field (or one can say leadership), it can be very easy to overthink things because there are so many unknowns about what will happen in the future with your business or company. A lot of people are afraid of making decisions. They don’t want to make a decision and then be wrong because they feel like that’s the worst thing that can happen to them. The reality is, you’re going to be wrong sometimes, but if you’re not willing to make mistakes or if you don’t want to learn from your mistakes, then you’re never going to grow as a person or as an entrepreneur.
Now, one of the most important things to learn, especially when you have a young company, is to be humble. At the beginning at Novus, I remember that I would spend a lot of time and effort trying to figure out how I was going to pitch the product. It took me a long time to accept that it’s OK for me not to know everything about what we were doing. And later on I started to figured out, it’s also OK (and sometimes beneficial) for other people to not to know everything about what we were doing. From there, one of the best things you can do as an entrepreneur is be curious in all areas of your business or business opportunity. Find out what others are already doing in your market, talk to them and find out if they’re getting better results than you are. You should always be asking yourself if there’s something new that could make your business even better by learning from other people’s experience on how they did it.