More Advice for Entrepreneurs…

Become materialistic (or have someone do it and follow through for you) – other people just think about money. You think about the future, the mission, the customers, the products. You WILL get screwed. Eventually. To plan for the inevitable, you need to put your altruism in check, by biting your tongue (or ask your mother to do it for you), and negotiate hardball like everyone else. For example, I decided not to award myself any stock options. My logic was that I owned a massive amount of stock, and I preferred that the option pool be used to motivate others. Wrong idea. Instead I should have got options as well, so that I could top up my holding in the event that I sold down on the way.

Take money out when you can – this can be future seed capital and reduce your reliance on others for money. Money is the feedstock of business, and entrepreneurs who have gone through this before know that the early capital is the most expensive in terms of control. I have a friend, a super-successful tech entrepreneur, who is following his dream of creating an artisanal company, based on small groups of super-productive people. He still winces when he recounts how his last company burst through spending plans as soon as it got the first round of venture capital. He was both lucky and smart. He was able to take out some money from his firm. Hence his great artisanal business. TAKE THE MONEY OFF THE TABLE WHEN YOU CAN – ALWAYS!

Hire young people and mentor them – folks your own age tend to get jealous. Young people are often more respectful, harder working, and more diligent. Peer-level workers are often less hard working, develop their own agendas, and focus more on office politics than their own work. You should develop the skills to work well with the next generation workforce – it will pay dividends many times over, in all kinds of ways.

More to follow. Thanks for the input!

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