What accounts for the large wash out among startup founders & entrepreneurs?

Entrepreneur is not a job. Founder is not a title.

Almost all wash out comes from lack of appreciating that, and personally understanding the job one actually wants to have.

In starting a business, you can only be one of a few things, these are the tried and true roles since the dawn of time, they aren’t changing:

  • Sole proprietor
  • CEO
  • Partner
  • President
  • Executive
  • Employee

Everything else, like Director or Principal, are just variations of those distinct roles and notice that Entrepreneur or Founder aren’t among them.

Starting this venture, in order to align anyone else, let alone investors, you MUST be comfortable/clear in what you want to be!

You must

Entrepreneurs starting businesses are in the role of creating opportunity. Founding businesses is akin to having a baby; it may be your baby but it has a life of its own – what role do you really want to play?

There is no right answer. It’s a personal choice.

But, there is a method to the madness!

If you want to have a “Company” it means you will take on investors, Companies have shares and a company of owners (that’s why they’re called Company). You might want to be the CEO but then you also have to appreciate that that role is replaceable, in the best interest of the Company.

Maybe you just want to run Marketing for a business you bootstrap. That’s great too! Do that! Be the Executive of a business, and stop trying to raise funding (seek financing) while chasing down the President who will take the helm of your venture.

Maybe you don’t care…you’re happy for it to just work and be employed. Great! Then get out-of-the-way when people need to make decisions about your baby so that it works out as an opportunity for them.

Must founders/entrepreneurs wash out because they don’t grasp that there is a distinct difference between startup and business. While you’re a startup, most of these questions don’t really matter (you don’t need titles yet) and as long as you keep going, you can’t really fail (since you’re still just starting up). But once you are a business, or rather, since you hope to become one, you have to operate that way – funding, financing, team, roles, equity, etc. are all established aspects of a business and trying to fight that establishment is a waste of time. Figure out what you want to be, and determine the kind of venture you’ll have to be because of that, and that lays out how you get the resources for such thing.