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Posts published in “Keys to Success”

Creating Startup Momentum – Part 2

Peter 1

Marc: “Do you know the best thing about startups?” Ben: “What?” Marc: “You only ever experience two emotions: euphoria and terror. And I find that lack of sleep enhances them both.” A famous conversation between Ben Horowitz and Marc Andreesen of Andreesen Horowitz. It’s been four and a half months since a lunch meeting that changed the course of Sage from idea to realization. The amount of ground I’ve covered in the startup world in a few short months has absolutely astounded me. The strong relationships I’ve built in a short time because of shared blood, sweat, and tears are like none other that I’ve seen in my 20-year career in information technology. Founding a startup is hard. It’s a constant struggle. You’re always either overwhelmed or teetering on the edge of being overwhelmed. Having that shared experience with other founders just seems to knock down emotional walls. The age-old (sage, if you’ll pardon a pun) advice about seizing an opportunity when it presents itself never goes out of style. Six months ago, I had that opportunity present itself to me in the form of a new introduction, Jonathan Katz. Before I get to that, let me finish the backstory of how I came to meet him. After joining Philly Startup Leaders (PSL), via their Slack channel, I began to read through and post a few comments here and there. I was mostly getting my feet wet but also trying to establish relationships with new and interesting people. The startup…

Creating Startup Momentum – Part 1

Peter 0

Inertia is a funny thing. We’ve all learned Newton’s first law of motion — objects in motion tend to stay in motion AKA the ‘Law of Inertia’. The founder’s world is all about forward movement: getting to the next step, creating the next social media post, finding the next LinkedIn connection that can open new doors to funding your startup. How do I create that continuous forward motion? What are the concrete steps I need to take to establish motion? How do I recognize opportunities and take advantage of them as they present themselves? The goal of this article is to tell my story of the conscious steps I took to create that initial motion. I read any number of articles about creating goals and writing them down. But taking those goals and turning them into something real ultimately required a deliberate approach and mindset. I wanted to get Sage into motion because I posited that once I had it moving forward, it would be harder to slow it down. Five years after my initial idea for this Startup, it became painfully clear to me that it's the strategy of your strategy that moves the needle. My advice? Always imagine your ideal end state first and then work backward to plan the necessary steps to get there. An upcoming post will deal with backwards planning and the clarity it can bring to any project. It is a tool I use constantly today. Envision Your End State However, visualizing my end…

A Critical Attribute for Every Successful Founder

Peter 0

I’m sure we’ve all heard the term “blind spot” before. Whether in business or your personal life, it’s usually a jarring experience when someone refers to one of your own blind spots. Typically, the term comes up when you’re struggling with something and a “coach” or friend points out that it’s a blind spot for you. The term has many names such as unconscious bias, weakness, fault, oversight, etc. But the optimistic and most useful way to look at it, in my opinion, is to label it self-awareness or a lack thereof. When I think about a personal blind spot of mine, it’s usually in a negative fashion as a personal fault. If I think of self-awareness and not having it in a particular area of my personal or business life, it’s a skill or attribute I can learn or improve upon. Self-awareness is the single greatest attribute any successful founder can bring to the table. Self-awareness is absolutely critical for any successful entrepreneur. I’m normally pretty adept at it in my work and personal life, but sometimes I fail. And when I fail, it’s an epic fail. The concept of Sage was one of those times where I really just couldn’t let go of a thought. The thought was “I can do this myself”. How did that thought manifest itself in my own founder’s experience, you ask? Determining What is Realistic The idea for Sage came to me about 7 years ago. I was in the midst of tax…