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Filipe Névola

Back3/14/24, 12:09 AM

Stop following the herd

tl;dr: forget VCs, work backward from (personal) goals, be profitable, infinite game, keep playing, enjoy it

One person sent me a message asking why I'm not writing anymore, so this one is for you :) Here's what you asked for:

"We are what we believe we are." C.S. Lewis wrote that, and he might as well have been speaking to every entrepreneur out there.

What? Yes, you are right. That is just ChatGPT-generated nonsense, so let's talk seriously now. Keep reading, no ChatGPT, I promise you.

Venture Capitals (VCs) are okay, and yes, they have the much-needed capital. However, not every business needs a VC. Sometimes, slower, organic growth builds substantial, long-term businesses. Money can be sourced from various places.

Think about Soccer or Football (depending on where you're from): there are specific rules, known players, clear objectives, and it's clear who wins. Now, think about business: no rules, unknown players, and no win criteria.

Read about The Infinite Game, and yes, the Simon Sinek book is great.

So, stop blindly following advice and the herd. I talk to many entrepreneurs who merely follow what is trending on social media, or what is taught in courses by people who have never built a profitable business truly.

Remember the advice your mom gave you when you were a child, and you wanted to do something just because your friends were doing it? "You are not everybody."

So, what's your goal? Is it a mission-driven desire to change a part of the world? Is it a burning ambition to build a market leader? Once you determine your goal, you'll probably realize you don't need external money.

Use the "First Principles" approach: dissect the problem to its fundamentals, focus on undeniable truths and laws of physics, and work backward from there.

How much would be a good monthly profit to live your life with freedom? 10k USD? 20k USD? How many customers do you need? How much revenue? What is the highest margin you could have?

I am going to repeat myself: Beware of the online success stories! People rarely showcase the failures, the years of struggle, disagreements with investors, and unpleasant decisions.

Continually reflect on your business's direction. If you don't like what you see, change it. You can change anything you want, at least while you control most of your company.

That doesn't mean overthinking every choice. You should move fast, but occasionally pause to assess the direction in which you're heading - take a step back to gain perspective.

The objective in business is to stay in the game, and remember, don't forget to enjoy it!