5 Startup Founders Share What They Would Say To Themselves If They Could Go Back In Time

Being an entrepreneur is as difficult as it is rewarding. As many successful business owners will tell you, eventually it gets better. But what if you could shortcut the time in between and learn their lessons earlier? In partnership with the Ascent Conference, we asked 5 startup founders to share what they would say to themselves if they could go back in time, to the very start of their company, and give themselves a piece of advice.

This is what they had to say:


Raise more money.

If I had to do it over again, I would say, raise more money. We incubated and bootstrapped for a long time, and I wish I would have been better at finding investors, gone full time and raised more money.



Credible mentors are important.

Get a credible mentor, or several! Having a mentor that believes in what you're trying to do for the next couple of years is important; if you can have more than one, then do. Credible mentors are important because they offer knowledge and sources you can leverage to get the results you're looking for way more quickly than you could do on your own.



Don’t wait until the product is out there.

Find partners and find customers from the beginning. Don’t wait until the product is out there. Try to understand the market, needs, challenges, and what makes companies struggle and succeed.



Being a founder is a test of endurance.

Treat yourself like a pro athlete because being a founder is a test of endurance. Get to bed early, workout in the morning, and go compete (at pitch events like Ascent).



Never be afraid.

Here’s a piece of advice I say regularly: get good at doing things you’ve never done before. Practice doing things in your life that you don’t know how to do, without seeking a resource first. If you don’t practice doing things that you don’t know how to do, how are you going to have the skills to do something new in your startup?

Never be afraid to show your ugly baby. No matter how bad you think your idea is, no matter how scared you are to step out and say it, because 99% of people will never do it.

Remember: every company has an insane person sailing everyone into shark infested water, or away into the sunset.