They say that entrepreneurs need the stamina of a marathon runner and the planning of a parent.
According to Jilliene Helman of Realty Mogul, the life of a startup “is an emotional roller coaster and you never know where the day will start and where the day will end”. Ms. Helman shares her advice on life as a startup.
Whether you are an entrepreneur or a parent, you do an enormous amount of planning before the big day. Yet, no matter how much you prepare and plan, something unexpected will always happen. It helps if you can “Find great mentors…” Helman says. Mentors have traveled the road before you and know how to avoid the obstacles and pitfalls you are facing. They give generously of their time and wisdom, often because the founder or team inspires them. How can you find a great mentor? “Become a power networker…always ask for introductions…and be amazing with email follow up,” says Helman.
Even if you don’t succeed in finding a mentor immediately, networking and relationship building are invaluable. Realty Mogul didn't get funding immediately. It took time, patience, and perseverance. The startup held over 100 meetings to find the right investors. Along the way, the team competed in Hatch. According to Helman, “Hatch is a great way to get exposure for the business and meet investors. Even if they don’t invest, they have wide networks who are great resources.” In the end, Realty Mogul had met enough investors that they were able to choose the ones that made the best strategic sense.
While you’re waiting for the investor to come along, you should be focusing on your baby, the idea that started you on this journey. When you have big dreams and a small team, you need to roll up your sleeves and dig in to the work at hand. You will find that being on a small team means that you will also pick up new management skills on the fly. As the CEO, your job titles can range from Founder and Chief Wrangler to Receptionist and Secretary. Unfortunately, no one tells you that, “As a CEO, hiring and firing is your most important job,” says Helman.
As parent of a startup, life will leave you guessing. Anything can happen, from the possible to the impossible. It's the hard knocks and rewards that make the race interesting. As Helman shared, “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you'll land among the stars."
Realty Mogul is crowdfunding for real estate, a marketplace for accredited investors to pool money online and buys shares of pre-vetted real estate investments.
HATCH pitch is a revolutionary start-up pitch competition for start-ups making life better. For more information, go to www.hatchpitch.com