In life we get paid in cash, ego enrichment, and self-esteem nourishment.
There are certain things that only a founder can experience or appreciate in the ego enrichment and self-esteem nourishment arena.
Here is a list:
1. Only a founder gets the thrill of finalizing — owning — an idea that is either an aspirin (removes some of the pain of living) or a vitamin (improves the quality of life) — or both.
2. Only a founder gets the final say on the name of the company. Jeff Bezos and his wife picked the name “Amazon.”
Same thing on the logo. You do this. You get the thrill.
3. There is that thrill when you look at your Articles of Incorporation, Corporate Bylaws, and Shareholder Agreement for the first time and recognize you are now “part of the system” and you are legal. You’re also glad you opted out of law school.
4. Nothing can equal that first office, the real one with your company name on the door, in the building directory, maybe a sign outside, and where you can control the bloody thermostat.You set it at 70F and you rock and roll.
5. When your business cards arrive — from Vistaprint, Zazzle, MOO, GotPrint (my favorite), Jukebox Print — with your name, the company name, and the words “President,” or “CEO,” or “founder,” that is a thrill.
You got the ones with the thick paper and the rounded corners and there is your logo. Wow!
You can cut bacon with sharp edge of your thick cards, and you hand them out like they were silver dollars.
6. You are at a party and somebody introduces you thusly, “This is Morgan; she’s the founder of XXX-ABC company. Hot Fintech startup. Crushing it. Y’all should know each other.”You can only hear the word “founder” that first time.
You get invited to a lot of founder only networking functions and law firms, accounting firms, banks are calling looking for some action.
7. You are looking at a pitch deck you have poured a year of blood, sweat, and tears into and you think, “Hey, this could actually work.”
8. The website goes live and you think, “This is my baby. MY BABY! I did this.” Well, with a lot of help.
9. You make a warm contact with a venture capitalist in NYC — an outfit who funded some household names — and they agree to take a meeting to listen to your pitch and you start thinking, “Wow, I wonder what I should wear?”
Only founders gets this stuff.
Photo credit: Shannon Rowies on Unsplash