One of the more messed up expressions of startup culture is the belief that we all need to have everything figured out. Similar to the “everything is always awesome” attitude, people also seem to expect that entrepreneurs (and particularly the founders of a startup) have all the answers to every possible question, always keep their cool and overall have everything sorted out.
Similar to the “everything is always awesome” attitude, people also seem to expect that entrepreneurs (and particularly the founders of a startup) have all the answers to every possible question, always keep their cool and overall have everything sorted out.
I have never met a single entrepreneur (or more generally speaking person) who had all the answers. The best entrepreneurs and the most delightful interactions are with people who openly admit to their knowledge gaps and seek out help wherever they can find it.
One of the most important things you can do on your own leadership journey is to develop a perpetual aggressively help-seeking mindset.
Ask for help. Openly and often. Get over your ego.
Whatever you are building is more important. And it’s also so much more fun to keep learning.
This reminds me of a case I personally experienced when I got in touch with Mattan Griffel.
A while ago he published an excellent article on Medium about “How to get a busy person to respond to your email“. If you haven’t read it yet – I can highly recommend it. And: As someone who receives a decent amount of email and generally tries to be helpful, I couldn’t agree more.
Ironically – hours after I read Mattan’s article I received the following email:
Hello Pascal … [REDACTED] who is working with us mentioned that we should reach out and connect with you and your related services. We would be most interested in discussing with you items of mutual interest and benefit. Looking forward to additional feedback ….
To be honest – I have no idea how to respond to this request. What are “items of mutual interest and benefit”? And what is “additional feedback” without giving me any context?
So – do yourself a favor and read Mattan’s article. And keep asking for help – just make sure that you make it as easy for the person on the other side to actually help you as possible.
P.S. Talking of help – I want to create a new set of T-Shirts for the Heretic community (long-time Heretics will remember our first T-Shirt). I found a great shop which does real screen prints on high-quality tees. Can you help me chose the design? Here’s a quick 30 sec survey.