Why Founders Fail

Your biggest challenges likely aren’t what you’re thinking.Wrecked Boat Failure


Founder Definition

noun. a person who manufactures articles of cast metal; the owner or operator of a foundry.

That sounds cool. In other words a Founder is someone who makes something from nothing. This takes effort and action. I believe only action moves us to mastery. Verbs are action words, so let’s see what that means to you as a founder…


Founder In Action

verb. to fall or sink down, as buildings, ground, etc.

verb. to stumble, break down, or go lame, as a horse.

verb. to become ill from overeating.

That’s not cool at all.


Your Biggest Challenges

Getting funded, creating a business model and acquiring customers are a few of the bigger challenges you face as the founder of a business. But each of those challenges has a step-by-step process to follow to get the results you want. You can do it yourself, or you can get help from a company like ours, Creative Age Leadership. Either way, if you follow the steps you’ll get there. But those aren’t the biggest challenges you’ll face as a founder.

Let’s take a look again at those definitions focusing on the verbs. Your biggest challenges will be with how you react to that sinking feeling when you stumble and things aren’t going your way. They will also appear in the people who surround you and your company including co-founders, investors and your team. They show up as you grow. Are you overeating ideas and people (i.e. losing focus)?

Those challenges don’t come with formulaic solutions. The solutions are within YOU, the Founder and Leader of YOUR company. And even when you’re pitching to investors or making sales using the knowledge you’ve developed, it’s still going to come down to who you’re being in those meetings. And who you’re being is also an action in itself that you have to master. Ultimately, your ability to influence is within your actions and behavior.


So What Do I Do Now?

This is why at Creative Age Leadership we like to say, “Get Curious, Stay Connected and Be Confident.” Asking questions, staying aware and being positive are your keys to success facing any challenge in your company.

Asking questions makes sure you’re looking at the situation from the other person’s view. You will know what your investors need. You will know your customers better than anyone else. After all, they’re investing in you and your company for their reasons – not yours. People buy what you have based on their needs – not yours.

Staying connected means you’re listening and you care about their answers to your questions. Your conversations have a direction and a purpose rather than being random, idle chit chat. Staying connected also means you’re tapping into your network of contacts for help when you need it.

Being confident keeps you positive even when it’s not going so great. This comes with being as prepared as possible, but it also means you know you’ll be able to figure it out. Being confident is not arrogance and it’s not foolish bravado. Do your homework. Work on yourself. Take care of yourself. The more competent you become, the less you’ll have to figure out in real time and the more confident you’ll become.



The mechanics of starting and running a business presents a set of significant challenges. But more often than not, founders fail not because of WHAT they are or are not doing. They fail because of WHO they’re being. If mastery requires action, and who you’re being is an action, then the keys to avoiding failure lie in your ability to master who you are.

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