Despite the prevailing startup mythology, the actual truth is that being a founder can be draining, depressing, debilitating, and lonely. Not exactly the “be your own boss” halcyon existence perpetuated in the media. To exacerbate things, many early stage founders choose to go it alone. Rather than seeking out the help they need. But when they do realize they need help? One of the folks many people seek out is Jerry Colonna. And as luck would have it, he’ll be in Portland on May 13, 2019.
I don’t think I’m grasping for an analogy when I say that starting a company is like gambling. It is. It’s all about the timing. And the folks who are attracted to that sort of thing? They tend to like taking the risks. So it’s no surprise that a lot of those risk takers are attracted to Startup Poker 2.0.
While admittedly there are any number of resources that share the stories of entrepreneurs, the voice of those stories is decidedly homogenous. So when I get the chance to share a story that’s not part of the homogeneity — or when I get the chance to use the word “homogeneity” in a post — I’m going to do it. Like the story of Sylvia Salazar, the Latina founder of TonoLatino.
Sometimes, you just need to be around folks who get your struggle. Other founders who are trying to build businesses. Peers who can provide both insights and a friendly ear. That’s part of the motivation behind Startup Haven, a series of founder only events, that kicks off 2019, this Thursday in Portland.
Throughout the multiple decades I’m spent in the startup world, the idea of starting your own company has moved from obscurity to a cornerstone of popular culture — and modern day entertainment. But there is one thing — for those in the thick of it — that hasn’t changed: starting a company is incredibly difficult. And emotionally draining. But that’s not something that’s often part of the pop culture conversation.
We all know the myths. Scrappy founders creating something out of thin air, raising millions of dollars, becoming an overnight success, and exiting with wealth beyond their wildest dreams. And if you’re happy with those myths, then you can stop reading, right here. But if you’d like to hear the not-so-pretty-and-often-unhappy truth about being the founder of a venture funded startup, then you’re going to want to join Rand Fishkin when he swings by Portland to talk about his new book.
Throughout my career, I’ve been incredibly lucky to be surrounded by amazing founders, mentors, and peers. Many of whom happened to be women. And all of whom rarely received the recognition or accolades they deserve. That’s why it’s always nice to see efforts to raise the visibility of businesswomen. Like the Portland Business Journal’s Women of Influence awards.
Portland is lucky to be home to one of the most impactful and growing events for black entrepreneurs, PitchBlack, a pitch competition that has featured local black founders for the past three years and has now expanded to other cities. But where did the concept get its start? Free Enterprise sat down with founder Stephen Green to get the story.
In the startup world, there are some prevailing assumptions about venture capital and building companies. But just because those assumptions are prevailing doesn’t mean they’re correct. That’s why I always like resources that help demystify the world of venture capital and its impact on companies. Like Venture Deals by Brad Feld and Jason Mendelson.