I have learned so much from the Founders who have shared their stories and their personal triumphs over the very real struggles of getting a new business off the ground.
I’ll be writing more about these struggles in the near future. But, for now, I wanted to share with you three things I learned AFTER we recorded many of our interviews.
1 – MORTGAGES, BABIES, AND CARS, OH MY! – Many of the founders on our podcast seem to become even more “real” with their feelings after I press the stop button on my digital recorder. They seem relieved that the interview is over and begin to chat me up even more. It’s not often they get to speak with someone who understands their challenges and advocates for them.
So, what do they talk about? One recently said he felt the weight of leadership responsibility when one of his employees recently signed for a home mortgage. Another one told me she was scared because a co-founder was having a baby and “now the company really needs to be successful.” Yet another one lamented that several direct reports just bought new cars. “That’s risky considering our cash flow,” he shared with a concerned look on his face.
Fear of “things becoming real” tops the three things I learned from many Founders. Can you relate?
2 – IT’S LONELY – I’m a naturally enthusiastic person, as you may have noticed. I tend to get excited about Founders and their successes. It’s interesting to see how many of our podcast guests just don’t want to hang up or stop the Zoom session after we record. They are often lonely, and they tell me this. “Can we keep in touch, Todd,” many of them ask. “Of course” is always my response. The need to connect with other like-minded founders is an important part of your development as a Founder & CEO.
3 – HOW DID I DO? – This is by far the most common question I get asked after we stop recording the interview. It’s a curious question in some respects. I understand they are interested in my perspective since I have recorded many of these interviews.
However, I also think it’s a fair assessment that many Founders don’t receive much feedback. So, we often talk more about their struggles and some ideas about how to overcome them. Founders have unique problems that many other leaders just don’t experience. You need feedback.
Seek feedback from trusted sources. You deserve it. It’s important to you and your company’s growth.
What did YOU expect Founders to talk about after we record their interview session?