There are some things in life that have distinct stages with very distinct challenges.
For instance, parenting. Someone may love an infant and be perfectly equipped to handle the sleepless nights along with the cuteness but cannot handle the complications of a hormone-ridden teenager. Or someone may be the exact opposite and prefer the teenager, hormones and all, since there's two-way communication, unlike with the infant who can't talk.
Entrepreneurship is the same. Some may love idea generation and the joy of coming up with something new, building a team, and launching it. Others may prefer to research the idea, test it, and then hand off the launch. And a third prefers more structure and is all about scaling.
Each distinct stage of a startup's life requires very different skills and mindset. That's why many startup books caution that a founder is not always best suited to take his or her idea past a certain point. There are exceptions, of course, and a founder all about learning may be able to see their idea through, but most are not and need to know what they're suited for.
What types of challenges inspire you? Do you like an environment where everyone is wearing all hats and chipping in to get things launched? Or do you prefer more structure, with defined roles? Do you prefer to be doing it all yourself and/or in charge of it all or do you prefer to lead through others?
If you do not know what stage entrepreneur you are, you are dooming your startup, so take the time to think it through. And if you're not sure, pay attention to which parts of your day-to-day excite you and which enervate you.
So what stage entrepreneur are you?
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