As an early founder, I had huge gaps in my start-up knowledge. I didn’t know how to build something from zero to one. Luckily, I was able to connect with other founders who shared their experiences with me. With my gaps filled, I was able to scale my company.
Today I caught up with a founder friend who took a different path to fill her knowledge gaps. She was forced into entrepreneurship when she lost her job during the financial crisis. Her industry was decimated, so she couldn’t find another job. She became an entrepreneur to survive. It was very early in her career, and she knew nothing about being a founder. The company lasted for five years before she threw in the towel. She then took two jobs in her space with experienced founders for a number of years.
Today she told me that she went full-time as a founder again last year and things are going better than she could have imagined. I asked what’s different this time around, and she said it’s experience. The things she learned from her failed company and working with other founders helped her understand what she’s aiming for. With that mental blueprint, she’s now executing and making decisions completely differently.
I filled my gaps by learning from the experience of others, while this founder filled hers by first failing and then working closely with other founders.
If you’re a founder, figure out whether you have knowledge gaps. If you do, work to try to fill them. It can be done in a variety of ways. Just find one that works for you.