There’s no easy, straight and narrow path to entrepreneurial success ––it’s filled honing and fighting for your vision, navigating difficult decisions and balancing scaling with maintaining cash flow. In this episode, Rick Stoddard, Director of Venture Engagement at Coplex, sheds light on some of these challenges and obstacles, and what it takes to move past them.
As ventures scale, are there common challenges you see them face?
With any company that’s scaling, one commonality is the need to be financially prepared for the scaling. Certainly, the game changes as companies gain traction and begin to grow. Then it becomes about the types of individuals they need to surround themselves with. It’s about constantly looking at not only people, but also the technologies will enable an entrepreneur to take the next big step.
What’s a quality or skill you think all founders should have?
In everything that we do, it boils down to communication. What we say is what we create. It’s about being able to relay thoughts in a way that other people really understand – not so much from my point of view, but their point of view so they can easily step into that conversation. That’s a challenge for everyone. Communication takes constant practice and being more cognizant of what you’re saying, why you’re saying it and the reason you’re having the conversation.
I know you mentor numerous startup founders, what’s one piece of advice you would give to these entrepreneurs? Never give up. Have stick-to-itiveness and be resilient. If you strongly believe and you’re driven by what you’re creating, you can find a way. It’s going to be difficult at times and you’ve got to be willing to go beyond what a lot of people will do. There’s nothing wrong with stopping, but if you want to accomplish something big and you’re up to creating something different in life, have that willingness to continue on.
Coffee drinker, yes or no? No.
One business tool you’re geeking out over right now? New Surface Pro 4.
Favorite piece of technology? New Surface Pro 4.
What’s one book you’d pass along to a fellow entrepreneur? The Lean Startup by Eric Ries.
One person you’d like to have dinner with? My mother.
Next week I’m in the lab with Gregg Scoresby, Founder and CEO of CampusLogic. We discuss what separates an individual with a business idea from an entrepreneur with a business idea that could actually turn into a viable business. Be sure to tune! Until then, have a prosperous week!
Music in this episode: “They Just Don’t Know” by Gyft.
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