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Desired Traits of Successful Founders

Melvyn
Melvyn
. 2 min read
Desired Traits of Successful Founders

$3.25 billion.

That’s how much Udemy was valued at prior to the latest round of funding.

The company certainly benefited from the challenges because of COVID-19.

As countries enacted stay-at-home advisories and national closures, course enrollments across the entire Udemy marketplace platform increased more than 425 per cent, consumption across Udemy for Business surged 90 per cent, and the company saw a 55 per cent increase in course creation by instructors.

via The Economic Times

The founders of Udemy—”The Academy of You”—tried raising fund in 2010 but investors were not impressed. They were rejected a grand total of 30 times.

There’s certainly a key lesson here.

Early stage investment decisions

“We had no data and whatever projections were arbitrary.”

An early stage founder told me about his challenges seeking funding.

Which is why, most early stage startups raise funds from 3Fs—friends, family and fools.

At the earliest stages of investing there is often little – or no data – upon which to base an investment decision.

via Forbes

As a result, most investors focus on the founders instead of the numbers at seed funding round.

The big six

Having a BHAG. Jim Collins wrote: “All companies have goals. But there is a difference between merely having a goal and becoming committed to a huge, daunting challenge–like a big mountain to climb.” As a founder, setting a BHAG (“Big Hairy Audacious Goal”) must be based on understanding, not bravado. Here is a 3-step guide for setting BHAG.

Telling an inspiring story. Telling people what problems your business solve is good. Telling it with a story not only present your business in a unique way. It also helps your audience relate, empathize, and remember it better. Check out these 10 examples to help you craft your story.

High-touch presentation. Cramping facts and data into your presentation would make you look unstructured or desperate. Instead, use this approach in planning your presentation. Remember this isn’t a thesis defense.

Be courageous. You need to be proficient in what you do. In addition, if you are passionate, that energy will make you “glow”. More than passion, you also want to be courageous. Courage isn’t the absence of fear. Here are five principles that help you be courageous.

Showcase your experience. Most successful founders have extensive technical expertise in the area of their business. But, as Ryan Holmes shared about Elon Musk, Steve Jobs, Mark Benioff, he wrote “none of these founders were cutting-edge technical gurus, but they were able to talk the talk and walk the walk.” Consider these four ways to circumvent this.

Confidence. Dale Carnegie wrote, “Confidence is knowing that you can acquire whatever skills and knowledge you do not yet possess. It is knowing that you are capable of working hard and tenaciously enough to go the distance, however far that may be.” Here are 11 scientific strategies to build up your confidence.