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Making the CEO role a little less lonely...

This week Alyson Shontell of Business Insider published a great article about the loneliness of being a sole founder. She interviewed a good friend, Venwise member, and founder of SinglePlatform, Wiley Cerilli.

Wiley referenced 4 pieces of advice to sole founders:

  1. Find your purpose,

  2. Find a support group (Thanks for the shout out!),

  3. Celebrate your wins before moving on to the next milestone, and

  4. Focus on company culture.

Alyson and Wiley did a nice job capturing some critical pieces to focus on - especially as you consider the notion that being a CEO, not to mention a sole-founder, can be a lonely job. Who can we bounce ideas around with? Who can we brainstorm with? How can we avoid the pitfalls others in our spot have faced? How can we discover what works best for building team culture? What does “culture” even mean?

As a sole founder in a startup it’s really easy to feel lonely, but we ultimately have control over how “lonely” we are….The startup community is filled with amazing entrepreneurs and resources. The thing is that we have to open up and expose ourselves to fill the empty spots.  There are a lot of people who can give that to you, but you need to find a mechanism to trust them with your secrets.  One way or another, there are others in the same boat who have already or are experiencing similar pains and challenges scaling businesses. Wiley was a master of seeking out those resources. He is a model for what it takes to escape the loneliness of being a sole founder by being clear on what he wanted to achieve, how he was going to do it, and finding the right people to learn from.

Learning from your peers can be a powerful experience. We structure Venwise to focus on just that. We believe that the most effective way to structure a “peer learning” experience is to:

  • Build a network of peers that include folks with a variety of different experiences and skill sets,

  • Identify and learn from best practices,

  • Understand the type of organization you have and implement best practices accordingly,

  • Get feedback from others on specific initiatives you are undertaking at your company.

Just some food for thought - you are never alone when building a startup tech company. It’s an awesome world to be a part of and there is a lot of support for you. You just have to know where to look for it.

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