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25 things with Vend’s Vaughan Rowsell, part one

5 things I wish I knew before I started

People will be the hardest problem

Hiring them, retaining them, keeping them focused on where you are going and dealing with the haters. People are so amazingly wonderful and hard. I wish I had developed my empathy faster and took more time to invest in people.

Everyone has an agenda

Everyone wants something. It’s natural and understandable and you should actively find out what they want from you. Investors or early hires, anyone you get onboard needs to be aligned and you need to help them get what they need. If it’s something you can’t give, don’t let them take one of the precious seats on the rocket or take any of your time.

You are going to need a better answer than ‘busy’

I still don’t know what this is, but I need a better answer when someone asks me how things are going. “Good” and “Busy” are both terrible answers, but then so is “Bad” or “Boring”. “Perhaps can you help me with something?” is better. Figure out what that something is.

It gets brutally tough

We know this, right? It’s in the brochure. If it was easy EVERYONE would be doing it. But it is not just tough, it gets staring-into-the-void-tough. Know that those moments are coming, where you will question everything and feel like you are failing everyone. And it’s okay. You are okay and normal. You can do it.

Idealog would ask me to write things

If you look like you are one or two chapters ahead in the how to be an entrepreneur handbook, then others around you will want your crib notes. I would have kept a regular diary as I hit each pothole and launch ramp. It may seem like you are the only person in the world with your problems, but believe me, the more we share the better we all are.

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