1. Don’t Be Afraid to Start Slow
“Looking back, I think I would have changed how we hired and when. I would have taken a more bootstrap approach with a longer timeline.”
2. Get Comfortable With Hearing ‘No’
“Starting a company is not for the faint of heart. You will be told "no" at least 20 times a day; however, you can't let this get to you and have to remain focused on your goal.”
3. Find a Support System That Believes in Your Mission
“Starting a company is hard work, and you should surround yourself with people who believe in what you are doing.”
4. The Only Constant Is Change
“The only thing that's constant [is] change. Once you learn that, especially in cybersecurity, you're like, you're good to go. Your day will start one way and end in a different way.”
5. Every Day is Different
“I would say there's three things I would tell anyone that wants to become a founder or start a company. You will have daily failures and things that you could never plan for. Your day could look like you hired someone, you fired someone, you gained a customer, you lost a customer, you forgot to run payroll, you're missing a tax number. All these things that go into a business, and when you're the founder or the entrepreneur, it's you that has to do it.”
6. Network With Other Founders
“If you find people that are also founders and you start to network, you learn from them on what they did in phase one, or the first year, and how they got through it. There's a lot of programs out there to help founders.”
7. Employees Won’t Stay Forever
“We think everyone that's going to join a startup will work here forever —it's not true. People will say they like it, they will say they love it, they will say they understand the pay cut. Some will continue forward — others, it's not the right fit and they will leave, and I think that is another myth that's out there that, oh, my God, people never leave startups in the first year and if they do, it's a failure”
8. Surround Yourself With People Who Will Tell You the Hard Truths
“You have to surround yourself with people that are not your family, that are not your closest friends, and you have to be honest with yourself that if they tell you something's off, you listen, and you carry it forward as a founder.”
9. Take Care of Yourself
“Your mental and physical health is part of this as the founder. So, you’ve got to take breaks, go to the gym twice a week, even if you're busy, go hang out with friends and have drinks and talk about anything but your business.”
10. Cut Out Potential Cancers to Your Business
“If you see a cancer, and that could be a person or a customer or a business partner, you need to cut it out as quickly as possible … It doesn't matter if you have an amazing product, but if you don't have the right team or the right investors, or there's this cancer growing, it can destroy you and the company fairly quickly … You're on life support, no matter how much money you have, you are on life support.”
- Check out AaDya Security’s origin story and ways to support them!
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- Start your own cybersecurity startup by reading our guide on how to start a startup.