The Basic Basics

For entrepreneurs, there are always way too many things pushing and pulling in different directions. Being able to prioritize is key. But everything seems important. Everying seems urgent.

Start with the basic basics.

First, survive. Seems obvious, but if all your advisors and investors are telling you to go big, and they’re really smart people, it’s easy to forget about this most basic rule. It’s good to fail small and fail fast. But also make sure to survive the failure. It’s no good to fail if you can’t get up again. The most successful founders have an uncanny commonality: the ability to survive.

Second, explore. True exploration feels like zero progress. Everyone around you will tell you to focus. To stop messing around. To get on with it. The problem is, you need to find it first. This takes time and mistakes. In theory, this is all about fail fast, fail small. In reality, this is slow and painful.

Third, build. Once you find it, there’s something to build out properly. Don’t mess around. Yes it’s fine to test assumptions. But now is the time to build. Usually, it’s easier to start small. Find a great solution to a small pain point. Then use that to grow bigger.

Of course, there are many other things to do. Plenty of details to manage. Issues to consider.

But start with the basic basics.

Survive first. Explore second. Build third.