For Founders, By Founders

Get exclusive insights on the founder journey, right from the source.


Every founder’s journey is unique, but that doesn’t mean you’re in this alone. Most founders experience challenges, and advice from those who’ve been through it just hits different. That’s why we tapped multiple founders — with varied levels of experience across a range of industries — to get the inside scoop on what made an impact along their journey.

Getting Started

When getting started, it’s easy to get wrapped up in perfecting the details of your business. But that’s not always the best use of your time. Other founders’ advice? Move forward with something.

Progress over perfection

Trying to reach perfection can hinder you. Just take a step — any step — and move forward in some way.

Build in flexibility

Just because something’s working great doesn’t mean something else can’t work better. Stay open to trying new things.

Take mass imperfect action

Before you invest all your time and resources, make sure your products and services are actually in demand.

Quote - Sathish Naadimuthu

“Starting a business is equal parts excitement and anxiety. But the emotions definitely tilt toward excitement once you get those early wins and see the vision of the business becoming real.”

Sathish Naadimuthu

nf&co Co-founder

Growing Your Business

Charting the trajectory of your business growth isn’t a cut-and-dry step. Building a team, focusing on values, or exploring possibilities — focusing on these areas helped other founders bring their vision to life.

Feature Item - Embracing the fun
Embracing the fun

The world can be a hard place, so take advantage of opportunities to bring something positive to the table.

Feature Item - Spread the responsibility
Spread the responsibility

Co-founders can help shoulder the responsibility (and anxiety) of starting something new.

Feature Item - Building culture
Building culture

You need to be really intentional in order to create a meaningful culture that differs from the norm.

Quote - Sascha Mayer

"Before we had employees, we had a set of brand values that guided us... The world's a hard place, and how we meet the world as a brand has been really important.”

Sascha Mayer

President and Co-Founder at Mamava


Any founder will admit it — the struggle is real. Starting a business doesn’t come without its fair share of struggle and failure. Whether it’s losing money or clients, or facing industry-specific challenges — other founders have been through it, too.

So much educating

You may need to do some legwork before your audience understands the value of what you’re offering.

Taking risks

Outsourcing can be extremely helpful, but there’s always some level of risk when recruiting others to execute your vision.

Break my soul

 Losing money or clients can be crushing, but it doesn’t have to break you or your business.

Accessing capital to start a business is hard. Doing so as an underrepresented founder is even harder. Getting certified as a Minority- and Women-owned Business Enterprises (MWBE) or Women Owned Small Business (WOSB) can help underrepresented founders become eligible for developmental benefits, exclusive partnerships, and opportunities for increased visibility. Learn more via our Resources for MWBEs and our Directory of MWBEs.

Feature Item - Land corporate clients
Land corporate clients

Take advantage of the funds that corporations have designated specifically for minority- or women-owned businesses.

Feature Item - Rules don't apply
Rules don't apply

If you’re an underrepresented founder, you might not find the most value out of traditional resources.

Feature Item - Connect people
Connect people

Build connections that open up access to resources — not only for yourself, but for others in your network.

Quote - Emily Best

“I didn't know what I was doing. I read The Lean Startup as a roadmap. We found an outsourced dev shop that built us the worst technology possible. Really sold us a lemon.”

Emily Best

Seed & Spark Founder

Mental Health

The founder's journey can evoke some tough emotions. But it’s important to remember you’re not alone in how you’re feeling. Don’t forget to lean on the people around you in those difficult moments.

Imposter syndrome

Founders don’t always have the opportunity to talk about the fear and insecurity that are very real aspects of the journey.

Words of support

The support from your team, your network, and your customers can help you push through the difficult moments.

It's all worth it

When in doubt, look at the important work you’re doing and remind yourself why you began this journey in the first place.

“Founders have a lot of imposter syndrome and insecurity. We’re focused on what's not going okay, and people don't really have the space to say that. They have to love their product, and they have to be crushing it.”

Ben Brooks

Pilot Founder and CEO

Community & Mentorship

Sometimes, we feel we need to do everything ourselves. But asking for and accepting help from others can lead to even greater success. Many founders rely on the shared experience of starting a business when looking for support or mentorship.

Feature Item - Culture of plenty
Culture of plenty

Instead of competing with other founders, embrace sharing resources and learnings to enable everyone to succeed.

Feature Item - The founder perspective
The founder perspective

It takes one to know one, and that’s no different when it comes to the founder journey.

Feature Item - Shorten the gap
Shorten the gap

Seeing yourself in other successful founders is powerful, so push to find those you can connect with who will inspire you.

Feature Item - Entrepreneurs like you
Entrepreneurs like you

Fill your network with other founders who are building businesses and have goals that are similar to yours.

Feature Item - Start sharing
Start sharing

Instead of hiding your idea, share it with your network to prompt the right team and resources to step up and help it flourish.

Feature Item - Support & camaraderie
Support & camaraderie

Connecting with other founders provides a unique opportunity to be vulnerable about the ups and downs of the journey.

Quote - Emily Best

“There's so much more culture of plenty we could cultivate, but the dominant narrative is this scarcity, this competition. You want to grow at all costs because the winner takes all. That's not the world I want to live in.”

Emily Best

Seed & Spark Founder

Aha Moments

We couldn’t have said it any better than Emily: “There are so many magical moments, whenever you make anything, where you make one small choice and it has these profound, positive consequences that you could’ve never imagined.”

Aha Moment Image

Tools & Resources

If you’re going to spend your precious time on something, it should be worth it. From groups to blogs to podcasts, check out a few recommendations from founders like you.

Interested in more founder content?