Question from Rahul Pathak on Startups, Entrepreneurs & Winning

Q: Chris, as an entrepreneur, how do you balance the need for a general state of dissatisfaction and the need to celebrate victories as they come?
Posted by rpathak

A: Hi Rahul, thanks for the great question (and apologies for the delay in responding – just operator error, as far as I can tell). My best analogy here is that entrepreneurs are a lot like elite athletes: in my experience, a major source of a founder’s motivation is pure competitiveness, a passion for winning at whatever game they’ve chosen to play. And like most athletes, they know that the opportunity to win comes from a relentless commitment to training and daily improvement. Win or lose, the race (or game) never occupies more than a fraction of the total time and effort required to be competitive. And even if you win a victory, you know that the next day you’ll have to start training even harder, because now everyone knows what you’re capable of and will be gunning for you even more.

If this analogy holds water for you, there’s no harm in making the most of your victories as an entrepreneur, because you’re probably not going to think about them for more than a moment or two before you turn your attention back to the work of getting ready for the next contest. And as you also know, there are plenty of uphill days in a startup when it seems like you can’t get anything right, so don’t miss an opportunity to celebrate when it comes. As Charlie Munger says, “enjoy the process along with the proceeds, because the process is where you live.”