Navigating tough decisions as a startup founder

Jan 23, 2024

Leading a startup comes with a cost. It inevitably includes going through hardships and making tough decisions. Mark Achler, general partner at Math Venture Partners, has seen hundreds of startup journeys up close, as an entrepreneur, investor, and mentor. He has seen failures and wins of all kinds and helped numerous founders navigate through the hard parts of the journey. Here are some pieces of advice he shared with us: 

1. Be accountable, and own your decisions and their outcomes.

One of the most fundamental aspects for any startup founder is owning their decisions and the outcomes thereof. This sense of accountability becomes even more crucial in tough times, guiding CEOs through difficult decisions and challenges.

2. Don’t delay tough decisions. Move fast when you know what to do. 

In the world of startups, hesitation can often lead to exacerbated problems. The advice here is clear: make those tough decisions swiftly, especially when they can significantly impact the future of your company.

3. Keep all your stakeholders in mind

Be aware of all the various interests of your startup stakeholders, including employees, investors, and partners. Transparent communication and treating investors as partners, not superiors, can lead to more beneficial outcomes for all parties involved.

4. Use your support network.

Get support and utilize advice from co-founders, executives, and board members. No founder is an island. Drawing on the expertise and advice of those who support you and believe in your mission. 

5. Hold your own

One key to success in entrepreneurship is reducing reliance on external factors such as outside capital, whenever possible. Being in control of your destiny empowers founders to make strategic decisions that are best for the long-term health of their company.

6.  Keep your family top of mind 

Entrepreneurial decisions don't just affect the founder; they also impact their family. It's essential to maintain a supportive environment at home and to be mindful of how your professional choices affect your personal life.

7. Find Joy in the Journey

Despite the challenges and stresses of entrepreneurship, it's important to find moments of joy and fulfillment. These moments not only provide necessary relief but also remind founders why they embarked on this journey in the first place. 


Finally, the most important part of all - keep going and navigate your way to success.

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