Is it mandatory for an early stage start-up founder ( CEO) to like the industry of his start-up in order to thrive and succeed?

When I think about dealing with customer support, disputes resolutions, get target clients on board and learn about their domain expertise, I'm not that excited. I tell myself well I will hire people to do it, I don't want to get my hands wet with that. Is this a sign that I'm not passionate about it and therefore I will put my start-up at risk? especially if there is already competition.


First to your question. No, unless there is a law in place, nothing is mandatory. That said, not liking your industry will make it more difficult to succeed. Those who love what they do will work harder and longer to achieve success.

But success means different things to different people. Do you need to be rich, or just make a decent living? The lower your threshold of success is, the less you have to invest. Many business owners will choose to make less in order to work less. Others choose to work more to make more. It's all about what your personal goals are.

Finally, there are aspects of every job that people don't like. Those are the things that the business owner can and should hire others to do. There is nothing wrong with that. Again, there are trade-offs. The less you do the less money you, personally make. But it can also help the business run better which can contribute to it's success. Better to have someone better suited for a role performing that role, so long as you can afford it.

Answered 7 years ago

Get out of your head. You're talking yourself out of something before you even get started. Not many people are good or even like customer support. I personally don't. However it's part of the job and you have to learn how to become better at it as you go. Just take the risk and start your business. If it doesn't work out then you take what you learned from it and start another one.

Answered 7 years ago

I see in your questions, two different questions, one related to your business field and one related to the different tasks that you or your team should do.

Being passionate does not mean getting your business out of any risk. Your passion is essential to be more and more creative but it is not enough to succeed.

To succeed, you need to work hard and sometimes on tasks that you don't like and maybe you don't master enough.

For example, Henry Ford was first passionate by the industry which lead him to create the first car in the world. However, he did not get that much rich before to work hard on the franchise system and the sales strategy.

Till now, I did not read a single article saying that he was passionate by the supply chain which was important for his success.

If you are not interested in a task and if it is important for your business, you can find a partner who can do it for you and make your business grow faster.

Answered 7 years ago

It's not necessary to like the industry, but it's important to have a passion for the problem that you are solving. That passion will drive you to create a solution for the need that you have identified.

Yes, there will definitely be tasks that you will not like to do. Delegate those tasks when you can. At the early stages, you may not have any choice but to do those activities yourself. Keep driving towards solving the problem that you started out trying to solve - who knows, you may start enjoying the customer interactions once you see that you are helping them out!

Answered 7 years ago

And not only love it but also have specific know-hows. What you don't like or know start delegate or partner only after you have mastered and put in place the processes according to your vision..
This is not the 1900's, it's a 21-century startup... probably always short on cash...
Don't get some of the mumbo jumbo some of my colleagues are writing here mislead you. YOU are the CEO...start CEO'ing
cause the Board (or stakeholders) will surely pick up on this eventually and they will show you the door.

Answered 7 years ago

Already a lot of good insight here, but I’d like to suggest that you take a quick assessment: The 2:00 am test.

Let’s say that you push ahead with your business idea and it’s 12 months from now. The startup honeymoon is over, but ideally you have some good feedback on your business, so it’s going OK one year in.

That said, it’s 2:00 am some frigid February morning and you have one more task you want to complete before you catch (hopefully) four hours of sleep. Yes, at some point, you’ll be able to outsource this bit of work—frankly, it’s the part of your role that you detest—but you don’t currently have the resources to hire it out. But it must get done before morning breaks.

What will propel you through that moment? For most successful entrepreneurs, it’s passion for what you’re aiming to achieve, the grit to fend off the fatigue and yes, some sort of caffeine-like stimulant.

If you honestly don’t think that passion will be there in 12 months, sorry, but you should consider some other path. The grit will be better applied somewhere else and the caffeine is more enjoyable when it’s not a crutch.

Good luck and let me know if you need more assistance.

Answered 7 years ago

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