Startup Therapy Podcast

Episode #103

Ryan Rutan: Welcome back to another episode of the startup therapy podcast. This is Ryan Rutan from startups dot com joined as ever by my partner friend Ceo and founder of startups dot com, Wil Schroder will failure is a big part of startups, right? We know this percentage wise, it represents the majority of the companies that start will have some level of failure at some point. One thing that you and I like to talk about is like how does the founder feel during all of that? How should the founder feel during all of that? And the concept that you brought up that I will wholeheartedly support is that the founders still deserve respect in all of this, right? That simply because you've failed in whatever way, shape or form doesn't mean that you're a failure, right? And, and, and doesn't mean that you lack respect in this moment. We're having hundreds and hundreds of conversations now on, on a monthly basis across our founders groups. How often is this coming up in your conversations

Wil Schroter: weekly? I think, I mean play this out man, statistically most startups fail and yet none of us really have an understanding of how we should feel in that moment or what that means. It's kind of like this. If you're playing almost any sport, you're going to lose a lot, right? You're not just gonna win every time. And it's almost like if no one ever talked about losing as if winning was the only default condition for everyone involved, right? And I think in this case because this is such an uncharted territory. Everybody that goes through this, it's like puberty for the first time. They're like, oh it's only happening to me, right? And we get to this point where we have to sit across from a founder, you and I and all the people saying the founders groups and we have to say, look, this is kind of how this goes. This is how you should actually be processing this. When we say how to feel, we can't prescribe how to feel, but we can give people a bit of a recipe or a playbook for how to kind of process all these emotions, which I think would you agree is kind of the heart of this? Like how should I be thinking about this?

Ryan Rutan: Yeah, again, I think this is another one of those where where permission gets involved a little bit like it's okay to feel certain ways about this, right? And yeah, it's not gonna feel great. Nothing. We're going to say today is gonna make you go, I failed and it feels awesome man, I can't wait to do that again. I hope the I can't wait to do that again. Part is true meaning that you've got the tenacity and the person verity to come back and do this thing again despite failure. But yeah, there is a playbook, there is a kind of a way to process this and in a lot of ways like I think what we'll talk about today or are things you should also ignore. Alright, so there are some ways that maybe you shouldn't process this or will be less healthy if you process them in that way. Yes, So let's dig into it,

Wil Schroter: man. Alright, so before we get into this, I just want to let you know what we talk about here is like 1% of the conversation, you know, really? This conversation is going on all day long online at groups dot startups dot com. Where Ryan and I pretty much talk endlessly with founders about every one of these topics. So if by the end of this discussion, you like the topic and you want to dig into it a little bit more with Ryan and I just had two groups dot startups dot com and we'll pick it up from there. Yeah. Okay. So at a high level here's here's a great way to not process it, stuff it all way down. Don't talk to anybody about shut yourself off from the world in your cocoon and just beat yourself up nonstop, which is kind of where we all land. So that is by far the worst possible way to go about this. I mean, I think we can all agree on that.

Ryan Rutan: Yeah. Yeah. The the full internalization. Yeah. Let's just just shove it deep down. Maybe it'll crystallize into a diamond under all that pressure and heat. It doesn't turn into a diamond

Wil Schroter: were mentioned founder groups because it's just pretty common form for this, but I mean it could be whatever, you know, your circle of trust looks like. But I think when folks in the founder groups are opening up about these things, we've had some people in the last month, let's say, and that's pretty common and it just happens, you know, being a particular group, I've been in a few of them where founders have opened up and they've said, hey, this didn't work and I don't even know how to process all this. I mean, there's, there's kind of binary stuff like I know I need to wind things down and to take care of finances, you know, the term they use, settle my affairs, but that's not really what we're talking about. They're not

Ryan Rutan: asking.

Wil Schroter: Yeah. Well no, I know I was trying to not use that, but that's kind of how it feels. But I think that's not really what their concerns are their concerns are, How do I close the bank account? Their concerns often. So raw and so early really stems from how do I process this? Like mentally, you know, um my personal validation is at stake in a big way. My feeling of self is at stake my relationship and all these things are all of a sudden mushrooming and I've been thinking about them and worrying about them, but I'm not processing them and I'm sure as hell not talking about it.

Ryan Rutan: Yeah. And that's, that's, I mean the the stem of so many founder issues is just the silence. I'm just gonna stay in my cone of silence and shame and not talk about the standing one and and then eventually something else will happen that will distract me and I'll feel a little bit better temporarily. But that stuff does add up just like bad debt. Yeah, we've talked about this across a couple of episodes. We, we talked about you know separating self from the start up. Um and I would say there is no harder time to do that than when things are going wrong. Right? Funnily enough it's easier to do it when things are going right because then you can turn around, you can high five the team, you can you know give accolades to everybody that helped contribute to this. But at the very end of failure we've talked about this before too, there's nobody to high five. Right? Then you're like well guys we gave it our best ship, there is no one else in the room. I am now completely and utterly alone.

Wil Schroter: I think socially two things happen. I think the first thing that happens is we start to cut ourselves off from the group right? You know what whatever our social connections are people that work there etcetera and we just want to create some insulation because we either don't want to have that conversations and I get it. I get why you wouldn't want to have those conversations. Maybe you're not ready for them or maybe you are ready for me. We still just don't want to have them write totally both makes sense. The second though is you've got all these constituencies, friends, families, investors, employees, customers. In some case, social media at large, right? All of these people that you're sitting there going, well, how are they going to process it? Right? And and really all these maps back to our own validation, right? If everybody thought it was awesome that you shut it down, you have no problem with this, right? But we start making up all of these scenarios as to how people are going to process this. And most of them are wrong. In almost every case we wildly overshoot people's reaction. You know, T. L. D. R. No one gives a sh it and beyond that we begin this whole process and we probably started it a while ago with just torturing ourselves, right? We're like, you know, we're gonna beat ourselves up with a bunch of what ifs and hey, you know, what do they think? And there's all these things and in the end it's gonna buy us nothing. It's going to cost us a ton and guess what? We're going to be totally wrong. We're like, we're gonna look back and go, oh my God, what a colossal waste of time and effort and emotion. That was. I went about it all wrong and I think, you know that's essentially we're gonna talk about today.

Ryan Rutan: Yeah, it comes from a lot of places, but I think that one of the major ones is revisiting all those conversations with those people social media less so right. But like individuals, right? So friends, family, staff, co founders investors, all those conversations you had early on where this was the best thing ever, everything was going well. And sometimes those conversations weren't all that long ago. Right. Startups can turn on a dime and that still, is that still a phrase? We still have, we still issue dimes. I don't know you can, it's like you can turn on an Amex, right? Never understood that either. But in any case, you know, these things can happen fast, right? The tides can change quickly. And what was a conversation of you selling this thing into the stratosphere three months ago, six months ago, a year ago is now the exact opposite and it's returning to earth in a burning hunk. Right. So

Wil Schroter: right, right in the world just went through this, that scale with Covid. Right, right,

Ryan Rutan: sure did. Sure did. Absolutely.

Wil Schroter: I mean at so many levels, this has just been happening everywhere, which I think makes the episode fairly timely. But but if if we're to say here are a few of the high points that we always used to kind of create a structure and like we mentioned like a recipe around how to process this first one first and foremost. If you're sitting across from us right now, Ryan and I and we're having this conversation right? Either hello, either in a founder group or one on 12 on one setting, I guess in this case the first thing you'd be very clear about no one else even took a swing and what that means is we're so worried about what so many other people who weren't founders think right? It's the equivalent of sitting in the stands talking about what a crap job the quarterback did or you know, you know, name your sport and then the quarterback turning around and going, dude, you've never even done my job. Like you seem to have a strong opinion on what I should and shouldn't have done. That's the

Ryan Rutan: appropriate response, right? That's the appropriate response. Unfortunately, it'd be like me sitting courtside and like, I don't know, Steph curry missing the game winning shot. And then turning to me and me like having a disappointed look on my face being like, dude, you've got to square up and him being like, you know what Ryan, you're right, you're absolutely right. And then like thinking about that for the next three weeks. Like I have any idea how to shoot the ball better than he does, having not even shot a basketball in probably 15 years like, but we take this ship to heart like we listen to the armchair quarterbacks, we listen to the assholes who haven't tried where the appropriate response is. You know what fred, go file your T. P. S. Reports and go fund yourself. You've got a regular job, you have no idea what I went through to get here. You've never tried this. So your input while no not even appreciated is also not valid. So I don't need it, take it elsewhere. That should be the response. Maybe not quite that strong but I'm a little fired up today

Wil Schroter: and you couldn't google it cause I'm gonna kill this entire explanation. But I saw one of the most amazing responses years ago by the man himself steve jobs and he was getting ridiculed by a reporter. I think it was Valleywag back when Valleywag was still around. But you know it was one of these kind of super cynical blogs back in the day and they were talking about, I can't remember either the Macbook or some product that was you know they were kind of like just burning them about something. And jobs in pure jobs fashion doesn't go press release or anything else like that. And this is kind of before social media really at any level of scale. He writes them directly and he says hey what have you ever done? He said I created the Macintosh and the iphone what the fun have you done? It was in the blogger of course because steve jobs wrote to him like you know posted about it and I just remember the common thread back when they were common threads, uh the common thread was just like, high fiving, steve jobs to be like, honestly, that's kind of the answer, right? And this world needs criticism and it needs all of these things, you know, and there's a certain place for that, but this isn't one of them. Also, side note, if you weren't a big fan of Ryan and I in profanity, this probably won't be the episode for you because we feel pretty strongly about this topic and the f bomb usually comes out consistently. So either, you know, arm the mute button.

Ryan Rutan: Yeah, you're probably going to hear some colorful language today. So just be prepared.

Wil Schroter: Well, again, we're pretty damn passionate about this topic. So just appreciate our horrible decorum for what it is, which is we turn into mindless caveman because we are incredibly passionate about this topic and

Ryan Rutan: I think what you're saying is we give a fuck

Wil Schroter: trying to avoid it, but I couldn't. Um but but look, okay, so coming back, no one else even took a swing. The fundamental issue that we start with one. Again, we're separating the people that were concerned about first order of magnitude should be, are the people who were concerned about, are they the types of people that actually should have a voice in all of this, right?

Ryan Rutan: Right? Is this Mark and reason? Or is this Ryan sitting courtside.

Wil Schroter: I mean think about it this way, if you were to kind of list out all of the people that you're concerned about and by the way you should and here's how I've done it. And this is this is weird and maniacal and whatever. But I'm not too proud to admit it when I was all stressed out about failing, I started to think about all the people that I was stressed out about failing in front of the right kind of who was specifically in the audience. I took it off the table to be this amorphous kind of cloud of people and I started to list who exactly those people are. By the way, it's never as many people as you think it is, right. But I listed who they are and then I do this weird thing cause I put everything in a spreadsheet and I'm a weirdo. I listed each person and then I listed exactly what I was concerned about them thinking and then what the outcome of that thought would be right. So I remember at the time, like I was concerned about the press. I don't know why we weren't even getting enough press to matter. So we

Ryan Rutan: don't care about you. We're not going to write about the fact that you failed. We didn't even know you existed,

Wil Schroter: answer nothing. But this was just a mental exercise that I'm a big fan of this of just Externalizing stuff in my head so I can see it and and a couple of things happened and I thought this was fascinating. First thing that happened is once I got past row like 16 and I was really trying. I ran out of people in the audience. So in my mind the stands were packed of people that I was going to disappoint and be a failure in front of right? But when I had to dissect it and say, okay, well who are we talking about? Exactly. I had to point to the faces in the crowd. There were like 16. And if I'm being honest, 16 was like a tortured number, right? Because I thought I was going to get to like hundreds

Ryan Rutan: Right? 16. You can, you can rent a van. It hurts that you can fit 16 people in, right? It's not a lot of

Wil Schroter: People you can forget about 16 people. And so the second thing that I did though is I said, you know, what am I concerned about them thinking? You know, what is that thought bubble that's in their head? Um, and again, I just want to see it. I also wanted to see if they were different each time or if it was just kind of the same thing, Right? No surprise. Kind of mostly the same thing. Right? Here's investors that I'm concerned about. I don't see why their thought process would be really any different. So really I can just group all of those and say all investors have this response now, it's just one person in the audience, right? And this was just this really kind of interesting technique that I used to get out of my head. But once I did it I realized there were only a handful of people or in this case maybe some archetypes that I was concerned about. And there are concerns weren't that big. And then, you know, kind of the talk about the past episode, the time in the intensity of those concerns,

Ryan Rutan: severity and duration really important. Here

Wil Schroter: we're really small. But the one thing that stood out to me is that all the names that I, that I put down of people that I was concerned about, like how they would feel a lot of them weren't founders. And I thought that was really interesting. And then I started to think, I'm like, hmm, what would they compare my experience for? What I just went through to their experience, right? And maybe that was me just trying to like, you know, satisfy my own ego and validate myself. I'm sure it was. But it was telling, I was like, man, there's a lot of people that I'm listening out that I actually have no idea what I just went through and yet I'm somehow really concerned about their input and again, maybe it's trivializing a little bit. But it worked because I started to realize that those people weren't really who I was concerned about, who was concerned about with the actual other founders. You know, those are the people whose opinions, I was like, they've played this game all right, when tom brady loses, he doesn't lose a lot, but when he does, you know, he's worried about what other athletes think because in his mind, those are the people that have an understanding of what they do, You know what I mean?

Ryan Rutan: Yep. Yeah, he's worried he'll get moved to somewhere weird like Tampa

Wil Schroter: Bay and

Ryan Rutan: still win the damn Super Bowl.

Wil Schroter: You know, by the way, I just want to mention if what we're talking about today sounds like the kind of discussion you wish you were having more often, you actually can, you know, we're online all day every day working through exactly these types of topics with founders, just like you. So any question you would have, or maybe some problem you just want to work through. We're here and we love this stuff and we're easy to find, you know, head over to groups dot startups dot com. And let's just start talking.

Ryan Rutan: So, I think that the next aspect of this and and to your point will, as you went through that list, and you started calling that down to just the people who really mattered in this case, those being the other founders and mattered in the sense that they had context not necessarily mattered in the sense that they were going to provide you a whole bunch of objective feedback or anything else, right? But they matter in the sense that they had that context. And I think go back to that experience. So when you talk to those other founders, did you find yourself facing a lot of disappointment? A lot of judgment? You know, were they telling you all the things that you should have done, right? Is that how that went down?

Wil Schroter: It was the polar opposite. There's two parts to this, right? And I want to be clear part of it is the moment we start putting thought bubbles and word bubbles over people's icons, right? We're screwed because we're always going to write the worst possible, you know, out, and and we're going to assume that is fact, which, again, in every context of human communication is a massive MS. And we do it at scale at this point in our lives. The second thing is we totally overlook that they have their own line of thinking, and by the way, we can't just predict all the words that are going to come out of their mouths or what matters to them or anything else like that. And it's such a miss. Because when I'm making that spreadsheet of everybody's responses, isn't that exactly what I'm doing? I'm telling them what they think, which I mean when you say it out loud sounds ridiculous, right? But that's essentially what I was doing. So I sat down with founders, right? You know, some that were marginally connected to this thing, others that weren't that connected to it and here's what I got from all of them that wasn't on my spreadsheet, that I massive myths get empathy, right? None of them were like, boy, what an idiot you were right. And even if they were thinking that at some level and I don't think they were, what they were saying is, hey, I actually went through the same thing and here's what it looked like, right? Empathy sympathy. They were basically trying to say you're not alone and you're okay, which is the polar opposite of what was on my spreadsheet. You weren't supposed to say that that wasn't on my spreadsheet.

Ryan Rutan: The letter that I wrote from you to me said something really different,

Wil Schroter: right? Like that's not

Ryan Rutan: what you said at all. Like who are you

Wil Schroter: Ryan, I think we forget that the people who have been in our shoes feel very differently about how we feel. Of course they do. They look at it as holy sh it, I've either been through this or this could happen to me. You were mentioned the other day that you had an incident, you know, involved in somebody else's kid and it's just rang so true. What was that?

Ryan Rutan: Yeah. So, you know, the ability to feel empathy, right? So a friend of ours, friends of ours, a couple of friends of ours had left town, not far, but they were out of town out of reach and and their little girl had an accident, she's totally fine, but that she had got some pretty classic kid cuts, the one above the eyebrow, the one at the corner collided with the coffee table and like all had wounds, lots of blood and a very sad little girl. So, you know, my wife jumped into action and just took on being a mom, right? And she's the one that took her to the clinic out of the hospital. We just kind of circled wise, but like you feel it right, you understand exactly. And I'm the one that called the parents to let them know what had happened and what was going on and what steps we were taking, what they wanted us to do. But in that moment there was no, you know, there was zero separation between me and have that having been my own child, right? And the same thing happens in a startup company because you can imagine how would I feel were I an hour and a half away and this happened and I knew I couldn't get there, I couldn't be the one, you know, cuddling her and calling her and making her feel better. It's an awful feeling. The same thing happens in a startup company, whether you've been through it before or not, doesn't matter, You can still project yourself into that moment and go, I know what that would feel like and it does not feel good, right? So again, the last thing you're gonna come with his criticism, The last thing you're gonna come with is, oh well why weren't you there? Why why didn't you do this? You know, why didn't you make sure that they'd be safe? It's not those feelings at all. It's I know what that would feel like. I can empathize with that. I feel bad for you by proxy, I feel bad just even thinking about what that would be like for me. So that definitely happens. I mean that in the moment when we start to share and again, like it doesn't have to be full on failure. That's sort of what we're talking about today is, you know, the wind down the end of the era, the end of the startup. But even just when things go wrong within a startup company, right? Like, you know, you blew your entire marketing budget and nothing happened right? You made a really bad hire, you lose a co founder, there's a lot of things that can feel really, you know, like, like failures at the time, right? There just part of the journey, but they are failures in some way, shape or form and we can relate to all of those things, right? You know, some of us have been through full failures. Some of them have been through the partial,

Wil Schroter: right? But in part of this is deliberately surrounding ourselves with the people that actually know what we just went through. I instinctively tried to do the opposite. I figured these were all my peers and I'm ashamed. And so I want to keep them at length, you know, I don't want to have them see my shame and my failure, right? Which is to be fair, no one gave a ship, right? I mean when I say that, I don't mean that they didn't care about me, I mean none of them were put off by what I did wrong, right. You know, I failed at a startup, big deal, right?

Ryan Rutan: But that's not how it feels. Yeah,

Wil Schroter: yeah, yeah. What I, what I should have done is I should have grabbed those folks as quickly as I could have and surrounded myself with them and had those conversations over and over and over so that I could start to understand that my feelings were right as far as, you know, my lack of validation and all these things and have the right people giving me input. And so like now, you know, we get somebody who's in a founder group and they've got seven other founders that are sitting around them that know exactly what they've just gone through. And in many cases, you know, they've been meeting with them constantly and talk to them constantly for months, years, whatever and really understand the journey, really understand the outcome. But here's the other side of it that I don't think folks understand. I really should have leaned on those people to help me get me through to the other side, right? All of those people in the stands were going to help me with shit, right? They were going to have their opinions or whatever and like it wasn't going to be helpful, right? I need to surround myself with people who really know what I just went through so they could help me through it. And I think that was my biggest miss, which was not just grabbing onto those folks as quickly as possible and being as honest as possible. You know, it was essentially a really vulnerable time, you know?

Ryan Rutan: Yeah, the instinct is to defend when the instinct should be or the reaction should be to open yourself up to be vulnerable and allow help to happen, right? Yeah. We've all seen like that, that honorable seen in sports where somebody limps off the field with the injury. But let's be honest, this isn't the kind of injury you walk off, right? This is big. This is bad, right? Allow yourself to be carried off on the stretcher. It's there for a reason. And the people who are going to bear the weight of that stretcher are the founders who are around you and there is absolutely no shame in that, right? In fact, I think that, you know, being in a position where when you open up and you will find that this is almost always true that founders will want to dive in with that empathy, sympathy and help. That says something, right? It says something about it's a recognition of the effort that you put in and you've talked about this before, but the respect comes from the playing right? Not just from the winning, right? They will support you not because oh well you did this amazing thing or like, gosh, this, it should have worked or like you know, something you did in the past was amazing. This is just one failure has nothing to do with it. They're looking at you going, this guy, this girl, this girl, this woman, this man, whoever did everything they could ground themselves into the dirt to try to make this work. This is where they are. Now let's pick them up, let's dust him off. Let's remind them that this is worth moving forward with. Again, you'll be okay but not on your own, right? So again, it's that instinctual shift where we have to go. I want to hide myself from having to have this conversation because I'm afraid of the negativity that's gonna come at me and just know if you're not yet in that position or that you're finding yourself on this path, open up to that, allow that help to come in, it's going to make this far easier, far faster. So when we talk about this, those two, those two magic words that you brought up severity and duration. This is going to reduce the severity of the failure and it's going to reduce the duration of the period of time in which it impacts your life. Big time. Like we're talking exponentially,

Wil Schroter: you know, there's another side to this, which is we're talking about as the founder, how we should reach out, but what we're implying and I think let's, let's talk about it directly. If you're in this founder's orbit and they've, the business has just taken a header, it is incumbent upon you as respect to every other founder to step in and help and understand that many of them are going to be resistant to help right there. First thing is that they want to create that insulation. Just stay out of my world. Hey, you know, quick terse response message. Hey, thanks for the help. Appreciate you checking in by,

Ryan Rutan: I have such a collection of those as first response is the thread continues, but only because I forced it right. Like they wanted to leave it there for all the wrong reasons.

Wil Schroter: I've got a collection of emails that I've sent to founders. I actually don't know that well whereby I wrote what I considered a long and very personal email where they publicly failed at something, right? And again, it's a founder that I didn't know super well but well enough that I could send him an email and I knew their inbox was going to be loaded with all kinds of weird shit. I wanted at least one message that showed absolutely respect for what they did while the messages varied the theme, looks something like this. Number one founder, founder I've been, where you've been, I know what you're feeling in, its shitty, I won't sugarcoat it. However, founder to founder an amazing amount of respect for what you accomplished, you know, on that journey and here are the things that you did that no one else has done right, call it what you will, but these are things that you did that other people will never do because they don't have, you know what it takes to even suit up and get on the field and you're one of very few of us who are even willing to do that and because of that, you have, you know, an internal amount of respect. And I think every single time I've sent those and I think it's unexpected because often, like, where's will send me an email like, where is this coming from? But surprisingly, maybe, not surprisingly, I get these really heartfelt responses and more often than not, it's thanks. Like I actually needed to actually, you know, I've got a great one, I'm actually gonna call one out if that's okay and you can actually google this because I did this publicly. Years and years and years and years ago Sam Altman who became the president of YC long before he came, the president YC had started a company, I think it was called looped and they had raised a ton of money. This is like in the mid two thousand's ish. Sam was Sam was young now, but he was even, I was a kid back then and looped it sold, I think to walmart and again my memory is terrible, but like I think for, let's say $40 million and maybe they raised 40 million, the information is out there. You can, you can find it. So it's, I'm not revealing anything. But I remember it got posted on the forum, hacker news And it was basically looped sells for $40 million dollars and the thread was incredibly negative, right? And I'm reading this in my blood is boiling right, basically saying, you know, basically he, he raised thought it was a big deal, you know, sold for two little blah, blah, blah. And I almost never post in forums, That's the funniest thing, right? Like this is so unique to me, but this pissed me off. Right? And so I wrote in the forum and again, I'm sure this is google it said in there somewhere in archive. I basically said, fuck you guys, right? I was like, none of you understand what it took for him to get where he got to do what he's done and none of you even deserve to be able to have this conversation. And I remember saying something to the effect of you guys are the equivalent of watching someone run an entire marathon and then standing at the finish line at the end saying, hey, you didn't run it fast enough, right? Fuck you. And so so Sam responds, he emails me and he said, dude, you're the only person that's defended me in all of this, right? And to be fair that Sam Altman who went on to become like this amazing entrepreneur and think about his moment, how he was feeling, right, and then to have all the people that should have been in his inner circle gang up on him, right, can't happen, right? And I'll never forget, like a couple of months later we ended up getting lunch together and he was like, I can't thank you enough, right? He's super kind guy, right? Whatever. And I just remember thinking like I would do that for anybody. I have no idea who you are. I just know as another founder, that's just, it's not okay.

Ryan Rutan: It's not okay, shouldn't be happening.

Wil Schroter: And so my point there is, I think for other founders, when one of our brothers and sisters is down, it's our job to step up and carry them off the field, right? Like, like that is that is what we are here for. And I think that's an important call. You know what I mean?

Ryan Rutan: Again, we are uniquely positioned to provide that empathy, right? They are not going to get it from somewhere else to say that slightly differently. If if we, as founders don't step up to help, nobody else is capable of stepping up and helping in the same way that's why when, when there's an emergency on an airplane, they ask, is there a doctor here? Right? It's not. Is there anybody else here who'd be willing to try to poke this guy in the throat with a pen? Right? This is not about your willingness to try. Like a lot of people in your life will be willing to try to help you, right at that moment, All your good friends, your family, they will be willing to try, they're gonna get it wrong and they may get it wrong in some critical ways that will actually make you feel worse about this, right? They'll tell you things like, look, you tried. Yeah, but you know, good thing you got that career to fall back on, right. The last thing I need to hear right now, right? There's a lot of things that people will say well intended and absolutely paved the road to you feeling like hell. So as entrepreneurs, as founders, we owe it to the community to step up in that moment because we're the only ones who are appropriately equipped to be able to provide the right insight, the right level of empathy, the right level of care, the right level of advice and, and people don't always need advice in those moments that they really do need is just that empathy. So give it to them, right, chances are as a founder, you're going to fail at some point, right? To some degree, you're going to go through a failure, chances are as a founder, you've got people around you who are probably failing or about two right now, so take those opportunities, strengthen those bonds, build the community. I mean, this is what we're here for, right? Like you said, we're seeing this over and over and over again in founders group and not surprising, right? It's not surprising at all to hear these conversations come up, nor is it surprising that the founders are all jumping to support. But boy, does it feel good to see it happen?

Wil Schroter: It does feel good to see it happen. And and you're right. I think if we're to really look at this, you know, objectively, as founders supporting and other founders. If I was really kind of paraphrase what I would love our dictum and our message to be to another founder first and foremost, this is not your last startup, right? This is the end of your last startup, right? Very differently, right? You've proven through this whole thing that you have what it takes to suit up and get on the field, and by the way, sometimes it doesn't work. And by the way, maybe the next one won't work, but you still have the respect of all of your peers, you've shown that you have what it takes to suit up and play. So keep playing, right? Reload, Let's talk about how to get into the next one when you're ready and when you do, when you suit up again, we'll all be there on your team. Full support all the time. Fuck

Ryan Rutan: yeah, that's a wrap for this episode of the startup therapy podcast. This is Ryan Rutan on behalf of my partner Wil Schroder and all the startups dot com family thanking you for joining us and we hope you'll continue to join us. Be sure to subscribe, rate and comment on itunes or wherever you love to listen to startup therapy. You can find all of our episodes at startups dot com slash podcast. If you're looking for more amazing resources to launch or grow your startup, be sure to head to startups dot com and check out startups unlimited. It's everything we have to offer from our online university to our amazing community of experts and founders and even all the tools we've built like biz plan, fungible and launch rocks. It's everything a founder needs visit startups dot com slash begin that startups dot com slash b E G I N. You'll thank me later.

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