Startup Therapy Podcast

Episode #230

Ryan Rutan: Welcome back to another episode of the start up therapy podcast. This is Ryan Rin from start ups dot com. Joined as always by my friend, the founder and CEO of start ups dot com. Will Schroeder will, as of recording this episode, we have just entered into Q four of 2023. It's tough times out there for start up companies and, and we're talking to lots and lots of founders. How often, how many people are thinking right now? Should I quit? Should I, should I let it go?

Wil Schroter: Probably all of them in some capa. I mean, like, look, I, I don't mean it like everyone's running for the hills but, you know, tough times everyone's wondering like, you know, is this still a good idea? And if I'm being honest, the answer is probably no. And I know people are listening. Call me. What, what are you talking about? I, I'm all, I'm gonna get pumped up in this episode. I, I don't want to be told that that, that I should be calling it quits, but I think there is a legitimate line that we will try to define here between quitting and that feeling of failure, et cetera and just letting go. The latter being, you know, it's probably time MV. But how can we feel good about the decision? How can we not feel like we're quitting in those notions of being a failure versus just moving on, you know, letting go and doing something that's essentially a very rational, mature decision. And I think a lot of this comes from our perception of those two things, You know what I

Ryan Rutan: mean? For sure, for sure. But I, you know, in the start up space, there's no, there's so many more signals that you're going the wrong direction than you're going. Right. I think this is why we run into this conundrum. It's, it's like, you know, I don't feel like doing this anymore. I'm tired. I don't want to do this anymore. It's starting to hurt me healthwise, relationship wise, whatever it is. But then always that thought in the back of your head. But if I just push a little more, maybe, you know, around the next corner, around the next corner. It's funny. This is me every time I go fishing, even if it's the worst fishing day ever, I'm like one more cast. I'm just, just one, just, you know, the last 7000 haven't worked one more cast. I just, this will be the time this, this will be the one that bites. So how do we start to tow that line?

Wil Schroter: Here's where it goes horribly. Wrong for me and let me explain to you somebody that's my personal therapist called doctor ego. And she lives in my head and she only wants to have a session at, like, three in the morning when I'm staring at the ceiling and being like, what the hell did I get myself into?

Ryan Rutan: I don't know, I, I feel like she, I, I feel like she comes out of the times I feel like I've spoken directly to her on at least a few occasions.

Wil Schroter: It'd be my wife. Yeah.

Ryan Rutan: No, no, I just met your ego.

Wil Schroter: Yeah. Yeah. You go. Yeah. Trust me. And it's this amazing thing because like I have more conversations with, you know, I'm joking or like doctor ego myself than, than anyone ever obviously. And every time I have this conversation I have, you know, the, the angel and the devil, the angel is this very rational person that's out to protect me and, and the angels is always like, look, this has been a bad idea for a long time and you keep torturing yourself. There actually isn't any upside for your health for everything you should move on. And then the devil and the devil is what makes me a founder. OK? The devil is what got me to where I am and the devil is like, come on, dude, are you serious with this? Right? You quit the devil? Yeah, you're gonna quit now. Come on. Who quits? Like who's ever done something great by quitting. Right. And I'm like, oh, yeah, I don't tell you, you know, look how far I've gotten this of this. I'm like, well, yeah, sort of, you've gotten us into some trouble. So I look at it and I, and I think to myself, I know the difference in the two. What, what I'm trying to wait, do I keep moving with? This is emotional and it's a level of self perception. How do I perceive the difference? And despite that doesn't make a lick of difference. It

Ryan Rutan: doesn't, you still gets to shout a little louder. Yeah, I I think it's tough, you know, at the early stages we've talked about. So like the early stages, there's times where you just have to put in inordinate amount of effort, right? You have to throw yourself out. There's no version like like you said, this is part of what makes us founders without that, you know, obstinate drive that says, despite all the evidence in front of me right now, I'm going to keep going early stage, totally fine, right? Because everything is a variable, nothing is a constant. I think that the the line starts to appear at the point where we've turned some of this stuff into constants. And if all of the constants tend to be negative signs, this is where we have to start paying a little more attention and saying there may be an objective decision to be had here that says that this may not be the right thing for me. The problem is we talk about this all the time. A lot of this isn't tied up in objective, logical decisions, right? We are deciding based on ego, we're deciding based on emotion, right? And again, like that is the fuel at the early stage. But at some point, we got to shift off the booster rockets that are filled by nothing but hubris and, and hope and actually start to say like, ok, does this even make sense at any level? Are we gaining any type of traction? Is there anything about this that I still want to be doing where I'm getting punched in the face every day and starting to get really tired of

Wil Schroter: it. Right. How about this? If it were a job in, I would say, hey, I called you and said, hey, Ryan, I'm working at. It doesn't even matter the name of the company because I don't want to corrode the, the,

Ryan Rutan: uh, it was a job. No one would ever vest. No one had even received their benefits package. They would all they would.

Wil Schroter: I was like, look, I haven't got paid in three years. I burn through all my savings coming to work every day. My health is in shambles. I'm going through a divorce because of this guy. I never see my wife, you know, so on and so forth. I'm thinking about maybe quitting and you'd be like, are you out of your mind? Like why are you still there

Ryan Rutan: now? 2.5 years

Wil Schroter: ago, in any other context, we would look at the same conditions and we wouldn't even think twice about it. That's why I'm saying the ego which is I built this, I created this, I invested this sunk cost fallacy on top of everything. It's not the same. We don't walk away from a start up in the same way. We walk away from a job. Now, some people are very attached to their jobs and if they lost it, you know, they'd be upset about it. I totally get that man. This is a little bit different most of the time. This is a little bit different. A

Ryan Rutan: lot different. Even, even just one simple factor, which is that if, if you lose your job or you quit your job, you can generally like everybody kind of does it to some degree you justify, you know, it wasn't the right fit wasn't, this wasn't that there's sort of culpability that could exist somewhere else, right? We can blame somebody else for the reason that we're leaving that job. So who do you blame if you leave your start up?

Wil Schroter: That's 100% your

Ryan Rutan: fault, all your effort, right? It either worked or didn't work in your perception because of you, because of the decisions you made. I think this is work. It's really dangerous because you and I have both really good ideas that just don't pan out. All right. And we push it well beyond the, the, the point of reason by just saying, because this was my idea and it has to live or die based on my own efforts. Not always the case, right? Like you can just have something, the market doesn't want no matter what you do, you're not going to get that. No, that's where we pivot, We talk all kinds of other things. But for purposes of today's episode, I think it's a really important distinction that because it's all generated from you, it's all by you. It makes it really hard to walk away because there's not really a scapegoat available, right?

Wil Schroter: Yeah, it's crazy too. Like, so we take that like to the grave, so to speak, right? We're like, oh no, because it's all me because it's my fault, you know, I deserve this outcome. That's dangerous. They, I deserve this outcome and like technically you do, you literally created this outcome, right? So, I mean, but by by virtue that you deserve it to an extent, the problem that we have because of our egos is that we are so willing to just keep digging in and keep tearing at ourselves and, and keep making it worse as if the torture is this penance for our our outcome, right? And, and honestly, like, I would love to say it, it's here and there. It's everywhere. I I've never seen a, a founder at the end of their rope, so to speak, where things were going pretty well. Right. And obviously the definition of end of your rope. But everyone, by the time they get to the point, the discussion that we're having now, do I quit or do I let go is a mess is a mess. And statistically with the rate of failures, it's kind of the more

Ryan Rutan: likely outcome, it's everybody's mess, right? Like this is this is the likely outcome. Yeah,

Wil Schroter: it'd be like getting married and being shocked that you're getting divorced. Nobody wants to get divorced, of course. But statistically that's probably gonna happen.

Ryan Rutan: Population does. Yeah. Yeah. So I think it's, you know, I think addressing that is important, I think knowing that, you know, this is the likely outcome helps and yet that still feels like an everybody else problem, right? Like everybody else is going to suffer from this. I am not not going to and again, like we kind of have to have that mentality at some point, right? Because if we just go, should I start my start up company? Well, let's use math. No, it stops right there. Why? Because math math is going to tell you you should not do this. And so we get so used to ignoring the math, we get so used to ignoring the objective evidence and just going with our gut, right? Which is just a different name for our ego in this case. And just saying that like, look, I believe I can do this. I want to believe in myself, I want to believe in the product. Other people have told me that I should believe in this right? They keep, keep going, keep going, keep going. And again, like there is value in that early stage, but this shit has a half life, right? And it needs to be less than your half life so that it doesn't end up consuming you to the point where where you can't walk away from this, right? Like all these notions around, you know, you were saying before, like your ego is gonna tell you not to quit. Quitters never accomplish anything, right? You know what doesn't kill you makes you stronger or permanently injures you, right? A different way of killing you at it. Yeah, it kills you or it does kill you, right? Yeah. Yeah. What is gonna kill you sometimes also

Wil Schroter: kills you. Let's talk about what the difference is, what is quitting, you know, because that's really what we're talking about. Like I think we all think letting go is kind of like this Zen kind of like thoughtful outcome and I've never had that outcome personally where I felt good about it. So let's talk about the part where we all feel bad about it. You know, let's define what that is. Let's define what quitting actually looks like in our minds. Quitting means this it was supposed to go well, but I was too weak and I'm using weak to mean a lot of things, but I was too weak to see it through. I was supposed to play the rest of the game but, but I was too tired and I couldn't make it. So I had to leave. Right. That's quitting this notion that that should have been able to do more. And I chose not to. now the really small but pretty important uh part of that is that had I stayed, the outcome would have been better, right? Had I stayed, the outcome would have been better, which I have zero proof of, but I'm 100% sure

Ryan Rutan: you actually have some evidence to the opposite, right? You got some evidence, the opposite. You've been at this for five years, it hasn't worked yet. What's five more weeks going to do for you, right? Probably

Wil Schroter: nothing. So an example is like if, if I were to do Ghost of Christmas future and I were to say, look, I can tell you for sure is not going to work. And Brian, I think you and I are ghosts of Christmas future for a lot of founders and, and we try to be cool about it though, right? We try to be cool and we're like, OK, you know, maybe consider this, consider this. But in the back of our minds, we're also like, man, dude, like this isn't going to end well for you. We always try to encourage people and give them the right path. We don't want to lead people astray, we'll shoot them straight. But at the same time, we don't want to kill people's hopes and dreams for them either. Right. Because I never want to be in a position personally where I sent somebody down the wrong path at the cost of what, what they were gonna otherwise achieve

Ryan Rutan: the way I always see it is that the responsibilities to maintain the flame, right? But sometimes it's not gonna catch where it is, right? So we gotta maintain the flame. We want to keep the spark within the founder, but sometimes you have to, yeah, it has to be straight feedback. It's like it doesn't look like it's working. What are you going to do next? Right. How do we transfer the energy, the passion, all the stuff that you have would be a good founder. It's just this isn't the right project. And so it's again, like, how do you deliver that feedback in a way that helps people see this probably isn't gonna work, you know, as bad as, as seeing extra, probably more common than seeing somebody quit early. I'm not sure that I could ever measure that. But you definitely know when you run to those founders who've been at this project for way too long, well, past the point of no return. And it's the worst thing to see because you know, it's likely to have an impact on the next one and not in a positive way if there is a next one. Right. I've seen people just shoot their shot, they just burn out. And it's like, man, I would have loved to have seen what they built next, but there's not gonna be a next because the first one or the second one or whichever one we're on right now, went well beyond its prime and now they're just carrying around the baggage and the scarring from

Wil Schroter: that 100%. I think that again, this concept that I don't wanna be a quitter. Ok. And again, the problem with that thought process, the problem with that thought process is, it assumes quitting is bad, it assumes quitting would have otherwise translated into a positive outcome. If I were to say you're at the casino table and you're losing, the longer you stay there, the more you're gonna lose you. Like, well, I don't wanna quit. No, you're going to lose more. There's there, there's no version where it all turns around and, and, and it becomes awesome. You're gonna lose all your money and the longer you stay, the more you'll lose. But that was

Ryan Rutan: the last few times. Well, the next time it's gonna be different.

Wil Schroter: Yeah, of course, of course. Right. But here's the thing. But if you knew for certain that it wasn't going to work, you might feel a little bit better about it, right. But you don't. And so we create these silly fantasies that usually only the founder creates or the remaining investors. And they said, but if, but if, but if, right and look, I've been past that point, you know, I've been past that point where I had kind of lost everything and had to fight it all back and, and get it back and you know what if at that time, a smarter version of me could have stepped in and said, dude, it's probably time to like, like pull up the stakes and go do something else. It would have actually been the right decision. Yes, things turned around and worked, right. But statistically, I was down like a 1% chance that that was all gonna work. And it was not a good idea because the 99% of chance that it didn't work would have put me in six figure debt by the time I was 22 years old in a way that I would have never paid off, right? It literally crippled me for the next decade or so of my life. So it wasn't a good bet, right? It happened to work. But chance of that ever happening again is almost zero. You know, something that's really funny about everything we talk about here is that none of it is new. Everything you're dealing with right now has been done 1000 times before you, which means the answer already exists. You may just not know it, but that's ok. That's kind of what we're here to do. We talk about this on the show, but we actually solve these problems all day long at groups dot start ups dot com. So if any of this sounds familiar, stop guessing about what to do, let us just give you the answers to the test and be done with it. Right.

Ryan Rutan: Yeah, the, the hindsight does not provide clarity here. That's really the problem, right? Because, you know, we can quit and then two years from now something happens in the market. We're like, oh, if I had just hung on, right. If, and, and maybe it would have worked now. Well, maybe, maybe, who knows, there's just so much speculation built into that and even looking back at it, you can't really clearly analyze that and say, ah, that was the right or the wrong decision. I think it has to be based on a couple of things that, for me, you know, looking at the energy that you've got right now, depending on how long you've been doing this, that's gonna be a really good indicator of whether it's really whether you're quitting or, or letting go to your point, letting go is, is something that should be seen as a little bit cathartic and kind of peaceful, right? You know, I'm sitting here in lotus position letting go of my start up as opposed to banging my head against the wall and quitting. But I think that when we look at it as a whole, right, founders who are in that position where we've gone far enough that we've proven some things, maybe not in our favor. Likely not. But we now understand some of what's going on. Right. It's not, it's not completely nascent. This isn't brand new and we've never not talked to a customer. Right. We have talked to people. We've sold some stuff, things are happening. It's just not catching the way we wanted it to. At some point, you have to ask yourself like, even if I do stay around, can I actually, I, I really have the, the energy, the mental fortitude. And if I do push beyond this at what cost, right? At what point am I gonna start to really hurt myself? And my chances, like I was saying, my chance is to go on and do something else, right? I mean, I've seen this too where it didn't just impact their, like their start up career impacted all of their career. They burnt themselves out to the point where they couldn't even pick up the sticks and go find a job immediately after because they were so wrecked. So burn. Now from having pushed well beyond that mark again, look a lot of sympathy for this one. A lot of empathy for this one because I've done it too. It's so difficult because as we've said, even when you're looking back at it. In hindsight, it's not entirely clear whether the decision was correct or not at the time.

Wil Schroter: Ok. Well, let's build on that though in the hindsight. And was this a good idea or, or not couple things we can consider? Number one, was it taking away from my life? Right. Check all the boxes. Ok. Emotionally. Was I a good place? Obviously not if we're having this conversation? Right. Second. Are my relationships in a good place. Obviously not. If we're having this conversation are my finances in a good place. Obviously not like this is again, using another analogy here, this is your friend who is in a very abusive relationship and they won't let go because it might get better.

Ryan Rutan: Right? I just have to do something else to fix them. Right. Yeah. The

Wil Schroter: only guarantee is that you're miserable right now. So letting go is taking stock of what's actually happening right now and saying, you know, this actually isn't ok. I'm not ok with this and, and by by the way, nor should you be, nor should you be ok with this? Your start up is literally making you miserable. Don't pretend like it's the only way of life, crazy ideas. Number one, you can do literally anything else have a better outcome than you have right now. Ok. Second, you will start another start up. Maybe it's not the next thing you do, maybe get a job and then start a start up. So be it, the point is most of our pain that we have at this point is not only self inflicted because we quite literally brought it on to ourselves, but it's accepted, we're letting ourselves accept that this pain and this misery, everything that we're doing to ourselves is OK. And we're justifying it with this kind of amorphous outcome that we can either point to define or actually substantiate in any way. And so we convince ourselves that this must be ok to feel this way, you know, toward a higher goal. And I'll be honest, it usually isn't, it's usually just sucks. We're just too pig headed to call it what it

Ryan Rutan: is. Yeah. Statistically we know the answer, but emotionally we want it to be different, we need it to be different. Our ego has to have it be different. And so we continue to push, I, I think you said something really important there, which was, if you find yourself miserable, right? There's a difference between being tired, you know, working through difficulties having challenges in miserable, right? I think when you get to that point where you're like, I just don't want to do this anymore. There's enough wrong at that point, you really have to lean back and ask why, right? Is it, is it just that you're, and sometimes look, sometimes it's a little hurdle, right? You talk to founders all the time or like, look, you know, I, I love building the product. I love doing the customers. Now, I'm at the point where I have to go start to sell this thing. And I'm super scared, I'm super nervous. I've never sold, I don't like it. I don't want to do it and they start to get that feeling right. And so before the embark on that, if a founder were to say, like, you know what? I just, I think I'm gonna throw in the towel that's quitting. Right. Right. Right. Now, if I have sold for a year and it's still not catching and it's not working, I'm trying and it's, it turns out it's not me. Right. It's not just my inability to sell, but the market is telling me. Right. That's a good time to let go. Or even if you just can't make that work. Right. And you're miserable now because of this and you realize there isn't really a way out of this. Right. I don't have enough money to hire anybody else. There's not any other way around this. It takes sales to do this. We can't get there right now is a good time to start thinking about letting go. Right. At the point you become miserable, right? Because start ups are hard, right? It's never gonna be just like this is Shangri La and Rainbows. It's always fun and easy. We're not saying that. Right. Don't look for that period in time because you never find it, but you don't need to wait until you get to, to complete rock bottom. And basically you're because I, I don't know, man, like I feel like more founders are literally forced to quit than decide to quit. Right. It's, it's not even that they let go. It's sort of taken from them, right? Everything's gone e emotionally bankrupt, financially bankrupt, physically bankrupt. Like this is not quitting either. This is literally just dying alongside your start up. You know,

Wil Schroter: there's another side to it too. We've talked about this before. The difference between playing to win and playing to not lose. Typically when start ups get to this point in the life cycle, we talk to the founders, we ask them a question, we say, is there a winning scenario anymore? Are you really just here because you're not willing to lose? That's very different start ups don't win by not losing. Like, like there is a time to play defense. Most start ups are in it right now. But if, if you're at a point and I've been there. So, so I'm, I'm very familiar with this point if you're at a point where like, I just don't want to see this thing fail. I don't wanna be a failure, right? That's your ego, of course. But at the same time, you're not playing to win anymore. There was a time when you started your start up when you got fired up about what the product was when you're getting your first customers when you're out pitching investors, whatever you're doing where you had a fire in your belly that said I wanna build something. I wanna make something amazing in the world you were playing to win. Then a bunch of shit happened and then all of a sudden, you know, revenue didn't come in. Uh Funding were busted. What, what, whatever and now you're in a position where you've forgotten about winning. Your ego is so wrapped up in not losing that you're not willing to let this go. And that's where the self torture comes in. I've been there a couple start ups ago when we ran out of money and we were running around for way too long trying to raise money like 18 months past the point where we had been out of money and we should have been, we should have hung up our spurs and I'm running myself into the ground at some point. I remember looking around and being like, you know what? I don't even think this is gonna work anymore. Like I'm, I'm nowhere near it's gonna work now. I'm just doing it because my ego tells me I can't afford, you know, to let something fail because I've never failed at something at this magnitude before. And that's actually what I'm trying to achieve the moment. That that is true. It's kind of game over like, like a walking dead at that point. And it's a very real spot. It is

Ryan Rutan: not super real. And I think the, the, the kind of the final phase of that one before the actual failure is then, not only are you not, you're now playing not to lose at some point, you actually admit that you've lost and now you're just kind of trying to close the gap or control the spin on what the loss looks like. And, and I've watched founders do this for like over a year period where it's just like they're just trying to control the descent, the thing is crashing, but they're like, maybe we can, maybe you can attempt a water landing, right? Make this look a little bit better. Never ends well. Yeah. And

Wil Schroter: look, that's natural. None of us want to fail. None of us are just so Zen. And we're like, oh my God, I work at something that I cared about so much with all these people that I pulled in my life and I just don't care about letting it go. That does not exist just so we're being clear, right? Like what we're saying is, there's a point though on the other end of the spectrum where you probably should be thinking in those terms, right? And I say this in and Ryan, a lot of these episodes, I think we're talking to either past, present or future versions of ourselves in the past 30 years of my career. And I say, man, how many times would it have saved me by orders of magnitude to have been able to sit down and be honest about where the situation was and just walk away just to let it go. And I, and I'll say this just to take this a bit further. All the times that I have all the times where I actually did walk away and say, you know, yeah, maybe there's some upside there may, maybe not word and I'll give you some examples, right? And think of how many people that have come through start up dot com. You know, folks that we've hired that we've had to let go and no will will to read anyway, this is not where I'm headed with this, but we parted company and we thought, you know what? We're

Ryan Rutan: good. Yep. That was the right decision.

Wil Schroter: Yeah, for all different reasons, right? But we were never like, oh my God, worst decision we ever made, we have to go back and get that person and it wasn't like an ego thing. We actually just never happened, right? Letting go, you know, realizing that, hey, we made a bad hire or, you know, a bad timing, whatever. And these are all bad people. I just wanna make sure, you know, uh this isn't like a bone to pick, but you realized we had to let that go. I'll give you one more example. When I was wrapping up at, at the agency, we had a ton of people there and we were ready to go public. We didn't go in public, like two years later after I was gone, I thought to myself, man, I had stuck around for like a few more years. We'd have gone public and I could have cashed in more stock and I could have, you know, done all these things and, you know, I, I could have helped run a public company and all this kind of stuff and I was like, hold on, wait, a little revision is history here. I hate working there. It is a good company, whatever. I just personally time in my life, I just did not want to be there. And I just heard Brian Chesky from Airbnb who quoted him the other day, but I just heard him say something again today where he was, you know, as a founder of Airbnb, he's like, I got a point, I just didn't want to be here anymore. Right. You know, this thing had become something I didn't want it to be and think about it, like, his version of quitting would have been like, quitting and only taking $10 billion. Right. So, like, it's almost hard to like, fathom how he could feel bad about that decision at that level of success and yet he feels exactly the same.

Ryan Rutan: Yeah. Well, I mean, it's, you know, it's interesting but you get to that level of scale now. He's not quitting because it's failing. He's quitting because it's succeeded, right. He's quitting now because likely the fun part for him is now long in the past and now it's just operational efficiencies and all of these other things. And still like this is where the ego comes in. I'm not talking to you, Brian. I don't, I don't know this is involved here, but like we can imagine a scenario whereby you as the founder in this case, Brian, you get to that point where it's like I no longer want to do this. I don't like this part or this is the ops part. This is, you know, now we're at scale now this is about efficiency but part of you goes, but I should be able to do that, right. I got us this far. I got us if I got us this far, right, I could, I could get us to the next, the next stop. And it's such a dangerous mentality because you'd clearly recognize like this isn't something I wanna be doing. I am not enjoying some even hating this, actively disliking what I'm doing. And yet there's this voice in the back of your head and right. The devils on the shoulder going. Yeah. But why can't you do this pal what's wrong with? You?

Wil Schroter: Tried to do my math. I was about 27 or 28 years old when I left the agency. By that point, we had about six or 700 people. It was a big agency at that point. But it was very corporate, like, very, like, everything we were doing. It was also like the nineties, like, it was still fashionable to be corporate. And so it just felt like, like I was going to a bank every day, like, it didn't feel cool at all.

Ryan Rutan: Gosh, I left my badge in the car. I'll be right back. No,

Wil Schroter: we literally, we had badges the whole thing. Right. It was, it was as corporate as it gets and how we got there kind of doesn't matter. The point is we were there and I'd be in these very, like, you know, stuffy meetings talking about, you know, future financials, ironically, in all of our board meetings, we never talked about the actual product of the company, which was us doing creative, but that's here nor there. And so, but I got to a point where I was just like, you know, I don't want to quit this because this is probably the greatest opportunity I'll ever have in size wise. It actually was, you know, I've never been a CEO of the company that big since, but I look back on it and I'm like, there are a lot of things that I could have done there and all of them would have made me miserable. So, you know, I looked at it as letting go, you know, I got to do 100 other things that brought me way more pleasure on my own schedule. You know, on my own terms, et cetera. And so while there was that part of me that says, oh, I guess you're quitting, there's gotta be another part of you that says, yeah, but what does that unlock, dude, if all you are is miserable right now and quitting or how whatever you wanna call it letting go allows you to go be happy dude. Life's too short, right? For sure.

Ryan Rutan: Could choose happiness if you go back in time and you think about the difference between the agency and the last funded start up one you let go of is it was still moving forward. The other one you let go of to avoid being drugged to the bottom by it. How different was the experience? Right? Like i it feels like in, in my recollection, my own experience is letting go of something that was still an ongoing venture. Uh was a lot easier in some ways than letting go of something that was failing.

Wil Schroter: Yeah. Well, because in the one case where the agency was doing well, you went out on a high note, right? You're Tom Brady winning his last Super Bowl, right? Like, I mean, nobody is like, oh man and you know, looking down on you, they're like, oh shit, I can't believe what he did, right? So that was fine. Was there more upside to extract? Yes. Would it come at the cost of all of my happiness? Absolutely. There's, there's no question about

Ryan Rutan: that. I just meant more like the emotional component of it. How much easier was it to let go at the agency than it was to say there's no heartbeat here. I gotta let this thing go. You

Wil Schroter: know what, two totally different spectrums at the agency. I was just bored, there was no pressure. I was just bored in that start up in the venture fund, the start up. I was just straight up humiliated. Right. Like it was just, it was in a dark awful place. And a lot of founders have been there before. It's real again. I don't want to keep picking on uh Chesky but his whole thing, his rant over the past few weeks has been what a dark place he's been in at a point where the company has been at its, you know, at its highest and it's most successful. I find that to be interesting because again, there's a point where the things that we create undo us, the things we create, undo us, they actually take away from us, they don't give back to us anymore. And here's what I would say, at which point with our start up, we're running, you know, anywhere in our career. But let's say definitely within our start up and it is, we're getting to the point where it's no longer fun, but it's no longer adding to us. It's no longer giving us that spark that makes us wanna jump out of bed in the morning. It's no longer telling us that this could be something great and all that it's doing, it's taking from us, it gives nothing back and there's no indicator that we're ever, ever, ever, ever gonna get on the right side of it. Leave. Let it go. Quit. I don't care what you call, it, just get out of it because it's a bad idea. So, in addition to all the stuff related to founder groups, you've also got full access to everything on start ups dot com. That includes all of our education tracks which will be funding customer acquisition, even how to manage your monthly finances. They're so, so much stuff in there. All of our software including Biz plan for putting together detailed business plans and financials launch rock for attracting early customers and of course, fundable for attracting investment capital. When you log into the start ups dot com site, you'll find all of these resources available.

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