A few days ago, someone on Quora asked me to share a success story about my business.
My first thought: “wait, but my business isn’t successful yet!”
What’s crazy is that there are so many metrics and stories on “successful” startups that it makes it really hard to realize when you’ve reached that success. My company is 5 people, we’re making money and we have invented a product that actually works. All of this should indicate success.
Instead, I find that I fall into traps about what “success” really means. Is my business growing fast enough? Are our customer acquisition strategies good enough? Is our churn low enough? How are we doing in comparison to other B2B SaaS startups in San Francisco?
“Success” doesn’t need to mean that you’ve reached $1M or $5M or $10M or $100M ARR. It doesn’t need to mean that you have 10,000 daily active users or that your growth rate is more than 20% month over month. We hear these stats everyday, and it’s so easy to get bogged down by the numbers.
If you’re an entrepreneur, chances are that you’ve been the best of the best your whole life. You excelled at something somewhere along the way — whether that was school, work, a particular industry, or all of the above. And now you’re thrown into this challenge of creating something out of nothing.
We as founders need to stop comparing ourselves to the standard Silicon Valley metrics. We need to stop listening to these voices and stories and work towards being the best that we can be, not the best ever.