First Priorities For Every Startup Founder

So, you’ve decided you want to become an “entrepreneur.” Maybe the idea came to you during a coffee meeting with a friend. Maybe you were watching TV, suffering through another mindless commercial, when all of a sudden, “it hit you.”

AHA Moments

AHA Moments

Moments where had we made a different decision, we would have found ourselves walking down a very different road—maybe one that could have destroyed our business. Of course, at the time it was difficult to know which priorities were “right” and which ones would only waste precious time.

As a startup founder, your job is going to be to make a series of very important decisions, one after another, in order to quickly get your company to where it needs to be. And in order to make these difficult decisions, you’re going to need to get clear on your priorities—and not spend time on unnecessary activities.

These should be your first 5 priorities as a founder:

  1. Where is the cash coming from? Every single business mentor I’ve ever had has said the exact same thing to me: “Cash is king.”

  2. Build a sales (or user acquisition) machine. This holds true for any type of company.

  3. Invest in building your personal brand as a founder. The single most valuable investment I’ve ever made as an entrepreneur has been in myself and my own personal brand.

  4. Learn everything you can from your first customers. Clients, customers, users—whoever it is you’re attracting, it’s your job to learn as much as you can from them, as early (and as frequently) as possible.

  5. Get in the habit of taking care of yourself. This last priority is arguably the most important one, and ironically, a rarely discussed aspect of entrepreneurship.