You Are What You Make: Founders Become Their Startups

mike greenfield Circle of mumsMike Greenfield, Circle of mums co-founder

Photo: LinkedIn

Mike Greenfield used to have a cushy, corporate life.He was hired by PayPal at age 22 into a stress-free role. Then he moved to LinkedIn where he had a slightly more “exasperating” but still not-so-stressful job.

When he founded a company, Circle of mums, everything changed.

He changed.

He and his startup became, essentially, the same thing.

“LinkedIn’s successes were nice but hardly life-affirming; its failures made me roll my eyes but not search my soul,” Greenfield explains on FounderDating. “When you’re a founder, your company defines you.  That means that your company’s daily ups and downs become your personal ups and downs; that’s a big adjustment.”

Greenfield says the hardest thing for him to learn while founding a company was how to constantly put himself up for public scrutiny.

“As a techie individual contributor in a larger company, I could go to work everyday and execute 99% predictably,” Greenfield writes. “As a founder, I had to find ways to plead my case over and over — to employees, investors, candidates, advertisers, users — and I got rejected a lot.  For an introvert, the amount of pleading and subsequent rejection came as quite a shock.

“As a founder, you need to be prepared for this sort of rejection.  It should affect you: if it doesn’t, it means you don’t care enough and should be doing something else.”

Here’s the full article Greenfield wrote about founding Circle of mums and lessons he learned.

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