July 10, 2014
Although it’s easy to believe you have to be all confidence, all the time in front of your investors, venture capitalist Bijan Sabet wants to hear about your fears.
“One way I know I’ve really connected with a founder in our portfolio is when they let me in on their true fears. . . . the real, deep, honest fear: ‘I don’t know what I’m doing,’” he writes in a post on Medium.
Sabet, who’s a general partner at Spark Capital and an early investor in Twitter, says that these honest conversations allow him to give founders better advice and help.
(Plus, how VCs respond to that kind of honesty is a good test of whether you have the right VC – but perhaps a test you should try before you sign a deal.)
Even VCs feel like imposters sometimes, Sabet says. “There were plenty of days when I felt like I was unsure and uncertain. Am I going to be any good at this? What if I’m not?” he writes.
He got through those doubts with the help of his partners at Spark Capital, and he thinks entrepreneurs should do the same.
“Fear is a powerful thing. Sometimes it brings out the best. I suppose it’s when we deal with it honestly. And in plain sight. With people we trust. People that can help us get our perspective back.
“Sometimes it brings out the worst. I find with me and others I know, it brings out the worst when we haven’t fully faced our fears. Instead we cover them up by blaming others or hiding them away in some deep dark safe place.”
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