Friendship and Fear

A lifelong friend was in town and reached out. We were able to meet up, thankfully.

These are the friendships for which I live. Within minutes of sitting down, we were able to speak honestly and openly about our victories and challenges. There was none of the: “How-are-you-I’m-great-and-you?” banter.

Maybe it is because we’ve known each other for decades. Maybe it is because we have great chemistry and shared values. Maybe it is because we both know VC. I don’t know.

Eventually, as we both talked about our respective jobs, we talked about the ups and downs of VC.

You see, most VC-backed companies struggle. So, every day, you hear about stuff that isn’t going well. You love the times when companies are killing it, but, most days, you just try to help the entrepreneur break through a challenge.

The worst thing you can do is to project your own fears or anxieties onto the entrepreneur. One of the great parts of working with Eric is that we are very honest about each other’s companies. We know the good and the bad about each.

So, if a company struggles, I don’t have to potentially worry about having to bring bad news to him. That’s because he already knows. So, I instead can focus as much as possible on helping the entrepreneur.

I’m a big believer in venture capital. It can create major social impact and be a force for good in the business world. My job is my hobby is my calling.

However, it takes perseverance. I’ve found that the biggest challenge for early-stage entrepreneurs and VCs is the same: letting go of fear. There’s a great post on Fred Wilson’s blog about that, via Jerry Colonna, called “Eat Me If You Wish” (link here, and scroll down).

It was great to see my friend. I really missed him, and it was a joy to see him.

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