18 months into my journey as a founder and this bit of advice seems so obvious now. Looking back and talking to others building a startup, it's clear that many of us see getting out there and selling yourself too early as a risk. It's not. You should be networking well before you are ready to ship.
I got a pretty big fat no from someone senior today. I got a bunch of them last week, and I got a really cold one not long back that still stings. After you shake off the feeling that someone’s just shot you down in flames, know that getting a no is a crucial part of the founder’s journey. You’re going to get plenty of them, and for your sanity, you need to roll with the punches and learn what you can from the experience. There’s plenty of good information wrapped up in that no.
I'm a founder of a startup. If that sounds like a pile of fun to you, it is. Well . . . it can be. Along the way, the journey has diversions caused by pivots, funding crises, advice (both good and bad), legalese, tech that won't behave, meeting inspiring people and a healthy dose of luck.