I ask the same question at the end of every interview I do with a founder: “Why do you want to be an entrepreneur?” You might have guessed that based on the title of this post.
When you invest in early-stage companies you need to collect a lot of intangible data — I kind of touched on that in my last post. I like asking this question in particular because it says a lot about the founder as a person. The founder is what you are ultimately investing in — not the product.
To be an entrepreneur you need to be a bit of a psychopath. If you’re 90% of founders, you’re looking at spending 3-10 years of your life working your ass off, working after hours, and working weekends just to end up broke, back at square one. Yet, great entrepreneurs don’t bat an eye at that statistic because they simply don’t care. To them, their work is vastly more important than the risk. Most entrepreneurs have the world’s biggest grin on their face when you ask them this question — and they should. The entrepreneur is a brave, passionate creature. These are perhaps two of their most defining, essential characteristics. If an entrepreneur isn’t overwhelmingly curious and driven, that’s a big red flag.
I’m not really looking for a specific answer when I ask this question. I’m looking for any response that is believable and authentic, and, of course, I’m also looking at how the founder reacts, not just what she says.