098. The If-Then Mindest Trap

VC Minute
"IF this thing happens, THEN I'll be happy." How many times have you fallen into the If-Then Mindset trap?

VC Minute – quick advice to help startup founders fundraise better.

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Alex Raymond

There’s one trap that I’ve fallen into and that I’ve seen a lot of other entrepreneurs fall into, and it’s this mindset that’s called the “If Then Mindset.”

What it basically means is that if such and such happens, then I’ll be happy, then I’ll feel fulfilled, and then I’ll feel successful. And when you fall into this trap of “if-then” thinking, you spend all of your time and energy projecting way out into the future into something you have no control over.

Meaning, oh, as long as the stars align, everything is perfect, my market grows as I want it to, we find product market fit, and we do this and this and this, then I’m finally going to give myself the pat on the back I deserve.

And that can be a really tough story to be telling yourself because every day you’re waking up and there’s a million things happening. There’s stuff falling from the sky. You know, the stuff is hitting the fan, so to speak. It’s really hard if all you’re doing is focusing on some big-picture item in the future, and only when that happens will you finally allow yourself to feel happy.

So, the reverse of this, to get out of the if-then mindset, is to really focus on and embrace the process of being an entrepreneur and not just the outcome.

Fulfillment comes from what you do every day. It comes from the efforts that you’re putting into your meetings and your teams, building your products, and doing everything that it takes to get this company off the ground.

And if you can start to shift that orientation from this if-then mindset to say, “Hey, I really am going to fall in love with the process,” I’m going to fall in love with what it’s like to be an entrepreneur. I’m going to fall in love with the journey that I’m on. You’re going to find yourself more fulfilled, happier, and feeling better as you go about building the business of your dreams.

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