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Founding Voices: Get Out of Your Own Way

Get Out of Your Own Way

As a founder, you’ll face plenty of difficult decisions. Sometimes you’ll make the wrong call and that might mean losing a customer or seeing an investor walk.

Other times, you’ll do everything right, come to the table with a killer pitch, only to be met with apathy. Self doubt can bubble up and imposter syndrome rears its head.

In these moments, it’s essential to remember that adversity is natural and expected. What matters is not that you stumbled, but how you rebound.


“You’re talking to people, you’re trying to get them to use your product, you think it’s amazing and everyone is like, I don’t care. You’ve really got to be okay with getting those no’s and just getting the user feedback that you can at the time.”

Co-founder and CTO, Alchemy

Negative reactions are rarely personal. They come from miscalculations; maybe the product value wasn’t clear enough; maybe you need more research on your target market; maybe you’re just speaking to the wrong audience.

Regardless of the cause, approaching failure with an impersonal, analytical mindset empowers you to ask questions that dissect why something fails. Doing this creates a learning opportunity, and ultimately, your misstep helps you grow.

“Indifference; skepticism; rejection; you’ll encounter all of these at some point in your journey,” says Navin Chaddha, Mayfield Managing Director and early investor in Alchemy. “If you make peace with that, you improve your resilience, and you learn from failure. Then, it’s just a matter of believing in yourself and executing.”

Navin Chaddha

Managing Director

Enterprise, Consumer, Semiconductors

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