Your venture is your character

A BOOTSTRAPPED CHARACTER TRUMPS ALL

 

As an active Founder, the growth of your venture cannot outgrow your personal rate of growth (at least not in a sustainable way).

Shocking to say, but not surprising - as founder you are the core of your venture. Every decision, every responsibility, and every dilemma rests upon you.

No matter how skilled and brilliant you may be, you can be pulled down by flaky integrity, emotional immaturity, or by clouded perceptions blinding one to reality. Weakness in any of those areas is deadly; it only takes a single mistake there to kill a business.

Character teaches above our wills. Men imagine that they communicate their virtue or vice only by overt actions, and do not see that virtue or vice emit a breath every moment.
— Emerson

Not having the fundamentals is an accident waiting to happen. What got you this far isn't enough to get to the next level. Only by continually investing in your inner self can you gain the strength to take the company to where you dream it can go.

The good news is that the struggle get a company off the ground will naturally cause you to grow in a huge range of ways. Just like a muscle, your emotional grit, your stoicism, and your sense of values will gain in strength, as you face and overcome struggles.

This is not a linear process, and your patterns of growth will vary dependent on how hungry you are, your mastery of self-control, and development of self-knowledge. How you choose to react to your experiences will cause you to turn towards the light (reason, justice, and principles), or away from it (self-aggrandisement, greed, and un-principled behaviour).

Invest in your own personal growth first, and your increased capacity will be a compounding asset that drives your business forward.