Charlie first became involved in the NYC Founder Institute Chapter in 2011 and has since been consecutively voted a top mentor in the program. The Founder Institute is the World’s Largest Startup Accelerator, helping founders around the world build enduring technology companies. Charlie, always interested in helping entrepreneurs and the NYC tech community, has found it as a way to scale mentorship and help multiple mentees at once. Below are some of the top lessons Charlie has learned during his tenure as an entrepreneur, Founder & CEO and shared with the Founder Institute.
Why is it so important for experienced founders to mentor new founders?
- Human beings are the only animals who can pass knowledge down.
- Teaching is the highest standard of learning.
What are the one or two pieces of advice you tell new founders that you wish you knew when you got started?
- Get your oars in the water: launch quickly in a focused direction and iterate like hell.
- Investment in loss: no OMGs, no mistakes, only lessons learned.
What is the hardest lesson you had to learn as an entrepreneur?
- Humility. How wrong I can be. No matter how perfect a plan, how great the strategy, how strong the team/board, how much capital…it can still go wrong (many times over).
- It’s not about the right decision (idea, strategy, plan, team) it’s about making a decision…RIGHT.
- People won’t do what you want. Great instructions leads to people not thinking for themselves which in the long run leads to worse results. People commit to their own solutions, but they need help (this is where you come in). As you increase the density of talent (smart/driven) this becomes more apparent.
What is the best piece of entrepreneurial advice you ever received? Learn to trust yourself. You will pay the price/consequences of bad decisions. You know the tradeoffs better than anyone. Trust yourself. You know best.
Additional content: - It’s About Doing the Right Thing - How to Kill Your Internal Terrorist (Part 1) - The CEO job is lonely - here’s how to change that (Part 2) - Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs: UPDATED - tGELF Video