The Great Reset?

This past week there has been fear circulating among founders and private investors who hold stock in certain early stage startups that have achieved sky-high valuations.

Why the fear?

The startups in question are privately held, meaning that the founders and early stage investors own shares in the companies, but shares have not yet been offered for sale to members of the public.

Many of these startups have achieved record valuations, based largely on a hope among investors that they will be able to sell shares in these companies to members of the public at even more inflated prices when the companies are eventually sold via IPO.

Early stage investors are willing to bet big because they are desperately searching for the next big win, the next Facebook, Airbnb or Whatsapp.  And they have been comforted by the fact that, if their optimistic expectations don’t come to pass, they should still be able to break even or turn a small profit by passing the buck onto a hapless public.

This form of aggressive investing has produced a record number of unicorns (that is, startups with a valuation of more than $1 billion). Unfortunately for all the Venture Capitalist cowboys, though, prices for tech companies in the public markets have been falling, and this has started to make unicorns that are yet to float on the stock market look over valued. Business Insider reports that “[o]ver the past year, LinkedIn shares have fallen by about 52%.”

Falling prices in the public markets means that a fear of missing out on the next big thing appears to have morphed into a fear of losing money. Early stage investors will need to reset their expectations, ignore the startup hype and return to investing basics by looking for companies with a proven business model.

Your Success: Combating 3 Common Obstacles

Fear, Laziness, and Pessimism

YOU are capable of producing great work.

But are you?

It is possible that you merely producing the minimum required of you. You may even have a list of sensible sounding reasons why now is not the right time to take bold action to achieve success: you’re too old, you’re too young, you’re too tired, you’re having too much fun, you’re feeling depressed, you’re too inexperienced, the economy is down, your family needs you, [insert more sensible sounding reasons here].

It is possible that your “sensible sounding reasons” are merely excuses which help to hide fear, laziness, or hopeless pessimism. If you think this might be the case, then here are 3 thoughts to help you combat these obstacles:

  1. Fear: You may be concerned about how other people will respond to your efforts, and whether they will criticise you. To combat this fear, consider the words of Gandhi, “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, and then you win.” If your actions do not meet with criticism, then you may still have a long way to go. Accept criticism as one likely step along your path to ultimate success.
  2. Laziness: What is your goal? If you don’t have a destination, then it will be pretty hard to get moving. Once you have a clear goal, take baby steps. Break it down into realistic and achievable chunks. Get moving, but don’t overstretch. A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
  3. Pessimism: Pessimism is merely a habit of negative self talk. This bad habit can be broken, and the first step is to understand your self talk and how you can adopt a more positive style. A good place to start would be to read Seligman’s book on the subject called “Learned Optimism: How to Change Your Mind and Your Life“.