On stage at tonight’s PandoMonthly, Pandora co-founder Tim Westergren reflected on the best piece of advice he ever got in the early years of the company. “[My] then fiancé, now wife, told me, ‘You need to stop being self conscious about being an entrepreneur,’” Westergren remembers.
He went on to explain that one of the greatest challenges for an entrepreneur is self-consciousness. When they start a company, unless they’re fantastically lucky, they will be borrowing for a long time.
“I’m telling you something you’re familiar with now, first-hand,” Westergren told Sarah Lacy. “You’re gonna borrow investment money, you’re gonna borrow goodwill, you’re gonna borrow time.”
“You’re always selling and asking for things,” Lacy agreed.
“You can start to feel like a big mooch,” Westergren replied. He argued that that experience makes an entrepreneur feel like they’re perpetually making a bad decision, one that worsens over time. Said entrepreneur eventually feels like an outcast, more and more disconnected from society, without many people telling them they’re on the right path.
Westergren said, “That was my experience in spades for awhile.”
[Photo: Geoffrey Ellis for Pando]