What’s in your control

There are two types of businesses — the one that you control or the one that controls you.

Let me explain.

I met with another co-founder who had recently raised a Series A investment of $10M. His hardware company was founded in 2016 (8 years ago as of this post), raised a seed round in late 2019 and, despite his business being severely impacted by the pandemic, survived and is now thriving.



He was always in a position to be able to survive. He ran the business very conservatively, knowing that a small wobble in the economy or in manufacturing could kill his business. He built for contingency and that paid off. It always does. He controlled his business.

The founder explained that he always grew from a place of profit — never too quickly as to expose the company to excess risk. When he went to raise his next funding round he didn’t need the money.

Contrast that with many of the businesses that don’t survive despite large investment rounds. Often the founders feel that there is always more investment coming so they build on losses and when the money runs out, the investors do as well.

To build a real business you need to build a real business. There needs to be proof that it can survive on its own and this simple fact often gets lost along the way.

Controlling the growth, the spend, the scope and the scale of the business until it is proven, earning, profitable and can stand alone is how to build a real business that you control.