The year was 2009. We pitched Pardot to VCs all over the country. 29 of them to be exact. Rejection after rejection. You’re based in a second tier city. Your market isn’t big enough. Your network effects aren’t strong. You’ve never done this before.
They said they didn’t want to invest.
They said I wasn’t good enough.
Today, as part of Salesforce.com, Pardot is worth billions of dollars of market cap.
Last week I was reminded of this personal experience when an entrepreneur shared he performs best when there’s a chip on his shoulder. When his back is against the wall, he fights hardest. When things look bleak, he grinds more.
Most entrepreneurs are the underdog. Society is averse to change. Companies are averse to change. People are averse to change. Yet, the only constant is change.
Entrepreneurs must recognize the challenge, embrace it, and overcome it. Use adversity for motivation. Find value in having a chip on the shoulder.
Just because they said I wasn’t good enough didn’t make it true.