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From Surviving to Thriving: Cultivating the ‘Outlast’ Mindset in Entrepreneurship

Embarc Collective Events News Resources


3 min read · May 8

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Elina Omarova

Startup building is an endurance sport with highs, lows, and everything in between. Our community of 100+ startups recently hit a major milestone: an impressive 96% survival rate over five years, soaring past the national average of just 50%. Talk about beating the odds!

Embarc Collective’s annual Leadership Summit, powered by The First Bank, was all about embracing the ‘outlast’ mindset. We brought together a powerful speaker lineup to share their secrets on conquering challenges and enduring the startup game.

Steven Galanis, Co-Founder and CEO of Cameo, emphasized the need to ensure each team member understands and internalizes the company’s vision. Steven highlighted the importance of instilling the company’s mission and values deep within its culture. At Cameo, everyone can recite the mission by heart. This shared understanding of the “why” generates support for company-wide decision-making, which has driven new growth for Cameo. Actively reinforcing a clear vision within your team can act as the guiding force to the long-term success of your startup.

With three successful pivots under her belt, Rachel Renock, Co-Founder and CEO of Wethos, has become a master of making tough decisions. Her decision-making framework centers on three key questions: what’s working, what’s not, and what needs to change. By addressing and measuring what’s not working, founders gain crucial insights into their business’s performance and the effectiveness of the pivot. Without measuring the effectiveness of change, founders risk missing out on potential opportunities or being blindsided by unforeseen challenges. Pivoting is not just about reacting to immediate issues; it’s a strategy for looking for opportunities ensuring the long-term success and sustainability of the business. As she points out, pivoting is more about moving towards what “could be” rather than going away from “what is.”

Liz Maida, Co-Founder and CEO of Fathom, highlighted the importance of “being very clear from the beginning.” For startup builders, clear communication is key to successful scaling. It’s not just about having great ideas; it’s about effectively articulating those ideas with clear expectations to your team over and over again. When expectations are clearly defined from the get-go, it paves the way for smooth execution and actionable results. Ensuring your team is aligned and empowered from day one is an absolute necessity for achieving scalable growth and requires continued effort by the founder to reinforce that alignment day after day.

How to hold a North Star through the ups and downs of growth? Elias Torres, Co-Founder and Former CTO of Drift, believes that it’s all about the team you build. “Hungry, humble, and hardworking” doers will be actively moving your company forward. Once the team is in place, the role of the founder is to maintain a relentless focus on accountability, transparency, and a sense of urgency in every aspect of operations. After all, success hinges not just on a great idea, but on having the right people to bring it to life.

Marsha Prospere, Founder and Certified Executive Coach at Adept Flow and Wellness & Development Coach at Embarc Collective, delivered a vital message: don’t underestimate the power of rest. Rest isn’t a luxury; it’s a strategic business move. Taking breaks and fully unplugging can enhance your cognitive abilities and spark creative ideas. Marsha compared it to running a marathon—by pacing yourself and conserving energy, you are better equipped to tackle the tough parts of the race.

Ready to outlast the challenges and triumphs of startup life? Join Embarc Collective and become part of a vibrant community committed to empowering startups to not just survive, but thrive.

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