Warning: Stay Away from Vampires, Entrepreneurs

Warning: Stay Away from Vampires, Entrepreneurs

I was hanging with a friend and fellow entrepreneur over the weekend. After a cocktail or two we started talking shop and she asked me for a little advice. Her startup is growing, she hired a small team, and just moved into a shared workspace. With a troubled look on her face, she said, “More and more people are asking to buy me a coffee, or they want to DM me on Twitter to pick my brain. I feel like I should give back by helping them out. What should I do?”

My response was short and simple, “Stay the fuck away from them. They are vampires and they will suck the energy right out of you.”

This wasn’t the alcohol talking, I was dead serious. (Pun intended)

Judging by the shocked look on her face, I don’t think this was the answer she expected, but it was my honest opinion. I’ve had a lot of success as an entrepreneur, two of my startups were acquired, and now I’m consulting for a private equity firm that buys SaaS startups….while working on startup number 3.

I know exactly what she’s experiencing. I don’t think a week goes by without someone asking to buy me a coffee, jump on a call, or to “follow” them so we can DM.

At first, I was fairly receptive to these types of requests, but I quickly learned the hard way that all of these people suffered from the exact same problem, and I didn’t have the answer.

Each one of them seemingly refused to accept the fact that successful entrepreneurship is determined by one thing and one thing only, hard work.

They assumed your success was either luck, who you know, or a secret conspiracy held by a secret society of which they were not yet a member.

These people are vampires.

Some have even referred to them as “wantrepreneurs”. Not me though. I call it like I see it. They are vampires because they suck the energy, life, and time out of you.

The last time I met a vampire for coffee we chatted for about 90 minutes. It was only suppose to be for 30 minutes, but despite what you may think after reading this post I’m a nice guy and I really enjoy helping other “entrepreneurs” out.

Anyways, he ended up asking me about 20 questions or so, and I gave him the brutal truth. He loved it. He couldn’t stop telling me how much time I was saving him in his future company. Compliment after compliment. It felt really good, which is probably why we ended up chatting for an extra hour.

As we wrapped up, and I headed back to my busy day, he sincerely thanked me…about 5 times. I told him that it was my pleasure and if he truly wanted to thank me, just leave me a Linkedin Recommendation. His exact response, “No problem. I’d be honored.”

A few days went by…then a few weeks. Crickets.

It’s been about 5 years and nada, bro. No recommendation, and he never started his company.

Fucking vampires.

I have a huge heart. I’ve volunteered countless hours speaking about entrepreneurship to third graders all the way up to grad students. I respond to emails with specific questions, and I never turn a student away who wants learn something from my past success.

I still occasionally meet for coffee or chat through DM. I’m just very selective and protective of my time. In fact, I might Google you before I respond or take a quick peak at your profile. And you must be very specific about how I can help you before we meet or chat.

Ya see. I’m not a bad guy.

I just hate vampires.

Warning: Stay Away from Vampires, Entrepreneurs

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