21 of 22
Aaron Patzer: Self-doubt is normal
Age: 28
Founder & CEO, Mint

When I was first starting Mint I would oscillate emotionally day-to-day. I was the sole founder and started the company when I was 25. I would go back and forth between thinking, "This is the best idea ever," and then other days asking myself, "Who am I, as a 25-year-old kid, to take on Intuit with Quicken and Microsoft? Who am I to do that?" I kept thinking to myself, this is really an emotional rollercoaster.

At that time I met Jeremy Stoppelman, the CEO and co-founder of Yelp.com, at a party for entrepreneurs called "Founders Brunch" (run by Auren Hoffman). He was the first and probably only guy who was like, "For the first year that Yelp was founded, I was on that rollercoaster -- panicked sometimes, elated sometimes. After it gets up and running for a year, it's still tough, but you don't have that 'nearing mental breakdown' stage on a day-to-day basis." It was the first time anyone had come clean.

For first-time entrepreneurs there's a macho attitude that you [can] never show doubt or weakness, but truth is, you face it every day. That personal admission, that self-doubt, that lack of confidence, or wild emotional swings are part of the game when you're starting a company. I probably met with 40 or 50 VCs or angel investors before I got my first "yes." I met Jeremy after 25 rejections and I wasn't yet ready to give up, but I was at a point where it was rough. Jeremy taught me that self-doubt, and even a failing in self-confidence, is perfectly normal and that all you have to do is keep trying and keep pushing through.


NEXT: Niklas Savander: Be nice to people
Last updated July 08 2009: 2:26 PM ET
Email | Print | Share  |  RSS
google my aol my msn my yahoo! netvibes
Paste this link into your favorite RSS desktop reader
See all CNNMoney.com RSS FEEDS (close)
More Galleries
8 CEOs who took a pay cut in 2013 Median CEO pay inched up 9% in 2013 to $13.9 million. But not everyone got a bump last year. Here are eight CEOs who missed out. More
10 best convertibles now that spring has sprung It's finally time to put the top down. Here are our 10 favorite rides for the warmer months to come. More
10 best founding teams The most effective co-founders pair vision with fortitude to launch a business. Here are some of the best examples through the years. More
Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer LIBOR Warning: Neither BBA Enterprises Limited, nor the BBA LIBOR Contributor Banks, nor Reuters, can be held liable for any irregularity or inaccuracy of BBA LIBOR. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.