FtL 23: Steli Efti’s Stunning Start Up Struggles And How It Shaped His Character Today
Play • 48 min

In this show I have the fortune to interview Steli Efti from Close.io.

Steli's start is a stunning story. He came to the United States in search of the American dream. He sold everything he had in Germany and moved to Silicon Valley. And then he found a few challenges, to put it lightly.

When he arrived he didn't know anyone here. He didn't know the area. He didn't know English very well. He didn't even carry a proper visa. And that's just the start.

We talk about those struggles, the failure of his first business, and what he's learned along the way to build his amazing company, Close.io.

What Steli shares in this episode:

  • Steli's philosophy on building a business
  • How charisma was his crutch early in his career, and the problems that caused.
  • How he's been a serial entrepreneur since he was 18 years old.
  • How he came about his vision for a tech company.
  • Why he said he was ignorant, not gutsy, for moving to Silicon Valley.
  • How he expected to be an amazing success story in only two years, and how that fell through.
  • Why Steli said, "I wanted to be the stupidest person in the room. And I have been for the past 9 years, consistently."
  • How his old philosophy for success generated "massive amounts of pain" for himself and those around him. And how he blames movies like Rocky for this philosophy.
  • How he worked his first startup to death.
  • Why he would "pretend to work."
  • Why he couldn't let go of his first business.
  • Why he said any rational person would've folded the business after 2 years, yet he kept working and watching it fail for 5 years.
  • Why he wasn't willing to accept the fact his business was failing and what you can do to prevent it yourself.
  • How he recommends quitting your business when you're not willing to admit to others you're closing the business.
  • What Steli realized about his failed company once he had a few weeks away.
  • How this failure made him a better person, "not just in business but a better human."
  • The biggest thing he learned from this and how important it is for you when you run your business.
  • What he means when he wants to be dedicated to his business but not attached to it.
  • What clouds your ability to see what's really going on in your business and how it causes emotional problems like tension and negativity.
  • The one question Steli asks himself whenever he's struggling that has helped him to become more successful.
  • How he takes time everyday to step away and find out what's really going on.
  • The most important thing for Steli does each morning.
  • Why he thought he was a failure when selling, despite being the top salesperson.
  • Why he said charisma will get you in the door but character will keep you in the building. And why he works on character every day.
  • How breaking promises to yourself is a downward spiral leading from a bad moment, to a bad day, to a bad month, to a bad year.
  • What he does to keep himself from breaking promises to himself and going down that spiral.
  • Why consistent people are so important and truly impress Steli.
  • Why Steli says he's a "bad coach."
  • What happened when he was told he would never amount to anything.

Enjoy the show.

Steli Efti’s Stunning Start Up Struggles And How It Shaped His Character Today

Read more about Steli Efti.

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