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An Entrepreneur's Inner Voice of Doubt

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Mike Smerklo

Author's Spotlight

Mike Smerklo is by any measure a story of entrepreneurial success.   Mike founded a search fund which led to the early stage acquisition of ServiceSource, and he took it to over $300M in revenue,  took the company public, and was the CEO for over 13 years. Then Mike followed his passion to help fellow entrepreneurs and founded Next Coast Ventures in Austin, Texas long before Austin was being heralded as the next Silicon Valley for software. His secret, which threatened his success throughout his founder's journey is now out in the open,  in his book, Mr. Monkey and Me.  Mr. Monkey is a symbol for the fear, uncertainty, and doubt that every entrepreneur and founding CEO will face. During the podcast, Mike shares his "SHAPE" framework, to help fellow entreprenuers understand and mitigate that inner voice of doubt...the imposter syndrome.  SHAPE is an acronym for Self-Awareness, Help, Authenticity, Persistence, and Expectations. During our conversation, we also talk about the "strength" of showing vulnerability by asking for help, even when you think as the CEO you need to always portray strength by having the answer to any impossible expectation. Mike shares that you are not alone with those private thoughts of fear, uncertainty, and doubt that comes with the entrepreneurial and CEO journey, and provides some helpful advice and even a framework to make your "Mr. Monkey" for favorite frienemy.

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