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Want to be CEO? Be careful what you wish for

New businesses start with rosy dreams, but inevitably a moment comes when everything turns sour. Entrepreneur and venture capitalist Ben Horowitz calls that period the Struggle, and describes it in these terms on his blog:

– The Struggle is when you wonder why you started this mess in the first place.

– The Struggle is when people ask why you don't quit and you realize you don't know the answer.

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– The Struggle is when food loses its taste.

– The Struggle is when everybody thinks you are an idiot.

– The Struggle is when you know you are in over your head (you don't believe you should be CEO, perhaps), but you also recognize that you can't be replaced.

– The Struggle is when you are having a conversation with someone and you can't hear a word they are saying because all you can hear is the Struggle.

– The Struggle is when you are surrounded by people but you are all alone.

"The Struggle is not failure, but it causes failure. Especially if you are weak," he notes. "Most people are not strong enough. Every great entrepreneur from Steve Jobs to Mark Zuckerberg went through The Struggle and struggle they did, so you are not alone. But that does not mean that you will make it. You may not make it. That is why it is The Struggle."

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