Dream-Killers and the Entrepreneur: A Love Letter

01/28/2011 04:33 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Any entrepreneur will tell you that for every one person who thought their idea was innovative and brilliant, three others were certain it would never go anywhere.

When I was launching Strong Women, Strong Girls as a social venture, I spent six months talking about my idea and collecting feedback. I met with people who had started ventures. Experts in the fields of mentoring and girls' development. Nonprofit leaders from across the country. I pitched ideas to friends in bars. People who happened to be sitting next to me on planes or on the subway. Any willing (and unwilling) listener within earshot was treated to an analysis of the need for girls' mentoring programs and an impassioned description of the potential for world changing impact .

Though I was most frequently the initiator of these conversations, I was always perplexed when I ran into someone who did not believe my idea was a good one. Suddenly, the conversation turned from a friendly discourse to an all out campaign. Perhaps if I could just speak louder, talk longer, provide one more perspective, give one last fact, this person would realize that not only was my idea good and worthy, it was revolutionary (starting a new venture admittedly requires a little bit of ego).

In talking with other entrepreneurs, I learned that these naysayers are often referred to as Dream Killers. The people who squash the Next Big Thing before it is even a small thing. While at first I agreed with the earphones-in, music-up approach to dealing with Dream Killers, I now -- cringe worthy as it may seem -- wish I had listened a little more closely. For entrepreneurs on the brink, or those who are just now learning to love the Dream Killers, over the next five weeks we'll explore the different archetypes of Dream Killer and why, really, you should love them.