Your other major lifeline is other founders. Seek out succor and solace from other founders during the fundraising process. Only they truly understand what you're going through when you're going through it. Don't be afraid to vent about fundraising, even on Twitter (I'm pretty sure that earned me the moniker "biotech rebel"). Empathy and new leads can come from anywhere.
Being in fundraising mode crowds out all other mental activity. Sometimes that's because your schedule is chock full with back-to-back pitch meetings. Sometimes it's because you received too many rejections in a 24-hour period and you can't shake the imposter syndrome for days. Sometimes running the business becomes a welcome, much-needed respite that helps you keep your sanity and remember your mission.
No one talks about the dark underbelly of fundraising: Crippling self-doubt, loneliness, and personal tolls on all your other relationships. My biggest regret is not having a co-founder to help shoulder the boulder of responsibility.
Looking back on it, my best decision as a founder was joining Y Combinator. It truly takes a village. And it proved to be a very nurturing start-up village for me. Find your village and dare to change the world. Expect rejection. Seek empathy. Persist.
Ethan Perlstein is the founder and CEO of Perlara, a biotech company founded in 2014 and based in South San Francisco. Ethan received a Ph.D. in molecular and cell biology from Harvard in 2006, and was an independent postdoctoral fellow at Princeton from 2007-2012.