I’ve been an ‘entrepreneur’ for years now – ever since I was hustling CD’s and candy bars in high school.
But officially, I left my W-2 job just 2 weeks ago – so I’ve officially been a self-employed enptreneur with my own clients for about 16 days.
Yes, 16 days – and I’m here to give advice to entrepreneurs. Crazy, right?
In these short two weeks (and much longer before that), I’ve began to see a couple of trends developing within my entrepreneurial work – some that I’m trying to stop, and some that I’m trying to continue.
I’m many some of them will resonate with you, too, my fellow entrepreneur.
Check it out…
Don’t Get Comfortable
Sara Rotman, founder of MODCo says the best advice she’s ever gotten in her career came from her first accountant.
Rotman said her accountant advised her never to borrow or keep enough money on hand to be comfortable, only enough to stay afloat and “barely survive”.
Instead of getting comfortable, stay hungry.
It makes you complacent, and it gets in the way of growth. Force yourself to live on the edge as your business grows.
You’re Going to Fail – And That’s Okay
To paraphrase an old saying, what’s the difference between a highly successful veteran entrepreneur and a business beginner?
The successful veteran has failed more times than the beginner has tried.
Welcome your failures. Use them as lessons on how to do better next time.
Don’t hang your head on failures – it was merely a result. Improve your preparation and approach next time.
Don’t Take No for an Answer
When a billionaire gives you business advice, you’re going to listen, right?
Well, David Rubenstein – investor in Beats by Dre and Dunkin’ Donuts – has a net worth of nearly $3 billion, and his advice is to be persistent.
Sitting in your room and never taking risks won’t get you anywhere – but if you persist, you’ll be a lot more likely to succeed.
“The biggest risk is not taking any risk… In a world that is changing really quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks.” – Mark Zuckerberg.
Isn’t it cool when your name is recognized all by itself, and doesn’t have to have your title (Facebook CEO) at the end for people to identify you?
Zuckerberg is a huge believer in taking risks – and other entrepreneurs should never relent in doing so either.
You don’t always have to know what you’re doing or how things will turn out in the end. Besides, where’s the fun in that?
Live right now. Take risks.
Not knowing what’s coming next is what makes life exciting & wakes us up early in the morning.
Do What You Love
Your company is driven as much by your passion as it is by your partners’ drive, your employees’ talent, your investors’ money, and your customers’ purchases.
If you are not excited about your work, you’re not going to be driven to pursue it. Go back to your W-2 job.
CEO of Foursquare Dennis Crowley tells entrepreneurs to do what they love, “And the rest will come.”
In an article for Entrepreneur Magazine, Crowley says, “When I look back at my career to this point, I’ve spent the last 10 to 15 years following the same narrative, building things that people want to use and want to tell their friends about.”
If you can find customer interest in something you’re passionate about, you’re a lot more likely to succeed than if you try to get passionate about something that you think has customer interest.
It’s Who You Know and Who You Associate With
Tim Ferriss, author of the best-selling book “The 4-Hour Workweek” once said that the best advice he ever got for his career had to do with the people he associated with.
People will often judge you based on your associations, and they can sum you up as, “The average of the five people you associate with the most.”
So, who do you network with? Who do you go to for advice? What startups are you aligned with?
Your competitors, investors, colleagues, and customers many times will decide whether you’re worthwhile based on these people and companies.
The only thing that is certain is change.
The market will change, and if you don’t change with it, your company and your services will die.
Your business model has to be flexible and adaptable, and it has to be scalable, too. What happens as your company grows? What happens as customer interests change?
Is your product or service destined to be a fad, forgotten in a few months? If it is, do you have a plan for adapting to a changing market and recreating your business to create an in-demand product?
Be adaptable and let your business grow and evolve.
What advice would you give to entrepreneurs? Especially newbies like myself! Leave your thoughts in the comments below.
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