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Royce King of Your Startup Coach: Five Things You Need To Create A Highly Successful Startup

An Interview With Tyler Gallagher

Startups have such a glamorous reputation. Companies like Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, Uber, and Airbnb once started as scrappy startups with huge dreams and huge obstacles.

Yet we of course know that most startups don’t end up as success stories. What does a founder or a founding team need to know to create a highly successful startup?

In this series, called “Five Things You Need To Create A Highly Successful Startup” we are talking to experienced and successful founders and business leaders who can share stories from their experience about what it takes to create a highly successful startup.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Royce King. Royce Gomez-King is a 20-year veteran in the startup world. Beginning as an entrepreneur herself, and growing into one of Colorado’s top startup consultants, Royce has helped countless startups fine-tune their marketing and reach an international audience.

Royce herself has traveled around the world speaking to startups and entrepreneurs and has written four books on the steps it takes for a company to become successful from the bottom up. After the release of her book “27 Secrets of Marketing: Your Ticket to Maximum Revenue,” Royce was endorsed by original “Shark Tank” member Kevin Harrington as being “passionate about working with entrepreneurs to create a compelling message and deliver content that converts.” With 12 small business ventures, dozens of speaking engagements, and thousands of pieces of marketing content under her belt, Royce knows exactly what startups need to deliver in order to thrive in their industry.

Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive in, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’ and how you got started?

As an entrepreneur, I began volunteering with MBA students, Startup Weekends, and business plan competitions. It excited me to be around this creative energy and encourage our next generation of entrepreneurs. By 2014, I began coaching and writing copy full-time. By 2016, my business went global, and I’ve been invited to speak on stages in several countries, appeared on hundreds of podcasts, and authored six books. Today I continue to serve as a mentor with Founder Institute and Energize Colorado.

What was the “Aha Moment” that led to the idea for your current company? Can you share that story with us?

There were two pivotal moments that brought my business to where it is today. First, I began volunteering on campuses at the prompting of a friend who was my boss at the time. She was receiving feedback that the quality of my coaching was stellar. The second was that I had someone reach out to me on LinkedIn and invited me to speak to the European equivalent of our Fortune 500 executives. The keynote was well-received. These two moments validated that I had something worth offering, and from that point forward, it became a “real” business in my mind.

Was there somebody in your life who inspired or helped you to start your journey with your business? Can you share a story with us?

There are three people who inspired me. My mother, although a union worker most of her life, was always encouraging and I am thankful for her belief in me. The second person that comes to mind actually meant to demean my skills. He was a member of the community and as I was submitting a story that a regional magazine had paid me to write, he remarked, “You’re a real writer.”, and laughed. It was meant to belittle me; but, at that moment I realized that when you get paid to do something, you are a professional. I was a professional not just in my mind, but in the mind of the community who read my articles every month. The third person was my boss and friend I’ve mentioned. She knew I had untapped potential and pushed me to tap it.

What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?

I used to take on any client who would pay me. However, after seeing that the results aren’t always mutually beneficial, I turn away clients every week. If they aren’t a fit, and won’t become a “raving fan”, I want them to go elsewhere and find the right person who can serve them. My integrity comes before money. And, while many other businesses may say that, I’ve turned away a client when it meant the difference between keeping the lights on or not! That’s a hard choice to make. Also, because I’ve owned 12 businesses, my perspective is broader than most coaches. This helps me provide a holistic, novel perspective.

How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?

Yes. My last book was a labor of love. Unwrapping Your Worth in Christ: Relishing Moments With God, not only brings goodness to the readers, but all the profits go to support missionaries. I am earning nothing from the sales of the book.

You are a successful business leader. Which three character traits do you think were most instrumental to your success? Can you please share a story or example for each?

Resilience: knowing how to bounce back and having the courage to stand up again. Integrity: always doing the right thing no matter what. Discipline: it’s easy to succumb to our emotions and let them detour our intentions. Discipline is doing what it takes no matter how you feel.

Often leaders are asked to share the best advice they received. But let’s reverse the question. Can you share a story about advice you’ve received that you now wish you never followed?

Great question! Every experience has taught me something so I wouldn’t eliminate any of them. But, I would say the advice I followed that slowed the growth of my business was to take my focus away from building my business, and apply for jobs. When you’re just getting started and the income is unstable, seeking stability in a job can help. In my case it slowed me down, dividing my focus.

Can you tell us a story about the hard times that you faced when you first started your journey?

The second time I had to start from scratch was after my divorce of nearly 25 years of marriage. There were months when my income was under $800. Obviously living in the US is impossible at that income level. I went to networking events just to eat!

Where did you get the drive to continue even though things were so hard? What strategies or techniques did you use to help overcome those challenges?

I believed in myself, had friends who believed in me, and wanted to be a role model for my young adult children. These things kept me going. I prayed, spoke positive mantras, and listed things I was thankful for daily. These three practices kept my eyes on the prize and helped me see that others had overcome more than I was facing. I could too!

The journey of an entrepreneur is never easy, and is filled with challenges, failures, setbacks, as well as joys, thrills and celebrations. Can you share a few ideas or stories from your experience about how to successfully ride the emotional highs & lows of being a founder”? Know that emotions change constantly. You must be disciplined enough not to let your emotions control you. Have friends, have faith, and practice self-care when you need to pick yourself up and find support.

Let’s imagine that a young founder comes to you and asks for your advice about whether venture capital or bootstrapping is best for them? What would you advise them? Can you kindly share a few things a founder should look at to determine if fundraising or bootstrapping is the right choice?

There are a lot of factors to consider before answering this question. It would take a conversation and many investigative questions to lead them down the right path. Do they have a viable idea? Have they tested it? Can an investor make money? Do they have the right team in place? These are a few questions.

Ok super. Here is the main question of our interview. Many startups are not successful, and some are very successful. From your experience or perspective, what are the main factors that distinguish successful startups from unsuccessful ones? What are your “Five Things You Need To Create A Highly Successful Startup”? If you can, please share a story or an example for each.

  1. Do you have the mindset of an entrepreneur? If you let your emotions get the best of you or quit when the first challenge comes along, you won’t be successful.
  2. Do you like security? They’ve said an entrepreneur is the only one who will work 80 hours a week without a paycheck instead of 40 hours a week for a paycheck. If you need job security, entrepreneurship will always feel too risky.
  3. Are you willing to receive feedback? I’ve sat on many deal screenings and when a founder won’t take feedback from the investors, they won’t get funded.
  4. Be uncomfortable with not knowing. As a founder you must iterate, pivot, and test which means going into the unknown.
  5. Have you differentiated yourself in the marketplace. Most of us operate in a highly competitive space, and if you don’t know why you’re different and how you solve a problem differently than anyone else, you may not be able to gain traction.

What are the most common mistakes you have seen CEOs & founders make when they start a business? What can be done to avoid those errors? Trying to do it all yourself is the #1 error I’ve found. They want to build their own website, write the copy, be the sales team, and do the accounting. It doesn’t work! Have a budget to hire the experts.

Startup founders often work extremely long hours and it’s easy to burn the candle at both ends. What would you recommend to founders about how to best take care of their physical and mental wellness when starting a company? Schedule time off the clock! I schedule massages, hiking, and more to ensure that I have time allotted for my emotional and physical health.

You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. :-)

Women who carry around the baggage of past hurts, living as victims, are attracted to me and share their stories readily. It’s my goal to help them discover who they were created to be.

We are blessed that some very prominent names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them.

For business, there are so many I would love to meet: Richard Branson, Donald Trump, Warren Buffet to name a few.

For VC funding, an afternoon with Brad Feld could be interesting.

Sports: I’m not a big fan of sports, but Tim Grover, trainer to several top athletes would be fascinating. I’ve read some of his books, and love them!

In Entertainment my all-time favorite musician is Keith Urban. However, so many musicians have proven they have great business minds, too. I’d enjoy meeting many of them as I am a huge music fan.

How can our readers further follow your work online?

www.YourStartup.Coach

This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for the time you spent with this. We wish you continued success and good health!

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Tyler Gallagher

Tyler Gallagher

CEO and Founder of Regal Assets