25 Lessons I Learned From Successful Entrepreneurs
Top lessons here from the likes of Steve Jobs, Marc Andreessen and Gary Vaynerchuk among others.
1. Do something your very passionate about, because it is likely to be so hard that if you are not passionate about it, any rationale person would give up.
2. Failing is the learning experience you need that you can take into the next experience (attempt at another idea).
3. The intersection between passion and what your good at is the sweet spot, especially when it addresses a market need.
4. It is super rewarding when you work on something you are emotionally bought into and makes a big difference to the lives of others.
5. If you know exactly what you want to be, you need to spend as much time with people who are doing that thing already.
6. Think about aligning your core values (behaviours and principles you adhere to) and goals when picking who you work with.
7. “What problem am I really solving?” start there not with a solution.
8. Naturally nobody is bought into your idea. It is your job to persuade the world that you are the one person that can do it.
9. Believe in ideas enough so that you can visualise it and paint a picture in the minds of others so they believe it too.
10. Don’t limit yourself to think that you need to launch with a finished perfect product. Start by building just a feature that has been validated as valuable by your potential customers.
11. When you are trying to differentiate and do something different, there will be a gut moment where you doubt yourself. That should serve as evidence that your at the edge of your comfort zone, pushing the boundaries.
12. Don’t think about “how can I grow big fast?” That will happen if you build something meaningful.
13. All organisations know what they do, some understand how they do it, but very few people know WHY they do what they do. That is where you should start, not in reverse.
14. When we see a kid with a lemonade stand, it is different from when we see a vending machine selling lemonade. Why? Because you are emotionally bought into the story around it.
15. Don’t just keep your ideas to yourself. Competitive advantage comes from assembling intelligence around, does this idea work? who is the right team? what are the right learnings needed to validate it?
16. The two biggest challenges are executing on your idea and attracting people to help you along the way.
17. Constantly seek criticism utilising friends, advisers and online communities.
18. 90% of startups fail in their first year as they build products people do not love (based on their initial idea, but not tested with the market).
19. Don’t get distracted by what others are doing.
20. It is not just about focus groups or interviews. But rather it is about integrating testing your ideas rigorously through product development and marketing even as you scale.
21. Think about what is the smallest possible test that will take the least effort that I can run to validate a concept, audience or feature with potential customers quickly (MVP).
22. Find a partner that is intelligent, has high integrity and are a joy to work alongside as they work hard.
23. Users are those that visit and use your product like how we use Google Search. Customers are those who pay for your product like small businesses pay for Google Ad Words.
24. As quick as possible accept that you shouldn’t be doing everything and even if you can, you should not be.
25. Two great traits to look for, are people who are a genius and have courage. Courage can be taught, as it is really about not giving up in the face of adversity. Genius can’t be taught and genius without courage means you almost certainly won’t have the determination to make your idea a reality.
Watch this video to hear these lessons along with many more.
Which lesson stood out most for you? what other lessons would you add?
QUICK PLUG: My inspiration is my mother, she became an entrepreneur at age 60, but she needs our help. She is raising funds to buy a shuttle bus to support low income families in picking up their children for Nursery. Check it out here: https://www.gofundme.com/juliets-nursery-mini-bus-campaign
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