Building a startup company is something that one can not understand until trying to do it. It is painful, arduous and at times seems absolutely impossible. Yet at the same time, it can be one of the most exciting and rewarding things one can ever take on in their life.
As a serial entrepreneur, I have learned both from experiences and inspiring people who have taught me what it takes to succeed in business and grow as a person.
The five pivotal rules of starting a business are:
~Robert T. Kiyosaki
I am positive that my failures are my most valuable assets. I have never met a person with great success that does not point to the importance of their failures. It is near impossible to succeed without making mistakes, experiencing disappointment, being defeated, and being knocked to the ground.
What differentiates an ordinary man from a great one is the great one takes failure as an opportunity to get back their feet, try again and become better the next time around. Failure is a chance to learn what it takes to be successful in business and as a person.
Your failures will make you bigger, better, smarter, and more successful than you were before. Just like General George Patton said, “Success is how high you bounce after you hit bottom.”
Understand your market and competition.
Starting a business is a huge risk financially, mentally and emotionally. You can mitigate this risk by understanding your market and competition. You should know them both better than you know yourself. Who are your customers? Who are the players in your industry? How will you differentiate yourself? Constantly ask yourself these questions and always discover more about both your market and competition.
I used to have over 800 contacts in my phone. I now have under 80. I came to realize that it is a waste of time and emotions to deal with people who don’t care, who don’t answer their phones, who tell you that your ideas are bad and that you will not succeed.
I only now associate with people who love me, care about me, support me and are willing to help. It is also very important for me to have close relationships with people who are extremely smart, successful and will do anything in their power to ensure my success. I like to call these people actionable.
I always say that I only wish to talk to people who I know are willing to fly halfway around the world for me. (Flying any further than halfway would be inefficient). I am willing to do the same for these people as well. Together you will share in each other’s success but more importantly help one another when times are tough.
These people should also all be smarter than you. These people will help you answer the questions you do not know and help you to solve difficult problems you have never faced before. These people will give you the wisdom needed to succeed.
“Try never to be the smartest person in the room. And if you are, I suggest you invite smarter people … or find a different room.” -Michael Dell
Ask for money when you need advice, ask for advice when you need money.
I have always been one to ask others for advice.
I often get advice from people whom I already know, and also reach out to inspiring people who I have never met. When asking someone for advice, it can be flattering for that person. More often than not, they are excited to share their knowledge, experiences, failures and successes. It is important to keep these people in the loop as you move forward in your career and always show your appreciation for their advice. (I always write hand written thank you notes). It is from these people that I gain wisdom which helps me in everything that I do.
These people will be the first ones to take the opportunity to help you when you need them. They will be your mentors, advisers and investors.
Don’t do it for the money or glamour, do it because you have no choice
Stories of start up companies being acquired and having an IPO come out every single day. At this point, founders of companies often become extremely wealthy. The chances of this happening are very low. Starting a business is not a great way to get rich, working in finance is a much safer bet. The idea of working for yourself and answering no one and becoming filthy rich are not reasons to start a company.
Entrepreneurship must run in your blood You must have a passion to execute your own idea, because you want to disrupt markets, and make the world a better place. You must be prepared to take on a massive amount of responsibility. You will be working around the clock for your investors, employee’s livelihood, and most importantly your customer. “Follow your passion, not your paycheck. The money will come eventually.” – Anonymous
Do it because you want every day to be an adventure. Do it because are not afraid to fail. Do it because for your astute passion for your company. Do it because you simply have no other choice.
“I believe in the light that shines and will never die. Oh I believe the fire burns, we stay alive. They will talk about us, like they talked about the kings before us.”
Have faith that you will succeed. Believe in your company, your customer and those working to help you succeed. Most importantly; believe in yourself.
Jeremy W. Crane is a serial entrepreneur from Rochester, New York and attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is the founder of StadiumPark, a mobile payment app for stadium and arena parking. He is most passionate about his friends and family, especially his brothers Dan and Ari. Follow him @jeremywcrane
Image Credit: inspower.com