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Creating Foundr Magazine has given me the opportunity to spend time with the very best entrepreneurs. I gain insight and guiding principles from just about every interview I conduct. Being in the unique position to interact with these epic entrepreneurs at the precise moment that I am building my own dream business has been a serious perk! In the time I have spent with this group, I have learned some valuable lessons.
Lesson #1: Be Passionate
As evidenced by the responses to our Instagram post in March of this year, you guys know that Passion plays a central role in creating a successful business. The entrepreneurs I interview have an insane amount of drive and determination. They believe in their ideas and in their product; but more than that, they are passionately focused on success. They want their business to succeed so badly that they do not allow anything or anyone to stand in their way.
Think of the most passionate love story you have ever read or seen; now replace the hero with yourself and the love interest with your business. The hero happily fights dragons, gives up status and risks everything to get the girl…would you do the same for your dream?
Lesson #2: Have Great People Skills
The entrepreneurs I interview have the uncanny ability of making me feel good about myself. Really digest that for a moment…I am interviewing them for my magazine or podcast and they are so incredibly warm and open that they actually make me feel more comfortable doing my job! Just imagine how this skill impacts their business.
Epic entrepreneurs are great conversationalists and have no difficulty communicating their thoughts. Their easy confidence quickly infuses the conversation and makes everyone involved want to be a part of what they are doing simply because they are just so freaking likable.
One way they demonstrate their care for others is by being incredibly mindful of time – both their own and that of others – they understand that time is the most valuable currency and are eager to show that they value yours. If you feel like you struggle in the people skills area, being mindful of other’s time is a great place to start.
Lesson #3: Implement, Implement, Implement
Successful entrepreneurs understand the power of executing quickly. The time between an idea and a rollout is very short. They are not held back by the unknown and instead, accept that the best and fastest way to learn is to ship. Every single entrepreneur I have interviewed has made mistakes and has learned valuable lessons that have positively impacted their business in the future.
Remember that everything is an assumption until you have real feedback from your audience. If you need to test, test. If you need to ship, ship. Do what it takes to get your idea out the door and in the hands of users as quickly as possible so that you can use their feedback to make it better.
Lesson #4: There is Power in Numbers
So how do these amazing business owners implement so quickly? In a word…TEAM. It would be impossible for one person take a concept from idea to rollout in a short amount of time. Bringing together a team of power players allows a single entrepreneur to operate as if they are a much larger organization.
This is where many of us get hung up, we get stuck in the belief that we are they only ones capable of producing for our business or that because it is our business we have to do everything ourselves. This is just simply, not true. Building a great team not only allows you to implement quickly, it gives your business the ability to scale. So much of what I have accomplished with Foundr is because I work with a great team of freelancers. I have learned to outsource anything that delays progress.
Lesson #5: There Is No Magic Potion
What is most humbling to realize is that the people who take their ideas and turn them into amazing businesses do not have super powers. They are not any smarter or richer or better looking than me. They are just normal people who made a few smart moves, worked ridiculously hard, took risks and used passion as their fuel. That’s it. There is no secret formula…which also means that there is no excuse.
As I said at the outset, this Foundr journey has placed me in the enviable position of accessing extremely successful entrepreneurs for the expressed purpose of learning what it is that brought them to this place. Their insight and experiences have shaped the way I approach my own business and provided me with valuable lessons along the way.