10 best advices for entrepreneur
1. Don't be afraid to fail
I was at a dinner with some VCs and they were talking about entrepreneurs. One of them said, "we never invest in entrepreneurs who have failed before." And I thought, "that's the worst advice ever." Because if you are afraid to fail, then you will never try anything new.
2. Have a real problem that needs solving
I wrote about this in my book, "Choose Yourself". But it's important. You can't just do something fun or interesting or cool. You need to solve a real problem for people.
3. Know your customer
Always ask potential customers what would make them buy your product or service. Get feedback constantly on how you are doing and what you can do better.
4. Be obsessed with quality
Quality is always more important than quantity when it comes to starting a business. Quality means providing value and not cutting corners. It means listening to customers and being honest with them even when it hurts your short term interests. Quality means doing everything you can to make sure the customer is happy before moving onto the next customer (and there will always be another customer). This is how you build a long term business because word-of-mouth is the most powerful marketing tool there is.
5. Do things for free at first (even if it's not profitable)
When I started my first business I offered free seminars on investing in stocks and options trading (because I was an options trader). I gave away all my secrets for free but still made money off of the people who took me up on it because they would then trade with me later down the line (which happened). So don't be afraid to give away your knowledge for free initially as long as there's some sort of hook for later on down the road where you can make money off of them or keep in touch with them so they become raving fans who tell everyone about how great you are (in order to get more free stuff from you).
6. Always work on improving yourself
This is part of being obsessed with quality but also being aware that there's always room for improvement in every aspect of life including relationships, health, learning new skills, etc.. The moment we think we know everything we stop learning and that's when we start going backwards (or forwards depending on which way you want to go).
7. There are no excuses EVER
about why something won't work out so find ways around it until it works out
This ties into quality since quality means finding ways around any obstacles thrown in your path instead of giving up because one obstacle seems too big to overcome
8. Learn from other people's mistakes AND successes but don't copy blindly without thinking through whether their situation applies directly to yours
Example : When I started Stockpickr , I saw other sites like Jim Cramer’s “TheStreet” that were popular so I wanted Stockpickr to be like those sites but focused only on stocks instead of all industries like TheStreet was focused on all industries EXCEPT stocks
But then when Facebook came out , I realized that my site was now redundant because Facebook had already taken over that niche so we pivoted into Twitter stocks
And now Twitter has been replaced by Instagram so our new niche is Instagram stocks
This example shows how important it is not just learn from others successes and failures but also think through how each situation applies directly back to yours
Another example : A friend asked me once why he should hire me as a coach instead of someone else who charges less than me
My answer was simple – “if he wants his business or himself to grow