It’s been a tough time for entrepreneurs. But as 2021 comes to a close, I wanted to share with you some expert tips global entrepreneurs have shared with me.
In this article, I offer their advice on leadership, facing failure, forming the right team, and why it is important to love what you do.
Expert tips on purpose & loving what you do
- Abe Matomoros is a co-founder of the Texas based Ellie Grid says there is a famous quote from Elon Musk, “If you need inspiring words, don’t do it.” He thinks inspirational words may help to get you started, but in the end (reflecting the Musk quote), it is hard work and the belief in what you do and the passion to solve that problem that sees you through.
- Dean Cherny is a serial entrepreneur and says he has loved his career from the start. The founder of Marketing Melodies and the latest venture, Store Play‘s expert tip is to love of what you do is what helps carve out success.
- Austin Rothbard says that in starting Twisted Road he has learned that you only ever should start a business for the right reasons because you don’t own a business. The business owns you.
- Helen Andrew saysthat purpose increases resilience, clarity, and meaning, and in doing so, improves your wellbeing. Perhaps above all, it means your existence has an impact. Helen is Founder of Spare Harvest and now The Regenerative Alliance
- Alyson Friedensohn says it has to feel right. The founder of Modern Health‘s expert tip is to ask yourself if you were given 10m today, what would you do? If it is still the same thing, then you know it is right.
- Michael Burton says it is really tough, especially in the early days. It was for his company, Binary Beer. So his expert tip is that you need to really care about what you do to take that risk.
Expert tips on leadership
- Henk Van Alphen has been CEO of several companies and defines the job as “delivering soaring value to your shareholders”. Currently he is founder and CEO of Wealth Minerals.
- Steve Jones has built a colossally successful company with Allied Universal Security. He believes leadership means being the best you. It starts with a vision and then a plan to achieve it. Be clear in the vision and communicate it with clarity.
- Solomon R C Ali has built a corporation of the same name and offers his expert tip for success in having the right management team and then standing back and letting them do what they do, and not second-guessing them.
- Craig Knight thinks to achieve happiness and productivity which he specializes in with Identity Realization, people want access to the people they work with – not the management, and they want autonomy to do their jobs.
- Joe Heitzeburg has grown companies including Crowd Cow and mentored tech entrepreneurs. Joe says start with one or more co-founders, partly because, on your own, one and one can often add up to three. With more of you, you can develop better ideations. As a founder, your life can be challenging and incredibly lonely, so it can make all the difference to have others alongside to celebrate the highs and fight through the lows.
- Hannah Spilva warns to beware of procedures and processes. from day one with LVLY, she has never been afraid of breaking, regrouping, scaling and taking risks.
- Ron Macdonald says that their success with Zinc8 Energy Solutions is down to a brilliant team, a solid fiscal plan and keeping a constant eye on the market.
- Giles Tongue‘s expert tip is to work on your focus and prioritization. In the early stages of a business, you are constantly assaulted by noise on all sides. It is very easy to overlook those big things that sit there quietly. The founder of Chatable explains “You answer the five emails that have just arrived or pick up the phone when it rings because it might be important. But if you do that, the big strategic things don’t get your attention.”
- The reality is that internet businesses are open 24/7, so most people overwork. James Schramko is a huge fan of time blocking and working less. He runs the hugely successful Superfast Business working Tuesday to Thursday. Even on those days, he time blocks the work early and late, giving himself time off during the day to shop, cook, surf, sleep, sport and have time with the family. “Defining work blocks automatically results in releasing time off” he says.
- Neha Soni says to stop trying to do everything yourself. When she founded Corum8, she had to learn another skill, the art of managing people with better skills than you.
- Tatiana Mercer one of the three founders of Three Spirit says to learn something new every day. If you ever hit the ceiling of learning there is a severe problem.
- Austin Schneider says we have become too used to the instant. What he has learned with his journey with Brandtegic is patience. In the grand scheme of things but fast in the actions you are taking.
Expert tips for forming the right team
- Renji Bijoy founder of Immersed told me he used the Stripe founder’s trick when hiring. Ask yourself “, “Could I see myself working for you one day?”
- Serial entrepreneur Matt Bullock says he asks two questions when hiring for Spinify. “Do you want to go fast?” and “Do you want to change?”
- Chad Wasilenkoff offers a great expert tip, saying that people make the mistake of hiring their high school buddy or a member of the family. It hardly ever works, says the founder of Helicoid Industries. Bringing in global quality people will cost you less in the end.
- James Dutton James, says the way employ staff and their attributes is vital. At James’ company, Nutricare, they look for self-driven people, people with passion
- Jimmy Williams says another easy mistake to make is to find yourself really overworked and hire people as near to you as possible to help. They will fall into the same traps you do whereas someone entirely different will fill the gaps. Jimmy is the founder of Urban Jungle.
- Apprentice winner Lee McQueen has made his career in recruitment. Drawing on his experience including within his current company Phoenix51, Lee advises to people aligned with the company values to form a strong team that relates to each other wherever they are.
- Neha Soni says that in growing her company, Corum8, she learned that you have to look for the best people, people who are better than you are within their personal skill set.
- Steve Jones has another expert tip from Allied Universal Security. Steve looks for people who will play till they are utterly exhausted. But that applies to himself too. He would consider it a personal failure if anyone worked harder than he did.
- Keiron Sparrowhawk, former president of the EO in London and founder of MyCognition says that one expert tip as a founder, to find not just yes people, but people who will challenge you positively.
- Shem Richards who started the Smart baby clothes company Goldilocks Suit, says you simply don’t know everything, and you need to surround yourself with really smart people to advise you. Of course, however much advice you have, ultimately, the decision lies with you.
Expert tips on Fear of Failure and risks
- Tamas Kadar and Bence Jendruszak say to be brave enough to take risks, or you have no chance of uber-success. They say they would never have had the success they have had with SEON without pushing forward no matter what people say
- Simon Paine helps many people on their journey at the Rebel Business School and says the biggest problem everyone suffers from is fear. The paradox is that you have to believe it is possible to make money in order to do so. With a start-up, you have to learn that getting things done is much more important than perfection.
- Marcus Stripf notes that “too many people are afraid of failure and the British particularly are super-critical in comparison to the States where it is almost celebrated. They say that Silicon Valley’s success is based on two things; one is their access to talent and two their levels of forgiveness. Most of the CEO’s there have failed before, and their experience in doing so is valued”. The founder of Spoon Guru advises people to “just go for it, not be afraid of failure, to make a contribution and solve a problem.”
- Joe Meuse operates a turnaround business called Business GPS and says that entrepreneurs’ positivity can also blind them, so part of Joe’s work is to teach clients always to have a really good plan B in future. His expert tip is that if you want to develop a robust plan B, keep it very simple. That simplicity keeps the fear at bay.
I hope these expert tips help and inspire you as much as they did me.