When I interviewed my favorite founders for my book, Startup Series, to gain better insight into their road to success, I got some honest, inspiring, and even harsh answers.
Speaking with the founders of reddit, Indiegogo, AngelList, and Kissmetrics, just to name a few, about their biggest accomplishments and hardest lessons has been eye-opening. What’s been most surprising and reassuring is that these founders are just like us. Hard work and heartache got them to where they are today — and the journey for the rest of us will not be much different.
From hundreds of answers, here are my five favorite tips from founders that will inspire and guide you along your own entrepreneurial path.
Just go out there and do it.
Too many entrepreneurs think about how do I get started or what do I do? They think way too much, and they analyze instead of going out there and doing. You’ll learn as you do.
You’re never going to be perfect. You are never going to make anything 100% out the door and be rich right away or whatever your goals are, solving x, y, and z problems. You are going to have to pivot a lot, learn from mistakes, adapt to the market needs. Nothing is ever going to be perfect. You can’t plan for everything just go out there and create.
Realize that you have the right to be there.
You have as much a right to make a success of your life as the next guy. Don’t let anyone make you feel differently. Trust yourself that you’ll find the answers you need once you jump off a cliff. All the answers are on the way down.
Corcoran Group & Shark Tank
Success isn’t dependent on breakthrough ideas or heroic efforts. The only thing that really matters is consistent small daily action.
Think Traffic & Fizzle
Not everyday is glamorous, so you better love what you’re doing.
From the outside, everything seems shiny and new but it’s not. Most days you’re in a grind and your head is down, and it is not as glamorous as it seems. You have to have perseverance. There is only one way to win, and it’s by working smart and by working hard.
Focus on great people.
You’re much more likely to build a successful life advisory board. Too often, people are looking for the idea or the company early in their career, but it’s really hard to pick the perfect place to start. Unless you’ve got a startup idea you believe is going to be a big one, focus on finding great entrepreneurs to learn from early in your startup career. Surround yourself with people who can help you for the rest of your career.
There is no “magical idea” that will be it for you. If you want to be in the startup game, it’s a long career and you should be looking for as many at-bats as possible in great situations.
If you’re interested in checking out all the interviews and wise words from almost 50 entrepreneurs, then check out my book, Startup Series, and use the promo code idone for 50% off.
Image: adapted from Philipp Rein/Flickr