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How To Start The Next Billion-Dollar Business In 5 Easy Steps

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This is the story of a man who lost everything he had and then triumphed to create the best company I have seen in many years. The story has many lows and plenty of highs. By reading it, you will learn how you can take what this man did and use it to build your own billion-dollar business.

I know what you’re thinking, “Tim this sounds like total BS!” It’s not. You have to believe that anything is possible, and once you get to that state of being, having the type of success I am going to describe in this story, is not as hard as you think.

Enough putting pork on top of bacon, I’m going to show you how you can start the next billion-dollar business in 5 EASY STEPS:

 

1. Surround yourself with winners

Business is tough in the beginning. You’ll need a multitude of experts to be able to execute on your vision. Find out who they are for your industry through LinkedIn and then contact them. Keep trying every expert until one of them agrees to talk with you. Then, sell the vision of your business.

 

2. Call anyone without hesitation

This is a key skill. Your business will need money; otherwise, it’s going nowhere. Unless you are rich already, you better get used to calling investors and Venture Capital firms without hesitation. My friend that built the next billion-dollar startup rang an investor in San Francisco during his first month of being open for business.

He had no strategy, no product, and no team. All he had was a vision and some mighty fine communication skills. These basic skills got him $100K over the phone to start his business. Hesitation and fear will prevent you from ever owning a billion-dollar company.

 

3. Have an infectious personality (be honest and humble as well)

A personality that screams to everyone that walks past you that you’re a good person. Don’t be afraid to talk about your previously failed consulting business and tell people your bankrupt. The more honest you learn to be, the more honest people will want to help you.

Begin to catch up with everyone you know who will be required to pull off this crazy vision for a business that you dreamt up while out on the booze with your mates. Approach the company who has what is needed to facilitate your business model.

Walk through their big glass doors and sit down on their ten-year-old leather chairs. Tell them who you are and why you want their help without any sense of arrogance. Always listen to their feedback and show them you’re a lifelong learner.

Be prepared for them to laugh in your face and tell you to get F%&$#@. Find the one person in that company that believes in your dream and in you. Get them to give you the product you require and to officially back your business.

Then, a few months later, hire this person and bring their contacts and knowledge into the engine room of your startup.

Bad news

When everything is going in your favor, pick up the phone, and be told by one of the guys behind the big glass doors that you are in breach of a number of serious regulations.

Take the bad news with a grain of salt, go and see your wife and kid, and then come back the next day ready to defend yourself knowing you haven’t done anything intentionally wrong. As the next few days progress, you realise that the team of people you met behind the big glass doors are mostly against you.

Find the two people who still have a look on their face like they want to help you, and ask them for assistance. Don’t be afraid to tell them the consequences of what might happen to your business if they ignore your request.

Continue hiring people to build out the product even though you know that this small problem could cripple the business. Know that how you act and who you’ve become is what has allowed you to get this far.

Previous failure

Know that the previous failed business and your current status of being bankrupt is something to be proud of. It’s the license you need to start a billion-dollar startup.

Take the less than ideal solution that your friends behind the big glass doors offer you and commit to getting yourself back into the position you were in with them. Know that the trust they have in you is what’s needed to reverse the seemingly irreversible.

Continue to be the main sales person in the business and attract world-class customers from every industry. Use these customers as validation for when you are trying to pitch your vision to the naysayers. Promise these new customers the best user experience imaginable and demonstrate to them just how big their problem is.

Leave each customer meeting by giving everyone a smile and shake all of their hands firmly no matter whether they are the CEO or the toilet cleaner. Be humble as you continue to win customers and never let your ego get in your way.

Bringing back old faces

Late one night, come up with the idea of hiring all the people who you had to fire when your first business failed. Be okay with the fact they may say no to your offer and make the call regardless.

When three of them accept your offer, know that it was your infectious personality that attracted them to work for you again. Start seeing how who you’ve become has created your business. Start seeing that for the business to continue to grow you must grow.

A bold move

As the scoreboard of wins starts to pile up, go out to the investor network again that you built up at the start, and raise more money. Bring on a brand name consulting firm to validate what your business does and be prepared for some long days and nights.

Be okay with working seven days a week even though you have your second baby on the way. Know that if this capital raise fails, you could look really stupid, and you may not have enough money to keep scaling.

As the capital raise continues, and your relationship with your friends behind the big glass doors grows, make the bold decision to send in the employee you hired off them, to negotiate you back into your former position with the original product you had before the breach.

Be open and honest with them and make them see the opportunity that goes well and truly beyond money. Make them feel like they are a part of your business and that they matter. Use your impeccable personality and your infectious good vibes to blow them away.

When they say yes to giving you what you need, remain humble, put your head back down, and get back to work. With each win, celebrate them with your team – not too hard, though. Keep battling through the 101 questions that your consultant friends keep asking you and ponder how ironic the situation is.

The hidden strategy

Think to yourself that the turning point of your startup depends on the very thing that made you bankrupt in the first place (consulting). Have a brain wave and know that you have now found your hidden strategy; you can speak these consultants language because you used to be one.

Sit down at night when you get home, and keep looking at the annoying spreadsheet that needs to be reviewed for the 100th time. Know that even though numbers do your head in, you’re on the journey to success and nothing is going to stop you.

The ultimate high

After months of back and forth, pick up the phone, and get the news that one of the most iconic brands in the country wants to invest in your business, and become your number one customer. Put the phone down and know that you are now a millionaire with a famous board of directors.

Ring up your friends behind the big glass doors and thank them for believing in your business. As you wipe your face from the tears of joy, think about how awesome it’s going to be to welcome into the world your second child.

Think about how the highest of highs seems to come in two’s. Remember how your infectious personality and just being you, made all of this success and the millions of dollars happen in the first place.

Go back to the office on Monday being more humble than ever and shake all the hands of the people that made this dream possible. Turn on your computer and see your friends behind the big glass doors post the news story of your success on social media and tag you in it.

Never forget how freaking awesome the journey has been and how important your first failure was.

 

4. Remain loyal

No matter how many times you are given amazing opportunities, always remember who helped you get where you are and remain loyal.

 

5. Pick up some sales skills

You’ll need them – trust me! Your whole life is going to become nothing more than selling your vision to the world.

What do you think it takes to build the next billion-dollar business? Let me know in the comments section below or on my website timdenning.net or my Facebook.

Tim is best known as a long-time contributor on Addicted2Success. Tim's content has been shared millions of times and he has written multiple viral posts all around personal development and entrepreneurship.You can connect with Tim through his website www.timdenning.net

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8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. Adekola Adegoke

    Jan 11, 2017 at 10:43 am

    This insight really spoke to my current circumstance. I felt like I have just finished a session with my mentor. Thanks Tim, am truly grateful.

  2. Decker

    Jul 27, 2016 at 2:52 am

    Hi Tim,

    Thanks for this article and the journey it took me on. Things have not been gone well for half a year and as usual doubts

  3. Sibusiso Lukhele

    Jul 7, 2016 at 6:33 pm

    Mr Tim Denning thank you very much, this article is exactly what I needed at this point in my life … you wrote that article in a way that I looked at myself in such a way that I can make this happen… again thank you very much Sir you have just given me hope to go to the next level

    • Tim Denning

      Jul 9, 2016 at 3:14 am

      Sibusiso you are most welcome. Go out there and have a go you’ve got nothing to lose!

  4. Toño

    Jul 5, 2016 at 9:39 am

    Thank you for the book suggestion, Tim, I will look it up. As for my state of mind, well, it’s not that bad and I would not call it that depressed, or maybe it is and I just cannot tell the difference. I don’t know 🙂

    Just watched a movie that took the place among my favorites already – ‘Wish I Was Here’. Fantastic, so emotional, I even got my eye’s wet for a few times. Right now I feel like I going to watch it again, and again, and again.
    Idea of this movie for me:
    – I’ve failed miserably ..
    -No, you showed up and won!

    Thank you for feedback, Tim, muchly appreciate it!

    • Tim Denning

      Jul 5, 2016 at 7:36 pm

      No problem Toño. keep your head up mate. Thanks for the movie suggestion I am going to watch it tonight. Have a great day!

  5. Toño

    Jul 5, 2016 at 6:59 am

    Starting the NEXT billion-dollar business presume you should have started one before, right? Anyway, is this the story about your friend who lost everything and started from scratch while having a wife and his little kid, the one you posted few articles about?

    This whole idea of billion-dollar business does not click with me (yet), however, I really do love to read about so-called big ‘failures’ that turns out to be the greatest opportunity to change your life and, most likely, the world. For the last few weeks I’ve been experiencing highs and lows, yet I realising now I haven’t failed because I learnt and educated myself in a unique way. I continue to read The Quarter-Life Breakthrough by Adam ‘Smiley’ Paswolsky and he talks pretty much about the same you have explained here. Fear, persistence and that failure that doesn’t even exist in the form most of us tend to think of. I also like how you mentioned loyalty and staying humble, hugely important and often underestimated abilities.

    We can all learn from this experience, Tim, and your friend did really amazing job that may help and inspire to not give up on whatever idea you’re working and how hard your life may seem. Thank you so much for my morning reading, amigo, have a wonderful day and take care!

    • Tim Denning

      Jul 5, 2016 at 8:28 am

      Toño this is a different friend to the homeless one. I have many friends that have had some wild rides and this friend is one I haven’t spoken about before. He just made a lot of money for himself and this article is his story to hopefully inspire others to do the same.

      All of us have tough times Toño so don;t let it get you down. Reading will help you and I strongly suggest having a go at the book “The Happiness Advantage.” I will take you away from the depressed state your in. Thanks for your book recommendation too I will suss it out. Cheers

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Entrepreneurs

5 of the Best Proven Growth Hacking Strategies for Your Business

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best growth hack strategies for your business
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Tough competition can make growing a new brand seem near impossible, despite the hundreds of new companies that are created every day. Creative solutions offer the answer, allowing you to move in a positive direction with your brand start-up at an affordable investment. To achieve this, speed is the key. Growing your user base fast will allow profits to come in fast, too. This is what growth hacking is all about.  (more…)

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5 Soft Skills Every Entrepreneur Needs to Succeed

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There are countless components that go into building a successful company, but soft skills act as the fundamental building blocks of a functioning business. Hard skills are considered to be job-specific, whereas soft skills are interpersonal skills, like listening and communication. 

Nearly 93% of employers said that soft skills are an “essential” or “very important” factor in hiring decisions. With the right blend of hard and soft skills, an entrepreneur is capable of great things.

Here are five soft skills that can help entrepreneurs scale their growth and lead successful ventures:

1. Confidence

A successful company starts from individual confidence. In order to motivate and inspire others, an entrepreneur must find reassurance in themselves. Other businesses and consumers will believe in your company if you consistently believe in yourself. 

Being confident also means becoming comfortable with being uncomfortable— taking risks will expand your business and place you above competitors. As an entrepreneur, and leader, it’s crucial that you not only possess confidence, but exhibit it throughout every step of your business ventures.

2.Self-Awareness

It is vital that an entrepreneur have a clear insight into their personality, especially their strengths, weaknesses, thoughts,and emotions. 

When an entrepreneur is self-aware, it can lead them to beneficial partnerships and agreements. Without good self-awareness, leaders become easily persuaded and spineless. Self-awareness also includes control. Becoming overly emotional, for example, can lead to detrimental impulsive decision making. 

“Self awareness is the ability to take an honest look at your life without any attachment to it being right or wrong, good or bad.” – Debbie Ford

3. Collaboration

From the day we begin talking, the ability to work well with others is pivotal to any project. As an entrepreneur, it is important to recognize and understand your own responsibilities. To do this, you must identify your business culture and have tools on hand to manage mutually dependent relationships. 

Active listening inspires collaboration within teams and creates learning opportunities. Without open collaboration or sharing and discussing information, the success of your business is  limited.

4. Time Management

Time is the greatest equalizer. No matter who you are or what you do, we all have the exact same amount of time in the day. Successful management of that time separates the great entrepreneurs from the bad ones. 

Entrepreneurs have many responsibilities; they are often jumping between tasks, hopping on calls, and attending events. They also tend to make every decision within the business.

It is crucial for business owners to find an organization system that works for their company and their goals. Creating a long term road map of company ambitions is an excellent way to distinguish high versus low priority initiatives. Entrepreneurs should create prioritization systems that employees can follow each month, ensuring business targets are met.

“Once you have mastered time, you will understand how true it is that most people overestimate what they can accomplish in a year – and underestimate what they can achieve in a decade!” – Tony Robbins

5. Resilience

Throughout your entrepreneurial journey, unexpected hurdles and setbacks are inevitable. The process of starting a business will not be perfect. What matters most is how you progress when the outlook seems bleak. Your ability to stay tough and weather the storm speaks volumes to your leadership— and will lead to a huge payout at the end of the day. 

Maintaining entrepreneurial resilience throughout rocky times will empower your employees while simultaneously building your credibility. Resilience will also inform potential clients and customers that you are willing to fight through thick and thin.

Soft skills are the backbone of every successful entrepreneur. While hard skills like financing and marketing are crucial to conducting business, soft skills provide the essential groundwork. Developing these soft skills will come with time, mindfulness, and an eagerness to grow. Take the initiative to prioritize these skills in yourself. Once you’ve done that, you can then cultivate those same qualities in your business.

Do you think soft skills tend to be more important than hard skills in today’s business world? Share your thoughts with us below!

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The 7 Successful Habits of Entrepreneurs

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habits of entrepreneurs

A while ago, I wrote an article on the 51 mistakes that can sabotage your business. However, that was one piece of the puzzle. You have to run your business well to be a successful entrepreneur, but, what’s more important is that you run yourself so well that your business follows suit. In order to do that, you need some good habits that can seriously boost your chances of success.

Here are the 7 must have habits that most successful entrepreneurs have:

1. Mindfully Meditate Everyday for At least 10 Minutes

Tim Ferris, who has interviewed thousands of world-class performers and entrepreneurs, says that the most common practice of all world-class performers is mindfulness meditation. There are different types of meditation, and each serves its own function.

However, mindfulness meditation is meant for controlling your mind so as to be able to focus more intensely on the task at hand. Higher focus equals higher productivity and becoming more effective at whatever you do.

Working in a distracted state leads to substandard work and also takes up more time. If you want to be able to get in the zone like most top-notch entrepreneurs, you need to mindfully meditate.

Now, there are some caveats you need to be aware of before you begin:

  1. Like medicine, mindfulness meditation has a minimum effective dose and that minimum is 10 continuous days for at least 10 minutes each day.
  2. Practice guided meditation before you try meditating on your own.

2. Read a Lot

Warren Buffett was once asked what the secret behind his wealth was. He pointed to a stack of books and said the secret was to read 500 pages like that everyday. Mark Cuban is also a voracious reader and spends almost 3 hours everyday reading in spite of being busy with his businesses. Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg also read a book every week.

Now, I am not telling you to read so much everyday but at least make an effort to finish 2 books every month. This is a very common habit among the top-notch entrepreneurs and as Warren says, “knowledge builds up like compound interest.”

Also try not to read on any digital medium except that of Kindle. In spite of it being convenient to read on your phone or tab or laptop, these devices tend to distract us with their notifications and push us to other procrastinating habits.

“So please, oh please, we beg, we pray, go throw your TV set away, and in its place you can install a lovely bookshelf on the wall.” – Roald Dahl

3. Keep the Phone Away, aka take a Digital Detox EVERYDAY

With multi-national companies all vying for our attention, we need to learn to use our phones less everyday. While it can be extremely tempting to open your phone while you are waiting in line or are taking an Uber ride, you should resist and embrace the boredom. This has two effects:

  1. It teaches you to sit through boring and monotonous tasks for longer periods of time and not get pulled away at the tiniest amount of distraction.
  2. It builds up your will-power and your discipline.

I see a lot of entrepreneurs try to do this and even successfully do this but they don’t build it into a habit. They do it once a week or once a month and think it will have a beneficial effect on their lives. Sadly, just like eating your vegetables once a week is a very stupid idea if you want to live a healthy life, taking a digital detox occasionally is useless.

4. Dump Coffee for Tea

Most Americans are heavy coffee consumers and can’t live their lives without coffee. But wait …The main ingredient behind coffee is caffeine which is a natural stimulant. If you take a stimulant regularly, your body adapts to the stimulant and you fail to get the benefits of coffee such as greater energy and focus which other non-regular drinkers get.

On the contrary, tea’s natural stimulant relaxes your body and enables you to put in more hours of work without the “crash” effect that coffee drinkers face. If you are up to the suggestion of making tea a part of your daily habits, I suggest you try out green tea which has 15% more caffeine than a cup of coffee. It also possesses l-theanine, which helps the consumer put in a greater state of focused awareness into his/her work.

But if you are a newbie tea drinker and can’t stand the taste of coffee (I don’t know how that’s possible though☹), try out flavored tea.

5. Sleep Around 8 Hours Daily

I think the most damaging piece of advice out there is sleep less and do more work. If you do that, all that’s going to happen is that you are going to wake up the next day feeling drowsy. The net result is that your productivity will suffer.

Also, the notion of early to bed and early to rise is not true as your biological clock may be differently tuned than that of others and your biological prime time may be late at night. However, don’t be too late to sleep as that hinders the DNA repair and as a side-effect your mental fatigue remains.

If you can’t get to sleep early, try to not use your phone or watch the TV or any sort of screen whatsoever, as the blue light can slow down your natural sleep cycle.

“It is a common experience that a problem difficult at night is resolved in the morning after the committee of sleep has worked on it.” – John Steinbeck

6. Take Cold Showers

You know what troubles most entrepreneurs? They’re good at planning yet it’s the execution part where almost all of them fall flat. It’s because the execution of ideas throws the harsh realities of the business world onto the face of the entrepreneurs, and they are forced to reconsider if they can actually ever succeed.

It is here that the winners get separated from the losers. And guess what separates them? Willpower. I have the best tactic to help you build it and it’s so simple too! Take cold showers early in the morning or late at night, when it is already chilled outside. If you live in a place that is hot, then this tactic may not have the intended effect on you.

However, try taking cold-showers in the winter. You will see that your brain makes all sorts of excuses so as to not go under the chilling water and if you succeed in pushing your brain to do the work, you will have succeeded. You are then, the master of your mind and not the other way around.

7. Plan and Review Daily

If you want to live a truly productive life and get things done instead of having a mounting pile of to-dos, you need to plan ahead. You need to divide your daily schedule into blocks of time and dedicate tasks to each block.

Parkinson’s Law states that the work we need to do stretches into the time we give ourselves to finish it. Therefore, if you need to get work done and don’t give yourself any time-limit or deadline, you will find your work stretching for enormous amounts of time and eating into the time reserved for other tasks.

However, when you first start planning, you will find most of your plans are utterly useless as most tasks will stretch far beyond the time you have allotted for them. This is where the second part comes along – which is to review the plans and reschedule them.

However, there is a particular style of reviewing and this is how you can go about it. First, you need to make a plan of what you intend to complete in a week and what you intend to complete in a day. Then, before going to bed every night, open your calendar and make a note regarding what you failed to complete today and how you will accommodate them into your weekly goals. This should be done before going to bed daily.

Now, it’s your turn. Share this post and spread the word. What’s the most important habit according to you? Do you have any such habits that you use? Let me know in the comments!

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Build Your Business One Brick at a Time

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A good friend and business associate once approached us asking for business advice. “I have $25,000,” he said. “How do I turn that into $50,000? Actually—wait, how do I turn one million into two million in one year?”

We looked at each other, and then we looked back at him and said “You don’t take a million and turn it into two million. It’s not that easy. There are no shortcuts in life, and there are no shortcuts in business.” We recommended he do things the old-fashioned way.

He understood—and we understood—that, of course, some people do double their money in the blink of an eye. It’s not impossible, but it’s incredibly risky. And it’s also not what we are about. We’re not promoting the Bernie Madoff model of Ponzi and phony, get-rich-quick deals; we all know how well that worked out in the end. Businesses have to have a real economic model that is built one brick at a time.

Start, Build, Sell

Growing your business is an incremental process: you start, you build, and you sell. You build more, you sell more. If you have a viable product or service that customers want, they’ll come back to you again and again. They’ll also tell their friends. 

Positive word of mouth is as important as the product itself, because it helps you continue to grow. As Albert Einstein once said (and Warren Buffet often quotes), “compounding interest is the eighth wonder of the world.”

Buffet, known as the smartest investor of the past century, invests in management teams and products he believes in through his company Berkshire Hathaway. He is also said to only invest in products that he likes and uses, and that fall in his circle of competence. Therefore, as a big holder of both their stocks, you can assume he loves Coke and McDonald’s. He also eats and drinks both regularly. Keep his investment interests in mind as you build your business.

“The only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks.” – Mark Zuckerberg

The Value of Viability and Balance

What kind of product or service you decide to build is important, too. You have to be insanely fortunate to have success selling an entirely unique product. It doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t try, but always remember it is easier to sell a product that is easily understood. When you’re just starting out, and even if you’re not, it’s much easier to sell something people completely understand rather than an avant-garde product.

Whatever you want to try in business, whether you have a brand-new type of shop or a nail salon in a strip mall down the street from another nail salon in another strip mall, the essence is the same: work harder, work smarter, and constantly improve.

One challenge you may find at this stage of your entrepreneurial journey is the difficult task of finding balance between preparing and over preparing. As you build and sell, focus on the details, but don’t let them overshadow your big picture.

Spilling the Oil

In The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho writes of a boy who wants to learn about happiness. The boy’s father sent him to the wisest man in the world: the sage. The boy traveled for forty days to reach the wise man, finally finding him in a bustling palace. When the boy asked for the secret to happiness, the sage responded by suggesting the boy take a walk through his palace and come back in two hours.

The sage had one additional request: he handed the boy a teaspoon with two drops of oil and instructed him not to let the oil spill as he walked the grounds. He toured the palace, his eyes never leaving the spoon. When he returned, the sage asked the boy if he had enjoyed the Persian tapestries and the intricate gardens, but the boy replied he hadn’t seen them; his eyes were focused on the spoon. Although he had spilled no oil, he had also seen none of the glories of the palace.

The sage refilled the spoon with two drops of oil, instructing the boy to savor the details of the palace. When the boy returned, he realized he’s spilled the oil, but he was able to describe in detail the colors, tastes, smells of the palace that were beyond his wildest imagination. The sage responded, “The secret of happiness lies in looking at all the wonders of the world and never forgetting the two drops of oil in the spoon.”

“When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” – Paulo Coelho

The same is true in business; keep an eye on both the details and the big picture—neither of which you can do if you’re cutting corners or letting the fear of making mistakes stop you from moving forward. Fail often and fail quick. Learn from your mistakes. And, if you are smart, learn from other people’s mistakes, too.

What was your favorite tip from this article? Share your thoughts with us below!

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