Being a startup founder is hard, don’t make it any harder on yourself. You can learn from those who already have a successful startup and follow in their footsteps. Why fail when you can learn from someone else who has already failed? There are numerous startups that fail each year and I don’t want to see yours become another statistic.
The founders mentioned in this article are tried and tested. They have built their own successful startups each in unique ways. There’s never going to be one set way in which you can start your company.
Each founder has a different piece of advice to give you on how they achieved success. If you follow even one of the tips mentioned below, you’re giving your startup a greater chance to succeed.
Here is the best piece of advice from 5 different startup founders:
1. Effort is the ultimate equalizer
Dominic Pratt is the founder of eMINDSCLUB, a startup that’s hoping to pair you with the next Mark Zuckerberg by connecting you with entrepreneurs all around the world. Dominic learned that as a startup founder and in life – effort is the ultimate equalizer. He went on to say that society is idea rich and effort poor. Too many of us want the success but aren’t putting in the required grind to get it. It can be challenging he admits, but at the end of the day what is the alternative?
It can be lonely as an entrepreneur because so few of us get it and there has never really been a support group in place for entrepreneurs. Our friends and family want us to conform to their realities, but reality is a matter of perspective. He reminds us that it doesn’t make you a bad person for wanting more for yourself.
As an entrepreneur, you will feel resentment from your friends and family. Don’t allow this to get to you. At the end of the day, you only have yourself, do what makes you happy and what will allow you to succeed. Never take advice someone you wouldn’t be willing to trade places with.
“It is never too late to be what you might have been.” – George Eliot
2. Become comfortable with the unkown
Aaron O’Hearn is co-founder of the Startup Institute, a startup that offers courses, and programs that help give people skills, the mindset, and the opportunity to network and build a career they love.
The best piece of advice Aaron could give is to become comfortable with unknown. As an entrepreneur, study all you want but you need to put yourself out there. You can learn from the past but you also need to learn from applying what you’ve learned. The worst thing you can do is attain knowledge and let it go to waste.
You can let the unknown hold you back entirely. Don’t let this be you. Almost everyone who has become successful had to start from somewhere. They were just like us but the difference between them and you is that they took action despite being uncomfortable.
The problem is if you become too comfortable, you’ll think you have it made and lose your edge. Learn to become comfortable with unknown and always be willing to push yourself past your fears.
3. Place a financial wager on yourself
Nathan Chan is the founder of Foundr, a startup that has a highly regarded magazine and app that teaches entrepreneurs how to grow and build their business.
The best of advice Nathan could give a startup founder would be to place a financial wager on yourself. What he means by this is when he first started his company, it required a software that he put on his card for $2,000. This was neither money he had or money he could spend. It put his back against the wall. He had no other option than to succeed.
Depending on the entrepreneur you are, go all in. There are different periods when you can do just that. If you’re twenty-three, then by all means go all in but if you’re forty-five with a family, I’d recommend putting money in your business that forces you to become uncomfortable without putting your entire retirement fund in.
As an entrepreneur, you should thrive when your back is against the wall. Stress can be good when it forces you to put in work for your business. What can you do today that will put your back against a wall and force you to put work into your business?
4. Remember, you’re the one calling the shots
Brent Grima is the founder of EverTrue, a startup that works with schools and colleges to help automate their fundraising efforts. The advice Brent gave was to remember that it’s your company and at the end of the day, you’re the one calling the shots. You can speak to mentors and trusted advisers, but if it feels wrong in your gut, then don’t do it. No one is forcing you to make a decision you don’t want to make.
Sometimes when you’re trying to start a company, you take advice from others but often that advice can become conflicting. People will tell you different price points for your service or different ways to market your service. There’s not enough time to try every single price point or marketing service, pick the price or strategy you believe will give your business the greatest chance to succeed. This is your company, make the decision that best suits you.
“The only way to do great work is to love what you do.” – Steve Jobs
5. Hire remote employees
Sam Bruce is the co-founder at Much Better Adventures, a startup that helps you book adventurous vacations. When Sam was building his company, he realized the importance of hiring remote employees. You no longer need an office space to connect with your employees. If your employee is full-time, you can do a Skype call with them once per week to make sure they’re doing their work.
When you hire remote employees, you may save money rather than if you had an employee coming into an office. With the money you have save by hiring remote, you can reinvest back into your company. Embrace the nature that you can hire anyone from around the world to work on your company.
Being a startup founder isn’t easy. Don’t make it harder on yourself by not following the above advice.