What is the first thing you did to turn your current business from an idea into a reality?
Simply put, I connected with the right people by networking like I never had before. I put my head down and started working hard. You have to make good decisions, and we all know right from wrong (or should at this point). If you do and you keep throwing mud at the wall, something is going to stick. Then, it’s up to you to keep the momentum going.
What is the scariest part of being a young entrepreneur and how can others overcome this fear?
Starting. Starting is the scariest thing. Take the leap of faith, be comfortable with your decision, and trust yourself. Most “startups” never start. They may have a deck, but they don’t have a business because they are afraid to execute. This happens when entrepreneurs are intimidated by the details it takes to turn that beautiful idea into a reality.
Were you ever told not to pursue your entrepreneurial dreams? Who told you that, what did they say and why did you ignore them?
No, I never was. If those type people are in your support system, it’s time to surround yourself with new people. The caveat is that entrepreneurs need to be realistic and positive on their own, or no support system can help. In other words, if you’re not realistic, you will get yourself in trouble. Someone who is unrealistic, but positive, is going to be blind to what’s necessary to get things done.
What is the No. 1 thing you wish you’d known starting out and how did you learn it?
I wish I had known that no one cares as much about my vision as I did. Great conversations don’t mean great results. It’s up to you to keep going and to not be distracted by someone just being nice. You learn this when you fail and when all those nice conversations you thought would come to fruition clearly won’t. Don’t be gullible.
What do you recommend all new founders do for their business — or their personal lives — that will help them the most?
Have a healthy mind and body. In other words, be able to float yourself twice as long as you think it will take, as well as have the runway to lead a minimally stressful life. Understand it’s not going to be easy, but take care of yourself because without you, there is no company.
How do you end each day and why?
I read, research, and stay connected via multiple apps including Twitter, LinkedIn, Quora and Medium. It’s part of my routine for winding down. It’s very important to wind down each and every day or you won’t be efficient the next day. Some people choose to work out while others might want to have a drink or watch TV. I’ve done the TV thing, and it’s just not cutting it anymore. Having a drink at night can be great, but it’s also a slippery slope so I don’t recommend it for most. Working out is probably the best thing you can do.
What is your best PR/marketing tip for business just starting up?
Think like Dory and just keep writing. Be smart when you recycle your work for other sites and don’t drive readers crazy with too many hashtags and posts. Be sincere, and you will find your voice and efforts to snowball. Note that this does take a long time so write early and often. Don’t be afraid to take some chances because you want to get people talking. You want them to share what you’ve said, and you want your voice to grow.What is your ultimate goal? What will you do if/when you get there? My goal is to have someone I don’t know be motivated enough by my work to write and share a positive story about me.