Jean Ginzburg is Founder and CEO of Ginball Digital Marketing. They help entrepreneurs acquire new customers using a scalable system. Follow her @jeanginzburg
Who is your hero? (In business, life, or both.)
Gary Vaynerchuck. He worked like crazy to get to where he is now. He never complains about how difficult it was to attain his goals but always encourages his audiences to stay positive and go after their dreams.
What’s the single best piece of business advice (unorthodox tips welcome!) that helped shape who you are as an entrepreneur today, and why?
Say no. It might sound counterintuitive to say no, but I have found that they only way to grow your business is to stay focused on your goal. Projects will come up, prospective clients will ask you to work with them. If both are not a good fit, just say no. If you continue to say yes to everything, you will spread ourselves too thin and not focus on what’s important and what’s really driving our business. If we lose track of our focus, then the whole operation can fall apart. Identify your goals early on in your business. Stay true to them and don’t stray. Keep your focus sharp and only work on the projects that are in line with your company goals.
What’s the biggest mistake you ever made in your business, and what did you learn from it that others can learn from too?
My biggest mistake in my business was thinking that I know it all as an entrepreneur. I have had several businesses that have failed before my current business and at the time I first got started 10 years ago, I thought it was going to be a piece of cake. In retrospect, I didn’t have a clue. I didn’t know how to set up my company as a corporate entity or that I had to file quarterly taxes with the IRS. I learned a couple of things from my mistakes.
The first point I learned was that starting your own business is difficult and there will be failures along the way, but it’s important to get up and keep going. The second point I learned is that being an entrepreneur means being a life-long learner. Although we might think we know it all, there is still so much to learn. It goes beyond just learning our own areas of expertise to learning how to be a good leader, people manager and creator of a company culture.
What do you do during the first hour of your business day and why?
I do yoga, stretching and mindful meditation. The yoga and streteching helps me get the kinks out of my body so I can take on the day from a physical perspective. The mindful meditation has been a key component of focusing on my goals and creating a positive mindset.
What’s your best financial/cash-flow related tip for entrepreneurs just getting started?
If you are just getting started, I would suggest not quitting your full-time job until you have at least six months of savings to weather any storm. One of the biggest mistakes I see when it comes to entrepreneurs is that they start businesses expecting them to explode right away. That may not always be the case, so it’s best to plan ahead than be in a scenario where you can’t keep the lights on.
Quick: What’s ONE thing you recommend ALL aspiring or current entrepreneurs do right now to take their biz to the next level?
Create content and use social media to get your content in front of the right audiences. If you are an expert in any field and you can create value through your content — whether it’s video, blog posts, articles, etc. — you are on the right track. Your audiences will love you for it and you will be solving their challenges.
What’s your definition of success? How will you know when you’ve finally “succeeded” in your business?
To me, the definition of success is multi-faceted. I think there is no one definition of success, but if two of the following are applicable to you, then you are on the right track. Being an expert in your field with a growing business and a fair market salary for yourself is one part of being successful. Being successful also means having the ability to step away from your business, so it doesn’t depend on you being there every day. It means you have hired the right people and set up processes that allow you to spend your time how you wish, whether it’s building more startups, spending time with your family or doing what you love personally. The third definition of success means you have perfected your craft so well that now you can teach others to do what you do successfully.