Who is your hero? (In business, life, or both.)
No single hero comes to mind. I am inspired by many entrepreneurs and particularly value those who take the time to write and share their stories so I can learn from them.
What’s the single best piece of business advice (unorthodox tips welcome!) that helped shape who you are as an entrepreneur today, and why?
I read Patrick Lencioni’s book, “The Five Temptations of a CEO” and loved every word. It’s incredibly easy to want to be liked and admired and to avoid necessary conflict, and yet those things are at odds with building a great company. Understanding those temptations and working to overcome them has fundamentally changed my leadership style and approach.
What’s the biggest mistake you ever made in your business, and what did you learn from it that others can learn from too?
I’ve made so many mistakes — the biggest one was thinking I could somehow avoid them. What I’ve learned is that only by making mistakes can you find the right path. All those missteps and failures along the way just point you in the right direction.
What do you do during the first hour of your business day and why?
I like to get up, have a cup (or four) of coffee and write. Sometimes I respond to emails, sometimes I write to my team, sometimes I write to myself. Taking the time to sit, think and write is what helps me build an intentional thought process to get started every day.
What’s your best financial/cash-flow related tip for entrepreneurs just getting started?
I raised $1M and spent almost all of it before generating my first dollar of revenue. Make sure you can sell your product before spending any money. When you do start spending, use most of it to test your assumptions about who your customer is and where to find them.
Quick: What’s ONE thing you recommend ALL aspiring or current entrepreneurs do right now to take their biz to the next level?
Ask yourself what expertise you are truly missing around your table and go find someone to fill the void. I make significantly better decisions when surrounded by people a lot smarter than I am.
What’s your definition of success? How will you know when you’ve finally “succeeded” in your business?
I am building a business that I hope will continue to grow in value and ultimately provide a good return to all the shareholders. That is the ultimate goal and is my long-term measure of success. But along the way, every customer we help and every person we employ is a success and something I am incredibly proud of.