Scott Baxter is the CEO & founder of PlayYourCourt.com, a nationwide mobile tennis business that makes lessons more accessible. In addition to PlayYourCourt, Scott runs a sister company in the golf space called PlayYourCourse.com. Follow him @PlayYourCourt.
Who is your hero? (In business, life, or both.)
As cliche as it might sound, my father is my hero. He grew up with very little, but through hard work and the entrepreneurial spirit, he started his own business and became very successful.
His hard work and determination afforded my brother and me many opportunities that my father would have never even dreamed of when he was growing up. I definitely inherited the entrepreneurial gene from him.
What’s the single best piece of business advice (unorthodox tips welcome!) that helped shape who you are as an entrepreneur today, and why?
Make all the mistakes you want, just don’t make the same one twice. This was actually my father’s motto and it stuck with me from early childhood all the way to running a seven-figure business.
In business and in life, it is often better to fail fast and learn from your mistakes to expedite growth.
What’s the biggest mistake you ever made in your business, and what did you learn from it that others can learn from too?
Unquestionably my biggest business mistake to date was raising more money than I needed.
I gave up a large chunk of my company in our first round of fundraising and raised a bit more money than I actually needed to show positive signs of growth. We gave up 38 percent equity in our first round and despite raising the same amount of money in our second round, only gave up 6 percent because our valuation was so much higher.
If you’re raising funds, only raise what you truly need to take your business to the next level. Once you’ve shown some promising growth, you’ll give up way less to get your next round.
What do you do during the first hour of your business day and why?
When I first wake up, I am laser focused and the most creative I’m going to be all day. I use this time to refine ideas, write marketing copy, or work through my toughest tasks of the day.
I have the luxury of working from home so I will often bang out an hour of high-focus work before I even shower or eat breakfast.
What’s your best financial/cash-flow related tip for entrepreneurs just getting started?
The “power of broke” is incredible. Don’t go out and raise money until you’ve scrapped in your industry for a year or two and have a well-refined business plan and vision for what you want to do.
Until you’re confident in your ideas and vision, it’s not fair to ask someone else to be.
Quick: What’s ONE thing you recommend ALL aspiring or current entrepreneurs do right now to take their biz to the next level?
Learn more. There is an endless amount of information at our disposable these days and there’s just no excuse for not getting smarter every day. Dedicate some time each day to improving yourself and you’ll see the return tenfold in your business.
What’s your definition of success? How will you know when you’ve finally “succeeded” in your business?
In my opinion, success is defined by creating a life for yourself that you love. It doesn’t matter if you are Bill Gates or a janitor — if you wake up on Monday and look forward to going to work then you’re successful. Don’t get caught up in the money chase. Focus on doing something you love and the monetary success will follow.