Who is your hero?
Dick and Rick Hoyt, for their fearlessness in overcoming challenges. They should be in the dictionary next to the entry for “determination.”
What’s the single best piece of business advice that helped shape who you are as an entrepreneur today, and why?
You have to be willing to outwork the next guy to succeed over the long haul. This piece of advice drives me when I’m putting in ungodly hours, working on holidays, or getting up early after being up late.
What’s the biggest mistake you ever made in your business, and what did you learn from it that others can learn from too?
Years ago, I started a brand that caught on quickly with consumers and was on pace to be a seven-figure per year venture very early in its existence. The problem was, being young and inexperienced, I didn’t do my homework in regards to intellectual property. One year later, after being legally notified of the alleged infringement, I made the decision to start over, regardless of how dubious I felt the claim was. The lesson to be learned here is to do your homework before starting ANY brand that may possibly infringe on someone else’s IP.
What do you do during the first hour of your business day and why?
Answer every email in my inbox, prioritizing the International inquiries as most important in order to keep trade partners out East moving along with their various initiatives. I find that starting the day with a clear inbox is therapeutic and allows me to go about the rest of my day with clarity to execute visions knowing I’m keeping everyone else’s tasks moving forward.
What’s your best financial or cash-flow related tip for entrepreneurs just getting started?
Re-invest every dollar and pay yourself very minimally while starting up. The end goal is to put money in our pockets, but if you haven’t experienced life without income, you haven’t lived enough to get the drive to make it big.
Quick: What’s ONE thing you recommend ALL aspiring or current entrepreneurs do right now to take their biz to the next level?
Network. One of the best pieces of advice I ever read was, “Make sure everyone around you knows what you do.” Neighbors, dentists, cashiers at the supermarket, literally everyone you come in contact with should know what you do. It only takes one person to make an introduction that can be life-changing.
What’s your definition of success? How will you know when you’ve finally “succeeded” in your business?
Success in business means constantly raising the bar. If every goal is achieved, the goals aren’t high enough. To say I’ve succeeded in business means I set goals that raise eyebrows and demand everyone’s best collective effort.