10 Lessons for New Graduates from 10 Successful Entrepreneurs
Learn these crucial lessons from the ones that came before you – who made it BiG !!!
from Zuck, Jobs, Musk, Brin + on Change, Feedback, Opportunities, EQ vs IQ, Plan B/C, Simplicity, Steering to be successful
Today, seems like most grads want to be an Entrepreneur. If you do the research and study some of the great entrepreneurs out there – who became Founders, they will tell you that being Entrepreneurial is a “great” trait to have. It’s not always about owning your own business or building the next Facebook. But it is about learning how to take projects and run with them on your own. New graduates, this is probably for you. Whether your aspiration is to create the next iconic Social Media platform, or you simply want to lead a successful department within a major brand, here are 10 crucial lessons from successful entrepreneurs that you can apply to any ambition you have:
1. “Entrepreneurship is about creating change, not just creating companies.” – Mark Zuckerberg, Founder of Facebook. Straight from one of the greatest entrepreneurs of our time, Mark’s perspective on entrepreneurship has more meanings than one. Whenever you are creating something of your own – especially as it relates to your own company – it can be very easy to become more concerned with valuations & press releases than with the value your company provides. Spend less effort analyzing your growth charts and more effort thinking of ways to bring your values & mission to the human needs of your customers, fans, or followers. To create a successful & profitable company is one thing. To change the way people communicate or share information, is something entirely different.
2. “The ones who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.” – Steve Jobs, Co-Founder of Apple. To quote one of the legends here, Jobs was best known for believing (& executing) the thought that the world is made up of people no smarter than him, you, or me. This is a powerful thing to realize as a young person stepping out into the world. It can be easy to look around and accept things as they are. Instead, question them. Ask why things are the way they are and if there is a better way. Questions lead to solutions. Try the 5 Whys.
3. “It’s very important to have a Feedback Loop. Constantly think about how you could be doing things better and questioning yourself.” – Elon Musk, Founder of PayPal, SpaceX, Tesla Motors & Solar City. Musk truly is a renaissance man, and has an overwhelming amount of knowledge in extremely diverse industries. Even if we just look at the types of solutions Musk’s companies hope to provide to people, it is apparent his aspirations would, to most people, be labeled as “impossible.”Take note: One thing Musk does extremely well is: “He remains focused on the process and what needs to be improved – in order to move one step closer to the thing he hopes to build”. By spending less time worrying whether or not it’s “possible,” he simply goes to work at it. This is an important lesson to learn – and even more so – one that takes constant practice. In order to create an effective Fedback Loop, it can help significantly to have people around you from whom you can bounce ideas, reflect, & push you to continue moving forward.
4. “Always keep your eyes open for new opportunities.” – Dr. Barry Nalebuff, Co-Founder of Honest Tea with Jessica Alba. I listened to Barry speak in Chicago a few years ago, and his entire speech about Honest Tea was around the concept of not always seeing things as they are, but seeing things as they could be. Honest Tea was one of the first companies to take the concept of making healthy drink to the same marketplace as soda. “Those who say it cannot be done should not interrupt the people doing it.” – Chinese proverb.
5. “Stand by your principles and be comfortable with ‘confrontation’ against the status quo“. – Travis Kalanick, Founder of Uber. This quote speaks very directly to Uber’s (controversial) success as a company–and the founder behind the scenes that made it happen. Even more so, it is a reminder of what it takes in order to introduce something new to a marketplace, or an industry. Whenever something new comes along, there is “resistance” in some way. Either what you are doing questions the status quo, or it puts pressure on the people who currently hold the reigns, or it fundamentally changes the way people within that field see & interpret what it is they’re looking at. This can be scary and it can also be exactly what needs to happen. Especially, if you are young and you are bringing a new solution to a very old & outdated industry. It is imperative that you stick with your principles – while you persue your mission.
6. “Obviously everyone wants to be successful, but I want to be looked back on as being very innovative, trusted & ethical – ultimately making a big difference in the world.” – Sergey Brin, Co-Founder of Google. I think this is one of the most important lessons for new graduates and/or anyone stepping into the world of business: Do not be distracted by “get rich quick” schemes & other seemingly short cuts. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Especially when things don’t happen as quickly as you’d like, or if the path is filled with more obstacles than you had imagined, it can be easy to start making short-term choices–instead of remaining true to your long-term “vision”.
7. “EQ [Emotional Quotient] is more important than IQ [Intelligence Quotient].” – Gary Vaynerchuk, Founder of Wine Library & Vayner Media. This is one of Gary’s guiding principles, which have helped him create two multi-million $ companies. He says, “What’s important is self-awareness & knowing yourself.” Gary’s perspective in a lot of his material is that people need to know and recognize deep down, if they are cut out for entrepreneurship (ie, if they have a natural entrepreneurial inclination). Too many people aspire to be an entrepreneur, but aren’t cut out and waste a lot of time trying to be. It’s much better to be the significant person at a well-established company, and be really good at what you do, than be the founder at a company you can’t get off the ground. “Know yourself & your strengths, then follow your passion and build something great.
8. “There is always an Alternate.” – Ron Gibori, Serial Entrepreneur, Co-Founder of Idea Booth, Emmy-Nominated Creative Director. Ron became a mentor of mine right after I too had graduated college. One day, we were working together and he asked me to figure something out for a client, and I came back 30 minutes later and told him I’d done the research and it was impossible. All he said in response was, “There’s always another way – third way. Go figure it out.” An hour later, I figured it out. This is a lesson I have learned time & time again from Ron & others. It is always an important principle to consider when you’re trying to solve a problem. There is always another way, always a solution. Nothing is impossible. It might be challenging to find it, but very few problem are actually “impossible.” The 1st or 2nd solution may be too expensive or complex, but get other feedback, brainstorm as a group or ask someone in another field what they think. You & your Team may be too close to the problem to see the solution.
9. “Simplicity gives you Velocity.” – Aaron Webber, Former CEO of Unicity, Investor, Public Speaker. Aaron is another mentor of mine. In addition to all of the different projects he is involved with, speaks frequently on the subjects of leadership, management, & business. One of the biggest lessons I have learned from Aaron is that “simplicity” always wins – especially in business. There is a tendency to want to add more complexity, in order to fix something. Whether you’re looking to improve something about your business, or even something within yourself, “Simplicity gives you velocity.” Instead of trying to add solutions, see what you can remove in order to simplify the problem and allow the solution to emerge on its own.
10. “You can’t steer a Ship that never left port.” – Mark Beeching, Former Chief Global Creative Officer of Digitas, Global Creative Officer of Blinding Glimpse of the Obvious. In the world of advertising and marketing, Mark Beeching is as entrepreneurial as they come. If there is one lesson I have learned from Mark’s work, it’s that “You can’t steer a ship that’s not moving” – speaks to the creative process. The belief that answers aren’t found by just sitting around and thinking about them. You have to get moving, you have to try things, you have to build, get your hands dirty, & experience it for yourself – in order to see where the breakdowns occur + what you can do to create a solution. Especially to new graduates, this is a crucial lesson. You have to get moving. Do not fall victim to the bad habit of thinking you have to have it all figured out – before you get started. It doesn’t work that way. Start the journey, start putting yourself and your ideas out there, and you’ll get the feedback to make it great !!!
Conclusion. The common thread among all the entrepreneurs listed above is their un-relenting discipline to stay true to something they believed mattered – their Vision. Their success was not founded upon quick solutions or easy ventures. Their success was founded upon an idea for things to be different, in relation to the needs & values of human beings (cuctomers). To all new graduates, stay focused, stay humble, & remember: nothing worth building is ever easy, but worthy of your best effort.
Comments: Do you have any other Advice for new college Graduates.
from INC Zine 27 june 16 enchanded by Peter/CXO Wiz4.biz