People are often quick to share their advice and/or opinions about business matters. If I had followed a lot of the advice sent my way, my business would not enjoy the success it enjoys today.
Conversely, if I had not followed some of the advice I have received, there is no way my businesses would be as successful as they are today. I have spent the last week reflecting on all the advice I have been given and selected what I perceive to be the most impactful on my journey.
1. Join the Entrepreneurs Organisation
Just two years into my entrepreneurial journey, when my business was still in its infancy, I was introduced to the Entrepreneurs Organisation (EO). At the time, I did not have the required revenue to be a full member, but they had started a new program called Ignition (now called Accelerator) for businesses that had the potential to become full members.
A couple of years later, my business had grown enough for me to become a full member. Since then, my learning and experience have shaped me as a business person, husband, and individual. One of the key benefits for me has been the forum, a small mastermind group that cannot give advice but speak and learn from each other’s experiences.
2. Don’t Hold Out for Perfection
Many people strive for perfection before acting, but I have seen many businesses fail for this reason alone. Perfection is both subjective and arguably unattainable.
Do your best, have a plan, and be ethical, honest, trustworthy, and thoughtful with your actions. Put it out there, iterate, and keep improving.
It is critical to invest in both your business and yourself. I recall that my first ‘real’ website cost me $10k. I couldn’t afford it at the time. My first enquiry through that website was Singapore Airlines!
In 2013, Sir Richard Branson invited me to spend a week with him and 25 other entrepreneurs on Necker Island. That trip cost me $20k. Again, I couldn’t afford it, but the resulting media attention resulted in six direct sales that dwarfed the cost of the trip. I couldn’t afford my first (or second) staff member, but I decided to invest in them anyway, and the rest
4. Don’t Insist on a Linear Trajectory
Nothing you do as an entrepreneur will be linear. You will go backwards, sideways, and every direction in between. Embrace the ‘squiggly line’. It’s part of the journey.
One of the best ways to ensure your business stays competitive is to ensure that you constantly innovate and improve. The Japanese concept of Kaizen is one of continual improvement. Lead from the front and let others copy and follow; they will always be behind you.