With my new show Project X, one question I seem to be getting a lot is, "What is the hardest part about starting a new company?" and also, "What is the one thing you need to do to start on a successful path as an aspiring entrepreneur?"
Both are great questions, but they are not so easy to answer.
It all starts with money.
Paying the bills, and trying to maintain a positive cash flow, while trying to have your vision come to fruition is not easy.
In the end the hardest thing you'll have to do is say no.
When running a business you must learn to say no. It doesn't come naturally. Saying no is a skill.
Sometimes even if you think you need to make that sale, or obtain that client, you need to always look at the bigger picture and determine if it is something you are doing for the money, or because you know it is good business.
Being successful does not mean you should just do things to stay afloat. There are also all kinds of things you shouldn't do and are tempted to say yes to, but you are able to refrain from because you know it's good business to do so.
With any new idea always keep your focus on good work, good employees, and good clients. When you do good work with good clients, people notice!
It begins with your first job.
One of the most important business decisions is when and where you start your career. It all begins with taking that first job out of school that you don't want to take.
Between the pressure to work and to start making money, or to show your family and friends that the past four years of school paid off, a lot of people tend to take the first job offered to them. If these are the reasons you take a job, then that will be your first mistake.
Once you are at your new company you are immediately pressed to show that you can do your job well and make money for your organization. But, that place may not ultimately be the right fit for you. You might be getting paid more at first, but when it comes to your first job, you are better off making less money with a quality company doing something that you love, instead of making a lot of money in a shaky situation.
The most important pieces of advice I have for you in business are:
- Dream big: Always dream big, never believe that your dream is unattainable.
- Sample small: Make sure your ideas are what you think they are (let's just say you need to have a reality check with yourself).
- Fail quick: If you fail then move on, because failure isn't an action, it's a response to that action.
The quality of your brand is everything and must be nurtured every day of your career. Your personal brand is associated to the company you work for and the people you surround yourself with. If the people around you aren't doing anything to help you improve, then fail quick and find people who will.
In the end, quality always wins.