Startup Entrepreneur: From the Ashes
November 2, 2016
Entrepreneurial Focus: Shiny Object Syndrome
December 1, 2016

5 Entrepreneurial Lessons That Work

What if a billionaire came to you and offered to teach you how to become wealthy yourself -- would you take the opportunity? One of the incredible things about our free-enterprise system is that it is in fact possible to come from virtually nothing and become a billionaire. Individuals like Mark Zuckerberg, Mark Cuban, and Bill Gates all came from relatively modest means and were able to become a few of the wealthiest billionaires on the face of the Earth. In the process, they learned hard, painful lessons about what it really takes to reach the levels of success they attained.

If you want to amass wealth as efficiently as the most successful entrepreneurs, one of the most effective ways to do that is to listen to the advice of those very success stories. Fortunately for us, entrepreneurs frequently provide us with lessons, anecdotes, and information we can use to cut the learning curve dramatically.

The following are five lessons from entrepreneurs. Whether you are involved in web and mobile app product strategy, design development, or are just trying to create an MVP (Minimum Viable Product), these lessons can help you reach the next level in your own entrepreneurial endeavors.

1. Understand the Difference Between Vision and Visibility

Vision is a critical component of being a successful entrepreneur. In addition to providing the grand objective of an entrepreneurial ambition, having a vision that you share with the other members of your team can provide the motivation and direction needed to actually realize that vision.

Visibility, on the other hand, is an understanding of the specific steps and timeline that will be needed to move the business to the next stages. The younger a business is, the shorter the horizon of visibility will be, which makes having vision even more important.

Facebook's Vision to connect the world through its social network began first with the visibility to connect the people had an @harvard.edu email address. Even the biggest visions can start small.

2. How You Sequence Matters in Life

Tony Robbins had a famous quote, "The dog bit Johnny vs. Johnny bit the dog." This four-word sequence shows how rearranging a few simple elements can completely change their meaning and implication. In business, understanding who your customer is and your relationship to them, can also be comprised of a few simple elements that nonetheless need to be arranged in the proper order.

If you start with you predefined solution in mind without intimately understanding who your customer is and what their vital problems are, you are peeling an onion starting from the 3rd layer and you'll just make a mess of things...

3. Repeatable Precision Produces Predictable Outcomes

In business, one of the fundamental elements of success is the ability to identify an optimal process and repeat it with as close to perfect accuracy as possible. In the golf world, Tiger Woods was known for his Nike iron that looked like it was completely unused - except for the precise sweet spot where he would actually make contact with the ball. This type of precision is what drove Tiger Woods to the top of the golf world in his prime, and it is equally true for optimized business processes.

If everytime you startup, everytime you make a decision, everytime you enter a new market or add a new feature and you do not do all you can to maximize certainty of results you are living on hope, using trial and error as your guide, and destined to waste time and money.

4. The Difference Getting it RIGHT Makes

If you want to reach entrepreneurial success, you'll need to push yourself harder than you thought possible. By pushing yourself just 2 percent harder than what you thought your "maximum" level of effort was every day, you'll end up with 1,377 percent more at the end of one year.

Now, apply this idea of "getting it right" to your business. The #1 reason startups fail is because there is "No Market Need". How could smart, experienced, hard working entrepreneurs like you build something that nobody needs. Well, they didn't - exactly. No Market Need means that they didn't understand their customer well enough, didn't solve their most vital problem, and/or tried to solve it in the wrong way.

Wrong Customer + Wrong Problem + Wrong Solution = No Customer Need.

A 2% refinement in understanding their customer, 2% refinement in understanding the right problem, and 2% refinement in solving it in the right way produces a 20X better result. 20X is the difference between success and failure.

5. Winners Never Take Asymmetrical Risk

Understanding risk and reward is crucial for long-term success. The best entrepreneurs look for ways to minimize their potential risk and maximize their potential upside. You should always try to identify opportunities where each dollar invested - or put at risk - has the greatest possible return, while also looking for opportunities where the number of dollars required is small enough to have the least impact on your long-term viability as an entrepreneur or as a business owner.

Becoming a successful entrepreneur isn't easy, but for those who are willing to work hard and learn from those that came before them, the information and opportunities are out there.
>