I think the most important thing to be an entrepreneur is to get out of theory. A lot of entrepreneurs spend hours at coffee shops and in meetings talking about how they are going to change the world, how amazing things are going to be, and how wonderful they are going to be. Everything they say is in the future tense.
Go build something, go do something, it doesn’t really matter what it is but just go do something, build something together, make something happen.
Across the board, traction is very important. Do something, it doesn’t really matter if it is great. Just go through the process together. I think to a certain extent pitch skills are overrated, build something amazing and investors will find you.
Investors look for what is your distribution model, what is your product, what problem are you trying to solve, how are you going to access your customers, how much money are you going to make and do you have the right team to get there.
It’s not enough to sit in your office and say I think this is what people will want. Great start-ups talk to their users, great start-ups get out there. If I’m going to start a photography shop, I need to talk to customers and providers of cameras.
A mistake that most entrepreneurs do is that once they have refined their business model and business plans, their mentors are not changing. The core business advisor should be helping you with recruiting your team, with your business model, your distribution model, and the product market fit. If they are not helping you with one of those four things, if they are not fundamentally the best in one of those things, they are the wrong mentors to be working with. It’s okay to say I want to upgrade my mentor.
One of the problems start-up entrepreneurs have when they build their teams is that they build top-down, that’s a bad sign. You probably don’t need a CFO (Chief Financial Officer) or a CMO (Chief Marketing Officer), or a CTO (Chief Technology Officer) or COO (Chief Operations Manager). Why do you need junior and senior titles in your start-up, do you don’t. What you need is a group of people that are busting their tails to get something done. It doesn’t matter what their titles are, they going to have to earn their titles, for now it’s about having the role to play and contribution to make and they all need to have a deeper respect for each other’s contribution. When you are dealing with a big company (Apple, IBM or Microsoft) one bad person doesn’t have a huge effect on the overall culture, its one of how many tens of thousands of people. When you are five people in a start-up in a tiny room, one person is twenty percent, if one person is not pulling their weight they are taking away from everybody else. You all should be pulling the boat in the same direction. Focus on the task and solving the problem and let the culture start to form.
It really comes down to:
– Is it a great idea?
– Is there a great team?
– Are we solving a meaningful problem?
– With a real business model.
So engage deep, don’t be afraid to change and solve problems.
Don’t get caught up in the process and the culture of entrepreneurship, GO BE AN ENTREPRENEUR.