In business, younger Henry Ford. In his prime, he was the first true visionary of his time and one of the greatest business leaders ever. He was quoted as saying, “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.” He understood that to do something truly great, you have to be fearless and committed to your goals.
In life, my father. He moved from a third world country to Canada without a high school education, with two toddlers, a newborn, and a committed wife who didn’t speak the language. He worked three jobs that collectively didn’t add up to $10/hour. Today, he has a net worth exceeding a million dollars. He has taught me more about business than my business degree.
What’s the single best piece of business advice that helped shape who you are as an entrepreneur today, and why?
Just because someone else broke their promise or is being unjust does not give you an opening to retaliate. Always uphold yourself to the highest regard. Bring people up to your level. Don’t go down to theirs.
What’s the biggest mistake you ever made in your business, and what did you learn from it that others can learn from too?
At a young age, I became crazed with money. Making money is like tanning. If you try to do it all at once, you may burn yourself. But with a consistent process, you can have long lasting results. My mistake was putting my needs ahead of my clients and inflating my own ego because I could not find a better sales person.
Since then, I have learned humility and understand how to establish long lasting partnerships by looking out for the collective need, not just my own.
What do you do during the first hour of your business day and why?
I write down the list of tasks I need to complete before I can go home. I have a strict schedule I create at the beginning of the week and have specific tasks that I must finish prior to leaving the office for the day.
What’s your best financial/cash-flow related tip for entrepreneurs just getting started?
Do not take other people’s money. The popular term these days is “bootstrapping.” It used to be called “starting a business.” I am not sure when everyone came to the conclusion that they need funding to start a company.
Save some money, start a business and pinch every penny. If you have funding, you will blow through it and spend unnecessarily.
Quick: What’s ONE thing you recommend ALL aspiring or current entrepreneurs do right now to take their biz to the next level?
Think about how/why you would buy your product/solution if you were your consumer.
What’s your definition of success? How will you know when you’ve finally “succeeded” in your business?
When I never have to introduce myself again!