Must read by every entrepreneurs and aspiring CEOs

Becoming an entrepreneur most of the times require a lot of hard works initially, but when success is made, the rewards produce an unending joy and fulfillment. One of the most needed value any entrepreneur needs is encouragement, not from anybody but from within. Being courageous is a personal thing which can be attained by following the footsteps of those who has successfully established their companies. Every successful establishment was once on the ideas stage; they had their ups and down at earlier stages but managed to scale through.

In this week’s publication, we have put together different views from over 20 different CEOs, Entrepreneurs, Investors and Founders of successful businesses around the world on what they do that distinguish them from others and make them stand out from their peers.

To Your Success!

  • From: Brandon Lee, Entrepreneur | Investor | Connector
  • Spend a lot of time thinking, planning, prioritizing and strategizing
  • Make sure I spend more time executing than talking about execution
  • Spend a significant amount of time, money, and energy investing in my personal development and expanding the depth and breadth of understanding across many subjects
  • Specifically study people who have the results that I want for myself
  • Intentionally develop my soft skills
  • Use the phone when I choose to, I don’t feel pressured to pick up or answer texts/emails immediately
  • Don’t have qualms about saying “no” to things that don’t fit my focus
  • Severely limit my time and interaction with toxic people and parasitic relationships in my life and intentionally build my network with invigorating, synergistic, and like-minded people
  • Initiate 95% of the time in my relationships
  • Connect people in my network with each other
  • Actively seek for input, critique, and advice from those I respect and admire
  • Make it a point to always be invested in by someone (be mentored) and always be investing in someone as well (mentoring)
  • Never write people off in my initial interactions because I never know who I might be talking to, I’m always curious about peoples’ stories and journeys
  • From: Auren Hoffman, CEO of LiveRamp.

Founders are always recruiting. Great founders are always thinking about how they can get more superstars to join their company. When another company gets bought, most great founders root for the founder that had a terrific exit.  But when another company recruits a great engineer, most great founders are profoundly jealous. To win, you need the best people.  To get the best people, you often need to be winning. Most great founders think about recruiting when they wake up, when they go to the bathroom, when they eat, when they are with their kids, and when they work out.  They often have recruiting in their dreams.

  • From: Peter Baskerville, 35 years in small and large businesses

If there is one thing that entrepreneurs and founders do that most others don’t – it’s creating the future.

The vast majority of people don’t believe that they can change their situation through their own efforts. They tend to be fatalistic and blame outside forces for their circumstances and will often credit luck, fate or chance for success/failure – because they personally seem to have little or no control over such things. The best they can do is to mitigate the impact of what others have cause in their lives. It’s a passive life often lived in servitude and obedience. It is also an outlook described by psychologists as an external locus of control. You will see entrepreneurs and founders creating the future in:

  • their unrelenting drive and fortitude, coupled with the determination to turn their current idea into a future reality
  • their ‘just do it’ actions uninfluenced by the negative opinions of others that seeks to create existence for their idea
  • their passion and verbally expressed conviction as they seek to manufacture consent from others for the course of action they have fully committed themselves to
  • their incessant scanning for key resources that could be marshalled to help them make the future their reality … and seeking to influence others to commit ‘to the cause’.
  • From:Victor Huang, Enterprise software CEO, alternative

I don’t know what other entrepreneurs do, but I haven’t worked for anyone for two decades, which is half the time I have been alive, so it probably works. Since I started in sales in high school and then moved onto college, then moved on to finance and trading, it shouldn’t be a surprise a lot of what I do still follows the patterns of an investor. Here are the things I do and get away with:

  • I read constantly. I have read two books on fiction in the past twenty five years, the rest are all nonfiction. I go through about 5-10 books a month. I spend at least 3-5 hours reading, researching a day.
  • I don’t network. Contrary to what I see a lot of others do, I like to be alone, alone with my own thoughts. I find networks tend to be a lot of time wasted and you get a lot of noise anyways.
  • I like to travel, or even when I am not traveling, just get out and drive around and check things out. I get more ideas and inspirations this way.
  • Whenever I encounter a business, I try to find out what makes it tick, the levers that drives the margin, the business. I used to be walked around the big local mall here and try to see which one is doing well and why. I then try to figure out what are the net margins like for those businesses. If they are all listed company, even better. I get to verify my own analysis with their financial filings. Of course, after years of doing this, I can usually grasp the business model and see the common traits of successful businesses right away.
  • I am blunt, I have no qualms about calling out things or people that I consider subpar, and I expect the same from others.
  • Since I don’t network, I do recruit. Most of the key hiring in my company is people directly recruited by me. I don’t do recruiting the conventional way either. Some of these people I ran into in everyday life. I have tried to recruit the guy behind the rental car counter, the sales guy at a store, even a doctor. I have a gut feel about the energy and character of the individual this way, besides; I get to see them operate in their own elements. Most start up guys do some kind of elevator pitch, except I do it to people I want to hire.
  • I am extremely hands off. I want to assume the people I work with have the talent, skills, motivation and integrity I thought they possess. It is entirely up to them to prove me wrong, so I leave them alone. This is far more productive than micromanaging. This is really akin to investing. You do your picking, but you also need to be patient and let your investment play out.
  • Most people are being told to have a savings mindset. I don’t. I never think about saving money, instead I rather focus on how to maximize returns. I have been broke a few times, but I never got scared because I know I have the ability to make money. It is the same mindset when running a business. I rather find ways to increase profit margin by making the product and services we provide more valuation to the customer than try to squeeze cost out of employees and vendors. There is only so much cost savings you can squeeze out, but the upside of additional margin or revenue from customers is unlimited.
  • Don’t be afraid, laugh at it. I encounter people who are smart, talented and far more educated than me but are frustrated because they know full well they haven’t reached their potential. The simple reason is fear. Fear of what others may think of them, fear of disrupting the status quo, fear of failure, fear of the imaginary, and the fear of not having imagination. Fear is stupid and crippling. The earlier and more directly you confront fear the more successful you will be. I never thought I am any smarter than the next guy, but I know I have more balls because I simply don’t care, and I am not afraid. The first thing I do when I meet someone is to ask myself what this person is afraid of. It is like the old joke about bears; you don’t have to run faster than the bear, you just have to run faster than the next guy. Again, you will do better than the next guy if you can overcome the fears he has. Overcoming ones fears is perhaps the most important contributor to success.
  • From:Eric Scott
  • Leave good paying jobs to do things most other people don’t believe in.
  • Initiate change and drag others along with them.
  • Enjoy detailed discussions on interviewing strategies, business generation tactics, and market penetration.
  • There’s always something to pitch.
  • Dislike authority, other than our own.
  • Take action that will likely lead to failure and make decisions that have a high chance of being wrong, and repeating
  • From : Daniel Kao, Entrepreneur, Blogger, Designer
  • Question everything– Peter Thiel, a serial entrepreneur in the technology space (notoriously known for founding paypal) is the best example of someone who goes against the grain and challenges many traditionally held beliefs. One question that he likes to ask a lot is “What do you believe that most people would disagree with you about?”
  • Come up with quick ideas, but are able to focus on them long term– Founders and entrepreneurs are generally able to spot a problem and come up with a million different solutions in a very short amount of time, but they know how to execute and systematically find the best solution and work on building it out.
  • Are jacks-of-all-trades– Being a founder and entrepreneur generally means you can wear a variety of different hats, especially when building a company from nothing. They know how to network, pitch, program, design, hire, among many things.
  • Recognize what matters– Successful founders and entrepreneurs are generally able to execute their ideas with extreme precision and efficiency. Startups always face the problem of “too much to do, too little time and manpower”. Being able to recognize what is important and what isn’t is incredibly crucial.
  • From:Jennifer Bullard, Entrepreneur, Game Developer
  • We charge for value, not time or cost. I always think in the value of the product/service and the general price range for the client. Then I set a price.
  • Think in terms of other people. What would my client want? How would they use this? What do they need right now? What will they pay for? What is expected to be free? What I do is solve problems for other people. No one pays me to do what I want
  • Roll with it. No plan survives contact with the enemy. I’ve handed over project plans, wire frames, products and watched customers shred it. Taking it personally will grind you down and you’ll quit. Learn, move on.
  • I see opportunity everywhere. I read articles on businesses, new strategies all of the time and figure out how would I do that? How can I incorporate those ideas into my current work?
  • Read, read, read. Other people have insights that you haven’t found or forgot. Easiest mistake to learn from is someone else’s.
  • Time management. I have two full time jobs and consult, with a family. Prioritizing the day is important for me.
  • Find people who want to help and give them the opportunity. I’m pretty new to this, but I’ve learned something recently. If there is an opportunity to do anything and its just outside my scope I have to turn it down. But I’ll often recommend another person who would fit the bill nicely and is looking for such an opportunity. Even if they don’t take it, that person knows I’m thinking of them. Win all around.
  • Networking needs change as you move through different stages of your business. When first starting out – always say yes. You need to meet everyone to find the connections to launch and they can come in unexpected places. Eventually networking has focal points, either you are looking for a specific type of person or you are keeping your network fresh. But I can go months without attending one.
  • It keeps you sharp and in the loop on what is up and coming. As I get older I find that students of this newest generation think differently enough from me that I am able to learn from their ideas. Not necessarily the tactical details – that’s what I provide. But I learn new thought processes and where a new generation is heading.
  • Know when to multitask, know when to focus and know when you are most productive. My best focus time is in the morning, so anything that requires concentration is done then, and usually without too much distraction. I’ll multi-task Skype chats with social media & emails, or playing games with watching TV. But if its something that is hard (for me) that gets its own time while I’m fresh and focused.
  • From:Sanket Firodiya, ideas-tech-product-design-metrics

Successful founders are people who

  • are highly action-biased
  • make decisions with information that others might think is inadequate
  • genuinely interested and passionate about the problem they are solving
  • know the difference between risk and unwarranted risk
  • know what the most important things are at any given point and can constantly reprioritize
  • proactive learners and curious about the world
  • are humble, positive, good people to work with/for
  • From: Christopher Donohue; Technologist, Entrepreneur

Entrepreneurs make change and to do so, you need to be curious and focused on uncovering truth through experimentation.

  • From:Douglas Hilbert, Athlete, Coach, Buddhist, Blogger

Face Fear and Take Risks would be the only things I have done differently than most of my employees, friends and family over 15 years… at least in business.

And many times I lost and they cannot understand the point of taking the risk… I cannot understand not taking the risk and sitting in a “comfortable” job or wherever. They value safety over risk, I value risk over safety. It’s just two different perspectives on life.

I also tend to take more risks in other parts of life as well… Maybe it’s genetic, epigenetic or entrepreneurs are slightly mentally ill.

  • From:Wallace B. McClure

I’m always thinking, how can I make my users more productive.  I am obsessing over my users.  How can I make things easier for them.  How can I make a transaction quicker.  How can I add more value to my users. Am I inadvertently creating pain points.

  • From: Parag Shivanekar, Thinker , An Altruist ,Profound Writer
  • Every night before bed, I think about this question: If I live every day the same way I did today, what kind of future would that create? It forces me to constantly evaluate whether or not my actions are lining up with my priorities. The future is shaped one day at a time, and it’s never as far away as we think.–Co-founder Jesse Lear of V.I.P. Waste Services
  • Create a regimented schedule
  • Set three specific goals weekly and monthly and ignore everything else
  • Reflect on critical open questions through different lenses.
  • Make lots of lists as soon as you get to the office.
  • From:Chris Sever

I own two businesses I started from barely anything and are now both successful. I am not a tech guy and both my businesses are blue collar. The things I can tell you I’ve learned in eight years are very numerous but one thing I know is if you want to start and own a business you need to:

  • Be able to handle embarrassment and insecurity about the future
  • Work harder than anyone you employ
  • Be willing and able to do every job in your business if possible
  • Do not think you will just be home counting your money while your  businesses succeed and grow
  • Know that nobody will work as hard or care as much about your business as you do
  • And in my case realize I will only get 60-70% out of and employee if I’m lucky
  • From:Karthik Venkatesan, Director, Training Solutions
  • Learn to love what you do. You can do what you love or if not then this. Nothing keeps you invigorated to do the thing that you love most. Of course, you will get hurt, people will discourage you and not help you as you would have imagine, and the whole of the works. But, the enthusiasm to do something that you love, and smell even a small and tiniest bit of success at that, keeps you going way beyond you may ever need to!
  • From: Larry MacDonald, Innovator of early stage companies

Most people are incapable of seeing what is missing.  Abstract thinkers see opportunities by noticing what isn’t yet.

  • From:Carl Willis

They take action!

  • From:Kirk Lyus

The main difference is that they dare to start a business. Everything else follows from the struggle to stay afloat.

  • From: Sabharwal

They Dream in Years, Plan in Months, Ship in Days

  • From: Martha Heckmann, Polymath & Writer

They have a very rare sense of urgency and grit. They do what the average person only dreams or says they will do. They take risks and aren’t afraid to disrupt and fail.

  • From:Daniel Brown

Increase their value. Nothing is more important to a company than increasing their personal value and knowledge because this bleeds out to how the treat and teach their employees.

 From: Julia Bermudez

For me, entrepreneurs always do their research. To be fearless and taking on challenges and risks is just half of the project, the other half you have to learn how to do your research. And this is coming from a firsthand experience. I thought I was already ready to launch my business but then, time went by and I was not getting the returns I was expecting. I thought I had the perfect plan, but I underestimated the food business.

  • From:Pete Shields, Start-up entrepreneur

Entrepreneurs are not deterred by complexity, they just start doing things. I won’t say they finish things because – although it’s important to have staying power as an entrepreneur – when things succeed, they typically lose their end points. It’s the diving-in and starting that first differentiates an entrepreneur.

  • From: Raghav Saxena, Ecommerce Enthusiast
  • They take most tough tasks on their shoulders
  • They keep interacting within team
  • Dedicated to design best place for work
  • They always encourage creativity
  • They get involved in Hiring process to find right mix
  • They won’t give up.
  • From:Amar Krishna Jha,

They have the courage to step on a different path by placing their dreams above their fears.

  • From: Charles O. CEO ZumaMall (eCommerce site)

The hardest thing to become is an entrepreneur, the best anyone would wish himself is to become rich, however, you can’t discover your full potential and how strong you are working for someone.

  • From: Neel Jain, Entrepreneur

They ask themselves a great question in every situation:

“What would a Great Man do in my place?”

It will always separate them from the rest of the crowd.

Share your thoughts!!!

Things that founders and entrepreneurs do that most people don’t?


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