5 Lessons Learned in 5 Years of Entrepreneurship
1. (Team + Culture) * Execution = Outcomes
Pay close attention to team, culture, and your execution quality
From what I’ve experienced in my time working with teams I’ve learned that there are three, high level critical factors that are the foundation of either good or bad outcomes with the team over time; the team, it’s culture, and it’s execution. I see outcomes as being heavily influenced through:
(Team + Culture) * Execution = Outcome
The “quality” of your team based on various factors such as experience, how long you’ve known one another, your strengths, your weaknesses, and many other factors.
The culture of your team and the company. A good or bad culture will eventually make or break your business. It’s your job to build a great one from the start as a founder and hire people who can further evolve your culture.
The quality of your team’s execution on what you set out to do. Once again, many smaller things will effect the quality of your execution such as experience, market timing, market need, and the pace at which your team can accomplish goals.
2. Simple is best.
Simple is best for three core reasons:
- Simple increases “speed.”
- Simple reduces “costs.”
- Simple is easy to understand.
The faster you can move, the lower your costs are, and the easier your business is to understand/work with as an entrepreneur, the higher your chances of success. You’ll be able to improve quicker, less things will break, and more investors/customers will “get” your business.
3. Get it working now, get it right later.
I’ve found that many early stage entrepreneurs, including myself, have a tendency to think that their product/service (“it”) must be perfect the first time anyone even lays eyes on it.
Before you even get it working, do you due diligence to make sure that people need it. After you know people need it, strip it down to the absolute core features. Then show it to others in order to get feedback and learn what to improve.
The goal here is to build and learn rapidly in a loop until you have something that; 1. People will pay for. 2. You can make money selling those people.
4. Dedicate time for personal development.
“Who” you are will have a strong influence on “who” your business is. Through cultivating your own personal growth within knowledge, health, skills, and happiness the quality of your work will naturally improve.
There are many areas to focus on in personal development. A great way to start is to identify your strengths, you weaknesses, where you want to “go” in the future, and then to identify what you need to work on in order to get from point A (now) to point B (later).
5. Your relationships are everything.
There is a big difference between “networking” and “building relationships,” so let’s set that straight first. To me, networking is an artificial way to build short term relationships that bring marginal benefits (if any at all). Aka, a waste of time. On the other hand, building genuine relationships is a much slower process, takes more energy, but leads to far higher returns in the long run and can grow your “network” exponentially.
In entrepreneurship, succeeding ultimately boils down the quality of your relationships. Your relationships can open or close doors for you and make or ruin your business.