(1) Make sure you love and enjoy itBuilding a business is so hard that you better love it or you’ll quit when the going gets tough. If you don’t love it, you’ll also be unwilling to put in the long ground work. Find something you would do for free because you love it that much.
(2) Be niceBeing nice is free and being nice will increase the chances of people wanting to work with and for you. Anything that is free and has huge positive effects should be used frequently and abundantly.
(3) Work hard and smartHard work is vital, but hard work alone doesn’t guarantee success; there are a lot of people out there working a lot harder than I am and if how hard you worked was the only deterministic factor of success, then there would be a lot of millionaire tea leaf pickers in Africa.
(4) Focus and saying noAs your success increases and your business grows, there will be a lot of distractions and a lot of people offering you opportunities that will distract you from doing whatever it is that got you to where you are now. You need to learn to say no, and sometimes you have to say no to things you really want to do.
(5) Never stop huntingYou have hunters and you have farmers. Farmers do whatever fed them last year. They plant the same seeds on the same patch then harvest the same crops. Hunters understand that sometimes soil becomes infertile so they set off every day looking for new foods in new, unexplored areas. It’s important that you never stop hunting. Read more about how to grow a business:
- Six insights on growth hacking from a VC
- Five questions to ask when considering growth equity
- How to manage sustainable growth
(6) Believe you canI’ve found that a belief that you can do something, is a required factor in actually being able to do it.
(7) Progress wiselyTake direction from people who arrived at the destination you want to get to. Try not to take too much direction from people who aren’t where you want to go.
(8) Don’t fear the bottomIf you lose everything it’s not actually that bad – you’ll still have happiness and life. I think it’s important to realise that losing it all isn’t fatal and that the “bottom” is a place you can survive, live and be happy. It’s this understanding that gives you the confidence to take bigger risks and ultimately reap bigger rewards.
(9) There’s never a perfect time to startYou will always be too busy and you will always have something else taking up your calendar. So no matter what you keep telling yourself, there will never be a perfect time, so you have no choice but to pick an imperfect one; how about now?
(10) A quote from Geroge Elliot“It is never too late to be who you might have been.” However, despite its basic meaning, growth is actually rather complicated – after all, what it means to you could be different to board members. That’s precisely why business leaders should be careful they do not to start running before the company can walk. Stave Bartlett is the co-founder of Social Chain.
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