4 Bits of Advice from My Favorite Entrepreneurs
I'm kind of grateful for the time before launching my business that I just spent with analysis-paralysis and chose to just consume, consume, consume all the content I could get my hands on.
I have a few things that have really stuck with me that I am noticing to be true more and more each and every day of this crazy journey. I'll do my best to cite the specific sources I used to glean these little pearls of wisdom so that y'all can go right back to the horse's mouth with that one (pretty sure I've never used that idiom before, but it came pretty naturally, I dare say!)
1. Provide Value to Your Audience Before Selling Your Stuff
This message comes from a lot of entrepreneurs I've followed, but I have to say Gary Vaynerchuk was the one who really sent this one home for me. He has a saying: "Jab, jab, right hook." His jabs are what he gives or pushes out to his audience/followers and his right hook is whatever he decides to sell to them. The beauty of his model is that his jabs far, FAR outnumber his right hooks so that he's built a large enough following with his free content (his value), and then when it comes time for him to sell something (a newly-released book, etc.) for his audience, it's a no-brainer on if they'll buy or not because they KNOW it will be good (based on his previous free offerings).
2. Eliminate Fear by Getting Real about the REAL Worst-Case Scenario
This one comes from The 4-Hour Work Week author, Tim Ferriss. I love his explanation about why being scared about going after what you want is silly because we tend to jump to extreme conclusions. He has an exercise called Fear-Setting in which we think about what we're scared of in terms of going after our dreams, and to really (realllyyyy) get to know these so-called fears. What are we absolutely afraid of? We quit our horrible, anxiety-inducing job and go travel for a month to clear our minds, as an example. The worst thing our minds think of: we'll go broke/bankrupt, we'll be on the street, we'll never excavate ourselves from the hole we'll inevitably fall into! But REALLY, will this happen? And then the second part of the exercise is to come up with real, applicable solutions to get us out of any dire situations. With this exercise, you realize how irrational your fears are and we'll literally stop at nothing to prevent ourselves from taking a good, old-fashioned risk.
As Tim says, "What we fear most doing is usually what we most need to do."
3. There's no shame in having a day-job while building your dream.
If you don't know about Marie Forleo, you need to ACTUALLY excavate from that hole and go binge on her stuff. She's all about creating a business and life you love, and it's pretty impossible to not love and appreciate her authentic and sometimes-goofy personality. Marie talks a lot about how she had to have a day-job in order to build her current successful business and why it's silly that young and budding entrepreneurs feel ashamed to have to do that in the beginning. There is 100% no shame in this, and I'd even go so far as to say that it's really necessary to keep a roof over your head and food in your stomach while still being able to be creative about all things involving your lovely business!
4. Stay in it for the Long Game
This is another idea from probably every successful entrepreneur but I love how Gary Vee (Vaynerchuk) consistently runs it home. He's fed up with young people coming to him upset that they're not an overnight success when in reality he wants them to know that it takes TIME, so much TIME for people to be successful. For them to provide value (again) and to build an audience. For them to be self-aware and to really be all about the journey and the grittiness of building their stuff.
Okay, those are my most pertinent examples of advice I love from entrepreneurs I follow pretty often. I actually really like this idea for a blog post (a lot!) so I might make this a regular thing. Kind of like a digest of great tidbits of content and advice... Hmm!