Today I’m sharing some resources to help you develop the qualities of a successful entrepreneur.
One of the keys of entrepreneurial success is building deep knowledge. As part of your learning journey, I recommend reading Good to Great and Built to Last by Jim Collins. He also has great resources on his website to introduce you to principles of company building.
To develop the builder's determination you need, you’ll have to become comfortable with learning from failure. On this journey, everything is an experiment. Experimenting and failing will ultimately lead to your success. This story illustrates just how much quantity leads to quality – don’t sit around theorizing about building something perfect, just get out there.
Attempt mediocrity, even. Dare to write one really awful sentence if you have to. It takes the pressure off. And mediocre might just lead to good, which every now and then might get me to awesome. But if I start by expecting to begin with awesome, I might just sit there instead, waiting for lightning to strike. Or, more likely, start scrolling Twitter and RSS feeds.
Part of learning resourcefulness is learning from others. Look to the entrepreneurs you admire to see how they faced setbacks with creative solutions. David Cummings wrote about my friend Jewel Burks Solomon and her resourcefulness here.
In the midst of this journey, you need something to hold onto that positively grounds you and drives you forward. For me, it’s the love of building, and the freedom to have impact that drives me. However, my immediate family is the first, foundational, and most important “business” I’m building, the most important place for impact, I’m grounded so I can keep going. It doesn’t have to be family for you, but if it is, the 3 Big Questions for a Frantic Family by Patrick Lencioni offers some insights into how to managing family amidst the craziness.
Helping you bootstrap to a billion.
Clarity Needed Recently, I was having a conversation with a leader of a company in my portfolio. It's a small team doing well in its early days but navigating some inflection points. We were discussing a key team member. She appreciated that he did good work on individual tasks, but she was concerned about some critical decisions he was making and the ideas he was putting forth. His ideas didn't align with her business direction and vision. The team member seemed very excited and couldn't...
The Tuesday Roundup Today I’m sharing more resources to help you make great decisions. Andy Grove, as I mentioned in the newsletter, is a great resource for leadership and decision making. Read his classic book on business leadership, High Output Management for insights on decision making, innovation, and business execution. It can be difficult to know how to put yourself in the “knowing what I now know” mindset. This article from HBR explains different ways to get yourself out of a biased...
Knowing What I Know Now: Making Great Decisions One of my favorite entrepreneurship stories is about Andy Grove and Gordon Moore, the founders of Intel, during a difficult phase of the company's business. Intel had found significant success in the memory chip space. It was a growing market, responsible for most of Intel's profits. However, stiff competition from Japan, among other factors, was beginning to affect profitability. It was getting commoditized. Andy and Gordon were torn. Memory...