Tuesday, January 21, 2014

15 Things I Wish I’d Known Before Starting My First Company

From a very young age, I loved the idea of starting a business. It helps that I grew up in a family full of entrepreneurs, so there’s no surprise that I launched my first company while I was in high school.

Since then, I’ve launched several businesses. Some succeeded, but most failed. While I made and lost a lot of money, each success or failure always led me to learn something new. So, looking back over my career, I’ve compiled 15 things I wish I’d known before I started my first business. Here they are:

Lesson #1: Swing for the fence

Here’s the deal: it takes as much effort to create a small company as it does to create a large one, so you might as well swing for the fences.

What does that look like? Well, the first question you have to ask is this: are you are a slugger or a base hitter? In other words, what is your tolerance for risk versus reward?

Employees are base hitters. Entrepreneurs, on the other hand, can be sluggers. While CEOs can make big money, most of the millionaires in America are entrepreneurs.

So the question is, where do you want to be? If my business partner and I focused all of our energy on our first business and tried to swing for the fences instead of creating a lifestyle business, we would have made much more money than we both currently have.

Lesson #2: Create a simple product

Some of the best products are simple. Take the iPad, for example. I bought my dad one and was about to tell him how to use it. He grabbed it from me, looked at it (the iPad was on already) and started swiping away. He didn’t need a degree in rocket science.

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