Yesterday I did a post that featured eight entrepreneurs who answered the question what is the biggest business mistake you have ever made? Today I am sharing the second part of the series, with a follow up question for the same group of leaders.
In addition to the knowledge below I would like to share an inspirational video with you all. The video below was compiled by Dan Rua, the first VC to get on board with the IZEA vision and current chairman of our board of directors. Dan made this video for me when I was raising my first round of funding and I still go back to look at it every once and awhile. The video is set to Riskmaster, a song written by legendary VC Tim Draper of DFJ (also an IZEA investor).
I watched that video right before I went into my first meeting with Tim. You can see my reaction after the meeting below. A couple of weeks after that meeting I had $3 Million in the bank.
I guess my advice to first time entrepreneurs would be dream big and never give up. The bigger your idea the more resistance you will find…don’t let the naysayers bring you down.
Q: What advice would you give to a first time entrepreneur?
Partner at DFJ
“For the first time entrepreneur, my advice is to believe in your convictions. Your board is for advice and counsel, not for scaring you into something safe. “Safe” decisions are death to an entrepreneur.”
CEO of Vaynermedia and Author of Crush It
“Don’t build a business around something just because it’s “hot”. Building a great business is hard work. I mean, work until your eyeballs bleed hard work. If you’re not truly passionate about something and don’t absolutely love what you’re doing you’re not going to have the drive to make your business great. Figure out what you’re passionate and build a business around it. ”
President of New Marketing Labs and Author of Trust Agents
“My advice to entrepreneurs is to always think with a shape to your business model. Can you draw the audience-content-sponsor triangle? Can you push the attention funnel into sales? Don’t just have good ideas. Have good ideas that yield value. ”
CEO of Zappos.com
“Figure out what you would be so passionate about doing that you’d be happy doing it for 10 years even if you never even made a dime. That’s what you should be doing.”
Founder at Trackur.com and author of Radically Transparent
“Don’t be afraid to make mistakes! 🙂 Seriously, if you never stretch yourself, you’ll never grow. And a big part of that is making mistakes, so you can learn from them and adapt. Don’t be reckless, but do take calculated risks.“
CEO of Eyeblaster
“This may be a cliché but my advice would be to realize as soon as possible that in every area there will always be challenges and the trick is to turn them into opportunities. ”
CEO of TakeComics
“Remember that you are not a bookkeeper, you are an entrepreneur. Hire a bookkeeper as soon as possible. Best advice I ever got.“
CEO of MindComet
“The advice I would give to a first time entrepreneur is simple: have a plan. Inspiration can happen over night, but you’ve got to have milestones, goals and measurements in place to be able to critically judge your own success, especially in the early stages. Avoid allowing your judgment to be clouded by emotion and your personal passion by surround yourself with trusted advisers who believe in your ability to create success and will actively contribute advice and constructive criticism.“
How about you? Do you have some knowledge to share with other entrepreneurs? Please drop some knowledge in the comments.