It’s just a week post-new year and if you’re still in the holiday mood, we’ve got a handful of great advice and success stories here to help put your feet on the ground. So keep reading and get ready to be inspired!
1. “My best advice was an insult” – Barbara Corcoron (Founder, Corcoran Group, Inc)
Barbara Corcoran’s success story is an extraordinary one: When she was 21, with $1,000 loan from her ex-boyfriend and then-business-partner, Corcoran started a real estate company. Just when she thought everything is on track, he left her for their secretary and the company was split into half. He didn’t forget to assure her that she would never succeed without him. That’s what fueled her to grow the Corcoran Group into a real estate empire which she later sold for $66 million. Corcoran’s net worth is now estimated to be $80 million.
2. “Your time is a precious commodity” – David Lai (Founder & CEO, Hello Design)
We couldn’t agree more with David Lai, who is the founder and CEO of Hello Design. Time flies by really quickly, as each hour passes by like a snap of your fingers. Whatever you have done yesterday and whatever you are doing today, will define your tomorrow. If you want to start something, just do it now because you will never know when your time in life will come to an end. And to quote him, ‘It’s the one thing you can never get back.’
3. “It’s ok to ask for help” – Chip Wilson (Founder, Lululemon)
This is how Lululemon, a Canadian athletic apparel retailer, became a successful business. Chip Wilson, the founder of Lululemon, found inspiration after attending a weekend workshop at Landmark Forum in 1991. He realized that people love to help, and that he doesn’t “have to be insecure and know it all”. The key is really to learn how to trust others and share responsibilities. You know how far you can go when you’re at it by yourself, but you will go further working in a team that supports one another.
4. “If you’re not being told ‘no’ constantly, you’re not pushing hard enough” – Shafqat Islam (CEO, NewsCred)
NewsCred actually took a major pivot on their business model before becoming the global leader in content marketing today. NewsCred started off as a customer-oriented review site for online publications. After finding difficulties to source for content and licensing, they decided to improve the way people source for licensed content. As the co-founder and CEO of NewsCred, Islam shared that businesses don’t always end up the way you think it will. But most importantly, perseverance will help you overcome all the obstacles you face along your entrepreneurial journey.
5. “Learn to say ‘no’ and focus on what you do best” – Dane Atkinson (CEO, SumAll)
This is one good piece of advice that is almost always overlooked. For Dane, as an entrepreneur, one should resist temptation and stay true to one’s own value. SumAll provides data analytics for small companies and despite being a young company, it was highly sought after by several big investors in its first year of operation. However, Dane was fast to turn them down as he believes in the value his company creates and takes ownership towards its culture and direction. SumAll was voted as one of “10 Coolest Startup Enterprise in New York” in 2014 for its salary transparency policy.
6. “The most important decision is getting started” – Laura Behrens Wu (Co-Founder & CEO, Shippo)
Shippo is a shipping solution API that integrates with e-commerce platforms and marketplaces. To date, it has successfully raised $30 million. Despite all the success and glory on co-founding Shippo, Laura revealed that she and her co-founder started off with just an e-commerce platform selling designers and artists merchandise. She admitted her first idea was not grand or exclusive at all. Nevertheless, they were eager to start working on something. While running their e-commerce store, they realized shipping is a pain point for e-commerce sellers, and so from there, the multimillion idea of a shipping solution emerged.
7. “There are no shortcuts” – Mark Cuban (Chairman and CEO, AXS TV)
Since college, Mark Cuban was fired from 3 straight jobs. And after that, he figured to start his own business. Mark and his partner started Braodcast.com with a new idea back then to listen to sports over the internet. They eventually closed a USD $5.7 billion deal with Yahoo.com in April 2000. He, later on, received criticism for paying USD $285 million for NBA team Dallas Mavericks. But his team proved critics wrong by going to the conference finals 3 times and finally winning an NBA championship in 2011. Mark says “There are no shortcuts. You have to work hard, and try to put yourself in a position where if luck strikes, you can see the opportunity and take advantage of it.”
8. “As an entrepreneur, you’re going to face a lot of rejection – it’s inevitable” – Brittany Hodak (Co-Founder, ZinePak)
Rejections are hard to handle. Banking all your hopes on the outcome of a single anticipation can lead to a massive downer when you received a “no”. However, Brittany Hodak, co-founder of ZinePark shares that entrepreneurs will face constant rejection, and it is something unavoidable. Thus, in business and in personal life, managing your expectation is important. Embrace your rejections and treat it as part of your growth process as an individual, in work, relationships or life!
9. “Don’t wait for the ‘perfect time,’ you will wait forever. Always take advantage of the time that you’re given” – Daymond John (Founder, President, and CEO of FUBU)
Daymond John never waited for the ‘perfect time’ to start his own business. As he ran FUBU, a clothing company, he was waiting tables at a restaurant chain called Red Lobster. He waited tables for 40 hours a week at Red Lobster while spending 6 hours running FUBU. He didn’t wait to save enough money to start FUBU, starting the business with only USD $40. As FUBU’s business gained traction, he slowly reduced his working hours as a waiter and focused more on FUBU. By the end of 2017, FUBU has earned over USD $6 billion in global sales. As Daymond advises, “Work. Bust your butt. Get up before everybody, go to sleep after everybody, and bust your butt. That’s it.”, because every moment is the perfect time to start.
10. “Keep moving. Even if you’re not 100 percent sure what to do, make something up” – David Cancel (Drift CEO and Founder)
It is a disturbing feeling not having a comprehensive plan when starting a business. But David Cancel shares that it is difficult to have a business plan that is complete and 100% on-point. In business, especially in its early stages, David acknowledges that “you’re going to have to make some best guesses and maybe some of them are based on intuition”. David continues that it is important to set yourself a series of goals and try to work towards completing them. Even if you’re unsure about your guesses, “keep moving”!
11. “Don’t start a business. Find a problem. Solve a problem. The business comes second.” – Robert Herjavec (Founder and CEO, Herjavec Group)
As a well-known dynamic IT entrepreneur, Robert Herjavec interestingly started off his business career as a film producer. In 2000, he sold his company, BRAK System, to AT&T Canada for USD $30.2 million! He realized that there was a need for better cybersecurity solutions, so Robert founded the Herjavec Group in 2003, becoming Canada’s fastest-growing and largest IT security provider. Since the start of Herjavec Group, it has now done over USD $500 million in sales. Robert never really set out to start a business, but to offer a solution to a problem. And as he said, “Don’t start a business. Find a problem. Solve a problem. The business comes second”.
12. “Dear optimist, pessimist, and realist–while you guys were busy arguing about the glass of wine, I drank it! Sincerely, the opportunist!” – Lori Greiner (“Queen of QVC”, Host for the ‘Clever & Unique Creations by Lori Greiner’ show)
When you come across a fantastic idea, have you ever wondered why you didn’t think of it first? Perhaps you had, but never really took any actions to make something out of it? Well, Lori Greiner is different. She created something as simple yet necessary earring organizer that could fit over 100 pieces of earrings. As simple as a product, she managed to patent the product and used borrowed money to create a prototype of the organizer. She patented her product and was picked up by J.C. Penny and she paid back her USD $300,000 loan in 18 months. She now has invented over 600 products and holds over 120 U.S. and foreign patents. Seize the opportunity when you have a great idea or solution!
That’s all for today and whatever you are trying to achieve in 2018, remember to take these advice with you!
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