What are the major factors that have contributed to your success?
One of the major factors that have contributed to my success is the willingness to fail. I learned very early on is that not everything is going to work out all the time, not everything will make money, not everything will be a success but as they say, if you throw enough mud at the wall some of it will stick. I prefer to think of it more like shooting arrows or throwing darts. You may miss completely or begin to hit the outer edges but with enough practice you’ll begin to hit the bullseyes.
What major obstacles and pitfalls have you had to overcome?
One of the hardest things about entrepreneurship is that you will always be faced with criticism and rejection of your ideas. Everyone from your family to your closest friends will look at you funny. “You want to do WHAT!?!!" is usually a normal reaction from your spouse. Especially if you tell him or her you’re leaving a paid job to start your own business. This is one of the biggest obstacles.
You have to be willing to face that judgment head on. I have no doubts that most are actually jealous of your ability to take a courageous leap and try something new. Breaking away from the “norms" of society is very hard sometimes. In addition, failure is a huge obstacle and pitfall. When knocked down, learn to brush off the dust and just get right back up. Eventually you’ll become unstoppable.
What advice do you have for new entrepreneurs or those considering becoming entrepreneurs?
Go for it. Just remember time is your most valuable resource. I’ve spent years working on projects because they had to be “perfect" only to find I had missed the boat or competitors took the plunge before me. Deployment of your ideas and speed of implementation is the key. Don’t spend time worrying about the very minuscule details, those can be worked out after the fact. Take the plunge now. There is NO better time regardless of what you think. We’ve all had business ideas and entrepreneurship visions in our heads but they never see the light of day because it’s the wrong time or wrong place. This is nothing but procrastination and we all do it. Suck it up and as Nike says, “Just Do it."
What advice do you have for entrepreneurs who are struggling to achieve success?
I remember reading once where Tony Robbins said something along these lines. Occasionally people struggling in business would approach him and say, “I’ve tried everything for 10 years and I can’t make a profit."
Tony would reply, “Have you tried this….?"
“How about this...?"
“Well we haven’t tried that."
Tony would then respond, “Well then you haven’t tried everything."
This can be a tough one. You may havel heard of James Dyson and the Dyson Vacuum. James created 5,000 prototypes before he created the right one. 5,000 arrows shot before he hit the bullseye. Imagine if James had stopped trying at 4,990, only ten short of hitting the dead center of the target.
The point here is don’t give up. We, as entrepreneurs, are going to be challenged every single day. If something isn’t working then we need to decide if we move on or we keep trying different things. But just remember with any venture it is very unlikely that we have actually tried everything. Keep trying.
For more inspiring stories, check out the other profiles in Bright Hub's Collection of Interviews and Biographies of Successful Entrepreneurs.