7 Random Thursday Thoughts

I’ve traveled a lot over the last few weeks and it has given me plenty of time to be by myself and do some deep thinking. As part of this deep thinking, I put together 7 random thoughts that I wanted to share with you. Let me know what you think.

1. Don’t go and start a friggin’ company unless you are going to be absolutely addicted to it. Are you willing to work on it day and night? What about when your friends call you and want you to go out and grab a few drinks? Are you willing to turn them down to work all night to meet a deadline or get an order out? If you’re not willing to do these things, then don’t go and start a company. Keep your job. Seriously.

2. If you want to build a company fast, go alone ( keep in mind companies that are built fast and alone don’t last long…I’ve been there). If you want to build a company that can go far, go together. This means you build a team that can carry the company to places that you only dreamed of.

3. Hire people who are just as fired-up about your idea and your company as you are. If they’re not just as fired-up as you are, then keep searching for the right team members….they are out there.

4. Be intentional about putting together a group of friends who are there for you no matter what. When times are good, they are there for you. When times are bad, they are there for you. No matter the circumstances these friends are there for you. They will drop anything to come along side you.

5. Sell, sell, sell, or watch your company go to hell. If you can’t get sales coming in, you will watch your company be cast into a fiery place of torment.

6. Get out their and G&G (Grip and Grin). Attend events, go to conferences, setup lunch meetings, do whatever you need to do to meet people and share your company story with them. Don’t expect people to come knocking on your door – people have no clue who the heck you are.

7. Don’t be lazy, do your own PR. You are the best one to tell your story. Why would you hire a company to follow-up with the people you read and see in the publications? Those people publish their emails. Next time your reading or watching something, capture the person’s name and their email address. Once you have that info, follow-up, introduce yourself, and tell them your story. It is their job to find great stories. And if your story sucks, it would be a waste of time either which way.

 

Two thumbs up to a happy and prosperous year!

I just wanted to give you two thumbs up to a happy and prosperous year! I don’t know what it is. Maybe the fresh Southern California air (yeah right), maybe my ultimate fitness class, Trader Joe’s, or something else, but I’m fired up this year and you should be too!

Things are really coming together. Projects are gaining good traction, people are positive and making things happen, and I’m loving every second of it! Good stuff!

If you’re not fired up, here is a kick in the ass. Get going.

This year you’ll set new milestones, climb over obstacles that you thought were impossible, take care of your customers, invest in your team and get them more involved, and finally, you will wake up everyday ready to hustle.

If you don’t do these things, you failed yourself.

 

Make your own way and own it

Is there a right or wrong way? No. It’s your way and you have to own it. Yeah, you can learn from others and take that and build it into your way, but it doesn’t mean that there is a right or wrong way to do it.

I might brush my teeth before I shower, you might brush your teeth after. I shave before I get into the shower, you shave after. There isn’t a right or wrong way, just as long as you reach your destination.

I see people all the time that think there is this “right way” to reach their destination. And because of this, never end getting anywhere but depressed and lonely. Why? Because they sat around waiting for this right way to come along and it never did. You can’t wait for the right way to come along. You have to make a way and own it.

Maybe you want to start a company. Do it now. Get crazy and go figure it out. There isn’t a right or wrong way to do it. Maybe you want to go to school or maybe you want to wait and travel the world. It doesn’t matter. As Nike would say, “Just do it”.

Honestly, it doesn’t matter what: starting a company, marriage, dating, whatever. There isn’t a right or wrong way, there is your way and I urge you to go figure it out. It will be blast…I promise.

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What about you? 

Are you making your own way and owning it?

 

Your Inner Persistence

Ever since I was youngster, my Dad trained me to be persistent. To never give up. To fight for what I believe in. And to go for it. I’m very thankful he drove these points home and I carry them with me today. Persistence is a big part of my life and it should be a big part of yours as well.

The days of racing and crashing in the first corner and my Dad screaming, “Get up boy and get going, you can fight to the front”, are all part of my inner persistence being developed and honed.

All while he was screaming, I was thinking in my head, “How am I going to fight to the front when I’m in dead last place?”. It’s possible. I won several races by getting right back up and fighting to the front and I have the trophies and stories to prove it.

This inner persistence remains with me today and it’s stronger than ever. It’s what wakes me up everyday to pursue my dreams, my relationships, my companies, my investments, my projects, and all the things I wholeheartedly believe in.

My mentality is this: never give up on anything….no matter what. And, do the things that others aren’t willing to do so that one day you can wake up and appreciate that you did it.

Do the right thing and stay at it. Don’t give up, don’t back down, and don’t take no for answer.

———-

How about you? 

Are you developing your inner persistence?

 

BUSINESS EXERCISE: THE SILLY COW

Are you in need of getting your team’s juices flowing about a new idea, business model, or startup? If you are, you should try out an ideation session with a silly, fun warm-up such as the Silly Cow exercise from the book Business Model Generation. It’s a great exercise to get you thinking beyond the typical constraints of old, outdated ideas that honestly..suck.

Here’s how it works:

Instruct participants to sketch out three different business models using a cow. Ask them to first define some characteristics of a cow (produces milk, eats all day, makes a mooing sound, etc.). Tell them to use those characteristics to come up with an innovative business model based on a cow. Give them three minutes.

Keep in mind that this exercise can backfire, as it is indeed quite silly. But it has been tested with senior executives, accountants, risk managers, and entrepreneurs, and usually is a great success. The goal is to take people out of their day-to-day business routines and show them how readily they can generate ideas by disconnecting from orthodoxies and letting their creative juices flow.

I have found the silly cow exercise to be a huge hit and it’s always a good time too. If I were to guess why it works so great, I would say that it challenges you to look at things in a different light. The other cool thing, it even works with serious business people like accountants and attorneys!

Try it out with your teams and let me know how it works.

 

PREMATURE SCALING: LEADING CAUSE OF STARTUP FAILURE

I’ve failed at a lot of things in my life including start-ups, and you know what, I’m pretty excited about it. You would think that I would be sitting here crying a river like most people, but I’m not. Instead I’m reading, learning, studying, asking tough questions, reflecting on my screw ups, and working on a bunch of new start-ups with amazing and brilliant people.

Realizing that it is a combination of things that cause a start-up to fail, one question that I’ve asked myself over and over after having a start-up fail pretty bad is, “What makes start-ups succeed or fail?”

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WHAT IT’S LIKE BEING AN ENTREPRENEUR

Are you an entrepreneur or do you aspire to be an entrepreneur? Do you have that raging itch that keeps you up all night to quit your job and go out on your own? If this is you, I say make the leap and quit that boring job – I bet it is holding you back anyways.

I have no idea where you’re at or what is going on in your head now, but just maybe you are wondering what entrepreneurship is like and what you’re going to need to be able to do to succeed.

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ARE YOU A STARTER OR A SUSTAINER?

I’ve come to realize that I’m horrible at sustaining things, but awesome at starting things and making things happen! I’ve only learned this after starting so many things that I can’t even count them on my two hands! This is the truth. I actually tried the other day and bombed miserably! How sad right?

I started to dig deeper and ask tough questions about why most of these things aren’t around. I started asking questions like: what the hell happened? It started out so good. Why did such and such fall apart so quickly? And how in the world did….

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