Since starting a software company in my teenage years, I’ve come to learn there are a few tips I wish people told me when I was starting. Everyone rants about the same old advice and I just never found it helpful. So here are 7 tips that all new entrepreneurs should know, understand and accept.
1. Stop reading mainstream media
Most articles in mainstream news and magazines are written by journalists, and not the billionaire name that appeared in the headline. The journalists and ghost writers are regular people, and many of them are not all that wealthy. Articles published by Donald Trump were likely written by his assistant or PR team.
2. Read more blogs by rising industry experts
The key is to find someone who specializes in exactly your industry. If you’re trying to learn about SEO, you don’t want to listen to a guy who goes on about all tech news, you want an internet marketer who lives and breathes SEO. You also don’t want someone who is overly successful because the chance that they are taking the time to write their own blog posts gets slimmer as they get more popular.
3. Concentrate on yourself and no one else
People often worry and compare themselves to others. “What was Bill Gates doing at my age? Am I on track?” Don’t worry about him. Your parents are different than his. Your entire life is different and shouldn’t be built to mimic his. Instead develop the ignorance he had to ignore everyone else and focus on his goals and dreams.
4. Focus on one project, and don’t worry about the rest
Everyone has 5 ideas, or 10. You don’t need 5 to be successful. You need one executed to the very end to be successful. You don’t need a backup plan and you don’t need to execute 2 plans at once. Make your one project work, regardless how much you lose interest. That being said, your idea may be bad and in that case, you should ask some of the most successful people that you know personally if they can share their thoughts on your idea.
5. Understand an idea is worth nothing
Stop worrying about getting people to sign an NDA agreement. 99% of the people who are capable of executing your idea better than you don’t care and don’t need ideas. We have our own, lots of them. There’s no such thing as an “idea” person unless you have a multi-million dollar track record and can vision everything from product development to marketing and growth hacking. You need to be good at sales or development. There’s no “idea guy” position needed.
6. Don’t cut corners
For example, when you are comparing designers to build out your website, don’t go for the half price guy who hardly has a track record. You need to put as much quality into your product as possible. If it’s a software product, you user interface and your code needs to be perfect. It should be enjoyable to use and it should work well. In this age, the most powerful form of marketing is word of mouth. Just get a few clients on board, and get them to like your product. If you can’t find 2 people who want to buy your product, then it’s probably a bad idea and you shouldn’t develop it. However, once you develop that product, get them onboard and impress them. If your product is as well built as they hoped, they will spread it to their industry friends.
7. Listen to your customers
Your first 10 customers are essential to how your company will proceed. You need to listen to their feedback and advice because at this point, you are suffering from tunnel vision and know exactly where you want to take your product, even if where you’re taking it isn’t where your customers want it to go. Listen to their feedback and be open to criticism. Promote and reward their feedback. Fulfilling their demands early on will save you from a lot of headaches later on.