The 3 Reasons Most People Fall Short at Entrepreneurship

Winning the Day Starts With Winning the Morning

Being a former professional athlete, one of the hardest things I have ever had to do didn’t involve blocking, tackling or going through the dreadful dog days of training camp. It was becoming a successful entrepreneur.

That might come as a shock, as you would expect having a 300-hundred-pound, angry, big and very agile offensive lineman trying to take your head off every single play would be difficult on you. Of course, football, and most sports for that matter, weed out the weak, undetermined and those who have no discipline at all. However, in my eyes, entrepreneurship is the true test of mental strength, guts and courage.

A great majority of entrepreneurs and aspiring business owners fail. We have been hearing that for a while now, and if it isn’t some news source or latest research telling us how hard it is to make it in entrepreneurship — family members and friends are sure to give you their input on how you are out of your mind for even contemplating bringing an idea of yours into the marketplace.

Why is it that most entrepreneurs fall short, or even worse, never even get off the ground? I had the wonderful privilege to chat with entrepreneur, New York Times-bestselling author and mega hustler Gary Vaynerchuk this week to find out what you can do to not fall into the very crowded space of wannapreneurs.

Here are three reasons as to why most entrepreneurs fall short.

Continue reading

To Help Your Startup Succeed, Invest in Your City

There’s something to be said for strength in numbers. If you’re looking for a location to build a startup, it’s tempting to pick a city with a thriving startup community.

Take Silicon Valley, for example. The area is doing an excellent job of fostering its startup community — one built by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs. From informal tech meetings through Meetup to formal startup accelerator programs such as Y Combinator, it’s constantly working to sustain its startup community and put the area on the entrepreneurial map.

Does this mean that you should relocate your new business to an existing startup hub?

Not necessarily. After all, there’s a reciprocal relationship between businesses and cities. As your business and others invest in your community, you develop its economic value. It begins to grow and thrive, building itself into a prime startup location. In turn, your business benefits from the community’s economic success. Trust me, I know.

My company is a member of Downtown San Diego Partnership, a nonprofit organization committed to revitalizing downtown San Diego. Our work with this committee doesn’t focus on our company, instead, it centers on important social issues, including combating homelessness, diversifying transportation options, activating open spaces and branding causes. Kris Michell, president and CEO of the organization, has seen firsthand just how much the community has benefited.

Continue reading

Mark Zuckerberg: I Would Only Hire Someone to Work For Me If I Would Work For Them

When it comes to onboarding new employees with whom he’ll work directly, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg bears in mind a single guiding principle that he says has never steered him wrong.

“I will only hire someone to work directly for me if I would work for that person,” Zuckerberg told an audience gathered in Barcelona yesterday for the fourth installment of ‘Q&A with Mark,’ an ongoing series of town hall-style discussions.

While employers generally have more work to do than staffers to get it done, Zuckerberg says business owners should resist the urge to settle for lesser candidates in the name of manpower. “Over the long term,” he said, “you’re only going to be better if you get someone really good.”

Continue reading

Why This Startup Isn’t Worried It Left ‘Shark Tank’ Empty-Handed

Liz Bohannon started with a chicken farm and advanced to a tank full of sharks.

After graduating from the University of Missouri in 2008, Bohannon traveled to Uganda with the fuzzy goal of helping the country’s women better access higher education.

When experiments in chicken farming and other ventures failed to raise the funds to get the women to college, Bohannon remembered the sandals she constructed during her collegiate days: rubber flip-flop bottoms tied with ribbon, which reduced the flopping noise when she walked across campus.

Bohannon improved upon the design, fashioning them from local materials. She developed a business model that involved employing Uganda’s female high school graduates who couldn’t afford to continue their education and turning a profit healthy enough to fund their schooling. In Uganda, high school graduates are given nine months before matriculating to earn enough money to pay college tuition (averaging between $2,000 and $3,000). Bohannon promised three women that, if they made sandals for the next eight months, they would get to college.

Continue reading

The 4 Embers of the Entrepreneurial Fire

The difference between a Silicon Valley icon and the employee next door isn’t funding — most of the time it isn’t even the idea — it’s the entrepreneurial fire within.

Yet, more often than not, the entrepreneurial flame is extinguished just as quickly as it was lit. So how do you feed the fire?

The list of advice one can get online is endless. However, there are some crucial, fundamental words of wisdom. While these cornerstones can be hard to live by, and even harder to remain steadfast to, they are what makes entrepreneurs successful.

Continue reading

10 Behaviors You Never See in Successful People

When you spend decades working with executives and business leaders, you really can’t help but observe what works and doesn’t work over the long haul. One thing I’ve noticed, it’s not intrinsic characteristics or personal habits that determine whether you’re successful or not. It’s your behavior.

What do I mean by “behavior?” How you react under long-term stress. Whether you meet your commitments or not. How you interact with others. Your attitude toward customers. How hard you’re willing to work to do the job right. Whether you’re focused and disciplined or scattered and distracted. That sort of thing.

Now, I admit to having known some pretty dysfunctional founders and CEOs who did well for themselves for a time. But sooner or later, usually when the pressure is on and things aren’t going so well, they exhibit self-destructive behavior that bites them in the ass. Sadly, they often take their businesses down with them.

If you want to make it big over the long-term, you might want to take a good, hard look in the mirror and see if any of these career-limiting behaviors describe you.

Continue reading

How Do I Build a Business Plan? (Infographic)

You have a powerful idea for the next big thing, but before you sell it to anyone, you have to get it all down on paper.  It’s time to make a business plan.

How do you know if you’re headed in the right direction? Washington State University created an infographic that provides 10 guidelines to help prospective entrepreneurs organize their thoughts and wow potential investors.

The infographic details some major questions that aspiring CEOS need to ask themselves like, what problem is my business going to solve, what’s my company’s mission, and what do we do better than anyone else in the market?

But you aren’t quite done yet. A thorough business plan includes who your target demographic is, the conditions of the market you’re entering into and accounts for worst-case scenarios. And of course, there’s the money: how much you need to get going, and where it’s going to come from once your business is up and running.

Continue reading