Top 5 Advices for First-Time Startups!
Brian Mac Mahon, founder of Expert Dojo often gets asked; “What is the best advice for a young, first-time startup CEO?” Here’s what’s wonderful about this, for all of you people who are not young first time CEOs, the advice for young CEOs is the same as the advice for older CEOs. As long as it’s your first time, you have to recognize a few points.
1. Surround yourself with the right people
There’s a lot of people in this game who are way smarter than you at getting their objectives done. So surround yourself with friends. Surround yourself with mentors who give you good advice. Search out for people who come recommended elsewhere.
Mr. Mac Mahon normally start on that journey with investors. A lot of people ask for money from investors, but Brian always says; “if you ask for money, you get advice, but if you ask for advice and say you don’t need any money, than you get great advice and you also get a higher chance of getting everything that you possibly want.”
So get those investors around you and make sure that the investors are actually giving you advice. The ones that give you great advice, have them part of your advisors, have them part of your team. If they’re exceptional people who have exited multiple businesses, and they can help you in your growth, see if those people can actually join you as official advisors in your team.
2. Recognize your weaknesses
Recognize that you will probably not be a great CEO for the entirety of your company. Over 65% of all CEOs will get fired from their own venture-backed business, and that’s not just because the investors are a bunch of jerks that want to fire CEOs, although sometimes that is true. It’s also because the CEO you are today requires a different skill set from the CEO who’s running a medium sized company, and that requires a different skill set from the CEO who’s in a boardroom, running one of the largest companies in the US.
When you recognize that, you can truly grow your company at levels that would not previously have been possible. So recognize your weaknesses, surround yourself by people who supplement those weaknesses with strengths, themselves, and make sure you know at what stage you actually should be moving on and moving aside so other people can actually take the reins to go further.
3. Focus on Revenue Generation
Number three, focus on revenue generation on day one. Brian explains that he doesn’t care if you’re building your product, building your design or building your brand. He doesn’t care if you’re building your team or just trying to build your life. Every single company who is successful is successful because of their users, and they are people who either pay to use their product, or people who love their product. So focus on the user on the first day. How do you get them to your business? How do you get them on your website? How do you then convert them into a paid customer or someone who’s of the most value to whatever your product is?
4. Continue to Grow Outside Your Company
Another advice for early stage CEO’s, is to continue to grow outside your company. We get so insular with the day-to-day things that we need to do, just to survive, especially in the early days, that we forget continual learning. It is really important that you surround yourself with people who are going to help you grow, or you read books, or you go to seminars, or you have a great coach. You have to make sure you’re training for the next level.
It’s the same as a great athlete. If a great athlete has learned how to run in a specific period of time, they don’t continually measure themselves to that period of time. They train so they can go stronger and faster. That’s what you have to do as a CEO. Always look at where you’re going and train yourself to be amazing at that before you get there.
5. Enjoy the Journey
Really, more than anything, enjoy this journey. So many people get so stressed because of the immense pressure that you’re on as an early stage founder, that you just forget the beautiful, incredible, creative new world that you’re putting together. So embrace that every single day. Every morning, when you wake up, say to yourself, “I am doing something that 99% of the people don’t have what it takes to actually step out and be brave enough to do it themselves. You did. Own that, live that, and be proud of what you’ve achieved.
Enjoy the journey is what Brian Mac Mahon from Expert Dojo is encouraging you to do! Visit our website at https://www.expertdojo.com for startup programs or just drop into Santa Monica and say hi.
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