18 April 2006

Four Themes

I've been talking to some young entrepreneurs lately, and I found Myself coming back to four themes. Here they are:

1) Don't go into business solely for the money. Yeah, yeah, yeah, if it doesn't make money it won't last long and yada yada yada. True. But to launch a business or to start a company is a huge undertaking. To make it through the hard times--which are often harder than you can ever imagine--takes passion. If you lack passion for the idea beyond the money, you are heading down the wrong path. If greed is your only motivator, when push comes to shove, it will be your only guide and you will fail.

2) Aim for great ideas and good execution. All too often, I encounter good ideas and the desire for great execution. What happens then is that the idea doesn't generate enough excitement and the ponderous weight of trying to be perfect stifles real progress. Better to work hard at polishing an idea until it's great and then executing well as quickly as possible.

3) Improvement is a constant. You'd think that in this global environment of competitiveness, the constant striving for a business advantage would be automatic. It isn't. Human nature being what it is, We get complacent. More than that, We seek complacency. Taking the opposite tack separates the big winners from the so-sos...and the losers.

4) Find the people than can make a positive difference. Many entrepreneurs have a "go it alone" mentality. Wrong. Business is about relationships, which obviously implies that "going it alone" is a formula for failure. On the other hand, not everyone is a positive influence for you or your business. It is eminently better to create a small group of top-notch people as your team (your team includes partners, employees, suppliers, customers and other allies) than a big group of nobodies. And yes, the idea of a small group of customers being better than a big group of nobodies is hard to fathom...until you realize that customers buy from you and nobodies don't.

The Jenius Has Spoken.

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