Today Dave and I are talking all about 7 things you can do to start Kicking Ass as an Entrepreneur.  As we all know this is a long and sometimes very challenging road…but it doesn’t always have to be.

Taking the lead from a video by Derek Halpern of Social Triggers, Dave and I dig into 7 things that you as a founder can start doing today to ensure success as an entrepreneur, and fast track your way there.

  1. Develop thick skin
    1. Life as a founder ain’t always a bag of peaches.  Sometimes you get your head kicked in and sometimes you ride the highest of highs.  To maintain an even keel you have to find ways to put the bad stuff behind you.
    2. A good framework for doing this is in the Five ways to develop a thicker skin from Lifehack.org:  
      1. Find the Shiny, Red Button
      2. Ignore Anyone on the Sidelines
      3. Separate Fact from Interpretation
      4. Reframe Criticism as Positive Fuel
      5. Find a Thick-Skinned Role Model
  2. Cut the waiting-in-line
    1. Avoid the “work your way up” mentality.  There is no speed limit, as Derek Sievers wrote on his CD Baby post.
    2. The tagline of late, as taken straight from a previous episode of The Amazing Race, is “Work Smarter, Not Harder”.  Don’t do a bunch of low level work that’s not going to move your business forward.
  3. Focus on high value work
    1. If you’ve listened to any of our previous episodes you know that we’ve beat this drum hard.  Outsource what you can make into a process. If it’s done more than once in a predictable, repeatable way, then find a way to have someone help you with it.
    2. To create high leverage in your business, you need to find expensive problems to solve.
  4. You’re the big asshole, accept it
    1. The buck stops with you–you are responsible for everything in your business.  Even if someone you hire fails, it’s still your fault (lack of training, lack of screening, lack of communication–something)
    2. OWN it all, that’s how you grow the fastest
    3. Hire people on your team that will own it too.  That’s how you can delegate effectively without a lot of oversight
  5. Climb the right ladder
    1. Make sure passion and skill align here.  Derek’s example of getting promoted in an insurance track he hated is great.  
    2. Be intentional about the path you choose: Your focus should be at the confluence of passion, skill, and market potential.  All 3 are necessary for an effective business.
  6. What got you here, won’t get you there
    1. To scale past early traction, you have to switch from engineer to businessman mentality.  This is often the hardest move for technical entrepreneurs and why they stick with code.
    2. As your company grows your focus should change too.  When you start building your team you must follow this path:  doing–>managing–>growing
  7. Zig when others zag
    1. Dave recalls in 2009 to 2011 he was buying WP plugins when everyone else was building a SaaS from scratch.  In many ways this put him ahead of his competition and established him in the space.
    2. Some ways to do this:
      1. Look for where you competitors have stopped thinking. Where are they starting to copy each other? What need or attribute have they come to assume is what matters most?
      2. What alternative attribute or need could you pursue instead?
      3. “Do your homework to eliminate the fear,” Jason advices. Do research to confirm that this alternative attribute matters to enough consumers that you can build a business around it.
      4. Finally, grow rapidly while your competitors are looking the other way.

So we think this is a very comprehensive list of ways for you to start Kicking Ass as an Entrepreneur, but want to hear from you.  What steps have you taken in your personal or business development that have allowed you to take massive steps forward?  

Drop a comment below and let us know all about it.  We’ll be featuring the best tips and strategies in the next episode.