Firstly, you need to develop a strong constitution and mission. The reason why these are important is because while many businesses fail, some succeed and they require a lot of commitment and personal sacrifice. You have to ask yourself if you’re passionate about your mission enough to dedicate at least five years of your life to it. To teach our kids to be tough and with each blow life delivers to knock us down, we need to get up, dust ourselves off and pick up where we left off.
Secondly, learn how to hire and recruit properly. As someone who loves helping people, and at worst – a ‘rescuing type’ – this has stumped me along the way. I focused too much on serving people’s needs and wants – or hiring roles that I was comfortable with such as non-technical ones instead of more software engineers. The key is to identify the core Business needs and hire around these in a ‘jobs to be done’ framework.
Success is neither magical nor mysterious. Success is the natural consequence of consistently applying the basic fundamentals.
Finally, become great at both operating and growing your business. Operations is important because it keeps your business running well, and marketing is important because well, growth is everything in a startup. In the first few years, depending on the type of business you have, I’d say it should be a mix of 20% operations and 80% growth. That a business journey can also be a spiritual journey. I’m someone who is interested in personal transformation as well as professional development – and didn’t think I would get much of this through building businesses. I have wanted to spend a few months in India exploring myself and the world for as long as I can remember.
Thinking big and small: I can be thinking two years down the track while managing a project’s daily to do list. A dreamer and doer so to speak. This is super useful when starting businesses as it combines a visionary with someone who is practical and focused, so you can get achieve a fair bit with one just person.
I love sleep. I need sleep. It’s hard to talk about sleep when there may be parents reading this but I definitely love a solid eight hours. I usually get to bed by 11.30pm and wake around 7.30am. I then spend 30 minutes working from bed and replying to emails, which goes against every zen or productivity guru’s advice.
One thing I’ve been exploring lately is redefining what success actually means. Recently, in Silicon Valley, we’ve seen many unicorn startups grow to the point where their ethics, culture and community relations break. I want to see more examples of companies that are growing but also having a positive impact on the planet. I’m over the growth-at-all-costs way. Women CEOs and female founders are particularly well placed to lead this change. I also think it’s a great time for business, government and technology to come together and focus on solving real issues. If I could have any superpower, it would be the power of flight. But I can’t. So I have to fly in a plane like a regular human being and sadly, that costs money! But it doesn’t always have to burn a hole in your pocket. Here are five of the best ways to find cheap flights.
Devote 80% of your energy to the most important 20% of your activities. Remember that you can’t be everywhere, know everyone, and do everything. And avoid multitasking: it can cost you 40% efficiency. Remember the last time you had a brilliant idea at 2 a.m., but it sounded sort of ridiculous when you woke up the next morning? To reject popular thinking you must be OK with feeling uncomfortable. Also remember When you’re strategic, you reduce your margin of error. Simply having vague ideas of where you are and what you want to accomplish will get you no where. The keys to being strategic: 1. break the issue down, 2. ask why the problem needs to be solved, 3. identify the key issues, 4. review your resources, 5. put the right people in place. Henry Ford once said, “Nothing is particularly hard if you divide it into smaller parts.” Try new routes to work, meet new people, read books you might even consider boring. The key is exposure to new ideas and ways of life.