If you are monotonous and low, you cannot inspire anyone.
You must pass on your mission to others who are smart, caring, and competent in order to leverage your time and ability beyond yourself.
In physics, energy can neither be destroyed nor created; it can only change form. Your job is to transform your employees’, customers’, investors’ and suppliers’ energy into your company’s energy.
Quote Of The Day:
“Once your mission is clear, the key is to unleash your passion, all of your energy and much of your time toward achieving this defined, succinct, clear, motivating goal.”
– Ryan Allis, How to Find A Great Mentor
It seems a better way to develop a relationship is not to introduce yourself at length, but more to ask her questions and care for her thoughts.
Ryan Allis’ “How to Be Startup CEO” is very great. I learn much from it.
About the most important jobs of startup CEO
- Creating a product that solves a real customer need (and convincing customers to pay for it).
- Making sure your users and customers have an extremely positive emotional experience with your product.
- Recruiting a great team to build your product.
About the product
- Figuring out your value proposition—in other words, what you sell that brings value to others—is key in this early stage. Once you show there is market demand for your core value proposition (in other words, “have happy paying customers”), the remaining steps in building a business are relatively easy.
- Get a product to market that you can sell over and over and constantly improve.
- Build a product that just works and is so easy to use it doesn’t require customer service.
- Sometimes having funding is more of a curse than a benefit because it removes the pressure to get customers to pay for your product, which is generally a good pressure to have.
- Once you get to, say, $15,000 per month in recurring revenue, it will be so much easier to raise equity funding.
- If you do choose to raise money, raise it from investors you like and get along with well. You’ll have to hang out with these people for the next 3-7 years, so make sure you enjoy spending time with them.
About why to do startup
In fact, there’s a world of prosperity and great wealth out there for you to reach for. You can enter this world. But first, you have to be aware that it exists and you have to work hard to create value for others.
About the entrepreneur
- A successful entrepreneur who builds a strong team and brings immense value to a large customer base can earn tens or sometimes hundreds of millions of dollars for changing an industry.
- An entrepreneur takes initiative and has a bias toward action, has the ability to take feedback, has a high tolerance for stress and is very determined.
- Investors know that investing in someone who has figured out how to create something from nothing (creating a solution to a need that people will pay to have solved) provides a much higher chance of generating a return than investing in someone who just has an idea and “needs” your money to even get started.
- Just get started, have a bias toward action, and don’t get stuck in analysis paralysis.
About the employees
- Once you have employees, it’s no longer your job to do everything. Now, you get things done based on the quality of the team around you and your ability to clearly communicate and guide the team toward a shared outcome.
- Managing an employee is much easier than managing a child.
- There are many reasons why people are motivated to work—for money, to be part of a team on a common mission, to feel challenged, to make a positive difference, and to have their talents appreciated. Getting your non-monetary compensation system right is just as important as getting your monetary compensation system right.
- The incentive compensation component should be based on both how the company performs and how the individual performs. I’ve found that having 50% of someone’s incentive comp based on company performance and 50% based on individual performance aligns incentives well.
About the hiring
- You must begin the process of scaling yourself by hiring others who can free up your time to focus on growing the business instead of working in the business. If you don’t, you’ll forever have a job and never a business.
- as soon as you can afford to, hire your first employee, even if you have to use every single dollar of net profit you have to do it. Hiring this person will enable you to focus on growing the business well beyond its current level.
- I learned later that the only way to scale yourself is to hire individuals who can do their job much better than you could do their job—and to set goals with them and hold them accountable to their goals—but not to tell them how to do their job.
- A business can only scale its revenues as fast as the quality of the people it hires.
- After the first year or two, your success is determined by the people you hire, not by you. Stop trying to do everything yourself. Scale yourself by hiring people more experienced than you in their field as soon as you can afford to.
- Your job as CEO is not to micromanage/tell your team members what to do, but rather to hire experienced people who can do their jobs better than you could, collaboratively set numerical goals, and hold your direct reports accountable for their performance individually and as a team.
About the tips of hiring
- Only hire people who can do their job better than you could.
- Hire people who have a positive attitude, have a strong work-ethic, and can communicate effectively.
- Hire people who are motivated intrinsically by the mission the company is focused on achieving (make sure you define what change your company is focused on making in the world extremely clearly on your web site, in recruiting, and to all candidates. The best candidates are driven by purpose and impact, not money).
- Communicate clearly where the team is going.
- Set up an objective system in advance to track performance to pre-set communicated goals.
- Trust people to do their job. Don’t micromanage.
- Let go of people quickly if they aren’t performing and hitting their goals. Never keep underperformers around for more than 30 days as they will drag the whole team down and lower the bar for the existing team as well as all future hires.
About the business model
If your business isn’t making money while you’re sleeping, you have a job and not a business. And if you can’t take two months off and come back to find your business doing better than when you left, you have a job and not a business.
About the profit
Put every dollar you make back into people, product, technology, sales, and marketing.
You should never have more than seven direct reports. So once you get to eight employees including yourself, you’ll have to create your first layer of management.
About the vision
A vision is something you strive toward in the future. A mission on the other hand, is how you serve your customer today.