This week I was re-reading Steve Jobs biography (by Walter Isaacson) and again found lots of inspiration there. Especially his focus on product development and hiring best people is always an inspiration for me. One thing this time really hit my eye – part of his last thoughts on his life and business focused on startups.
I have discovered Jim Rohn only couple years ago and it was one of the greatest finds I could make. Jim Rohn is great motivational speaker and books writer with loads of experience in business. His advice on success in life and business is extremely valuable and timeless. Here are my notes from one of Jim Rohn’s motivational speeches that I have listened to this week.
Many people ask me things about being entrepreneur and running a company. One of them is being repeated over and over. “I have this business idea. Should I leave my job and start working on this full time?”
My answer is different now, than it was couple years ago.
This is the sentence one of candidates told us at the interview for position with our company. “I only want to do what I like”… probably the biggest misconception of a new generation.
Most people think, entrepreneurs are the ones who only do what they like.
Can’t be further from the truth.
I really like to create. Invent new ideas. Find new opportunities. Envision the future, connect trends and people.
Do I like to deal with bureaucracy and paperwork? Do I like to follow up on people? Do I like to sit at meetings, make phone calls? Deal with problems on constant basis?
No, I don’t.
Would I get anywhere if I didn’t do it?
No, I wouldn’t.
“Do what you have to do today so you can do what you want tomorrow.” Zig Ziglar
I love work I do. I am creating it for myself. Still, 80% of things I do are things I don’t really like or particularly enjoy. Thing is, these things have to be done. Simple as that.
What makes me do them? Vision of an end result and great joy of seeing idea transformed into working business. After that fleeting moment of satisfaction …back to work again.
Like it or not.
Many books, blogs, articles were written about what skills / qualities an entrepreneur must have to be successful.
Must he/she be extrovert or introvert? Is discipline, drive and “you fill for yourself” essential for entrepreneur to be successful? I think nobody can say for sure.
I have met many successful entrepreneurs and they were all sorts of people with all sorts of skills and all kinds of qualities.
One of the things that I believe is fundamental and necessary for entrepreneurs to succeed (not necessarily for employees) is ability to “delay gratification”.
Delayed gratification basically means that you will sacrifice something today so you can gain more in the future. Or as Zig Ziglar says: “Do what you have to do today, so you can do what you want tomorrow”.
There was a study with small kids done at Stanford.
This became known as “Marshmallow test”.
It goes as follows. Kid is left in room with one marshmallow. Provided he/she would not eat it until researcher comes back, they would receive second marshmallow.
Essentially, if they were able to delay gratification (pleasure) they would get twice as much. Kids who were able to do that were much better off later in life measured by SAT scores, BM index, income etc.
Now why is this so important for entrepeneur? In building your own company there must be lots of work, time and energy put in and only then (and maybe not) you will get results (second marshmallow).
Delayed gratification will take you through hard times at the beginning, keeps you driven and motivated.
Having read over 500 business / self development books it is difficult to pick one that I would say was the best.
Clearly the most influential on my business and life thinking was series of books written by Jim Collins.
Starting with Build To Last through Good To Great; Great By Choice to How Mighty Fall.
These books had and still have the biggest influence on how I think about business and life.
Here’s simple story on origin and content of these books (the way I see it):
There was always a question of what makes a truly great company. Not good company, but great. Obviously, first you need to define your “great company”. Jim Collins (and Jerry Porras) and their team set the criteria and after 6 years of research published book Build To Last.
When touring with lectures from this research, one question repeatedly came up – “can our company become great? and if yes, then how?”. So Jim went back to work and after years of research published “Good To Great”. Same story happened but with different question “could great companies ever fail?”. And the answer you can find in “How Mighty Fall”.
Main reason I love these books is that they are based on years of research and everything is based on data. These are not “let’s create hype” books. I was lucky to work for one of great companies – Procter & Gamble – and I can confirm that all findings in Build to Last are correct.
I will write on above books in more detail in following posts.
and succeed in life and business.
Video from my appearance as guest speaker @Creative mornings.
Motivate me and then I get to work.
Pay me more and I’ll deliver.
Promote me and then I’ll show you what I can do.
I am strongly convinced that things work the other way around.
And those people I am looking for to work with.
I get to work and then results get me motivated.
I deliver and then I want to be get paid more.
I show you what I can do and then I expect promotion.
Couple years ago we have decided to add one major innovation a year. Only one, not more. I believe we wouldn’t be able to do more properly. That is how we have added our food festival, food-truck, food start-ups incubator and now we are working on new project for 2015.
Obviously, we have more ideas than one per year. So, how do we decide what we will do and what we will not?
As basic guidance I use 3 criteria from my all time favourite book Good to Great.
i) can we be the best in the world in this?
ii) are we passionate about it?
iii) can we make money doing it?
If we answer all above questions yes, then we go ahead with the idea.
This works for us so far, in 2014 innovations accounted for 33% of our revenues – up from 25% in 2013 and 0% in 2011.
If we get more good ideas that would fit above criteria I believe we will get to same revenue from innovations as from core business by the end of 2016.