Entrepreneur tips

Chase Jarvis.

After becoming one of the world’s most well-known photographers at a relatively young age, Chase went on to co-found, CreativeLive, the world’s largest live streaming education company. Here’s his business advice for new entrepreneurs who want to start a business of their own: “Scratch your own itch. Go after solving a problem that you have. Something that’s near and dear to you, not some random market opportunity.” “Because, when things get hard, if you’re chasing just the dollars, or a random market opportunity, you’re not going to be able to have the fortitude, the passion, to stay with it.”

Noah Kagan.

Noah’s the Chief Sumo at AppSumo, a community for entrepreneurs to discover and utilize the greatest products and blogging tools and even some blogging books for growing businesses. He also runs Sumo, a powerful suite of tools for growing web traffic, and was employee #30 at Facebook before getting fired and moving on to be an early director of marketing at Mint. Here’s his business advice for entrepreneurs wanting to start a business for the first time: “Don’t waste time or spend money on non-core issues when starting a business. In fact, don’t spend any money until you make some.” In an interview on my podcast, The Side Hustle Project, Noah shared with me even more of his business advice and thoughts about how aspiring entrepreneurs should go about starting their projects and successfully promoting your blog—including how he earned $1,000 in 24hrs on a brand new idea… selling beef jerky.

Steli Efti.

Steli is the CEO of Close, a high-powered inside sales communication platform (and my pick as the best CRM for small business) that’s powered by his years of experience driving millions of dollars in sales for hundreds of venture backed Silicon Valley startups. Here’s what Steli has to share as far as business advice for aspiring entrepreneurs who want to start a business today: “One of the most painful and common mistakes I see first-time entrepreneurs make is that they fall in love with their own business idea.” “They’ll spend months building what they believe to be the next innovative, disruptive, game-changing startup. Then they launch… and nobody buys, nobody cares, nothing happens.” “Don’t fall in love with your business idea. Instead, fall in love with the problem you’re trying to solve for your customers, and validate your business idea early on that it is a problem worth solving.”

Vanessa Van Edwards.

A Huffington Post columnist, Vanessa’s groundbreaking work at Science of People has been featured on NPR, the Wall Street Journal, the Today Show and USA Today. Here’s what she believes is the biggest mistake entrepreneurs make when they start a business for the first time: “There is no path! I think the biggest mistake first-time entrepreneurs make is they desperately want a structured business plan and direct path.” “One of the most important things about starting a business is being flexible. Listening to customers, watching data and making iterations and changes as needed. Sometimes having a path or a rigid business plan can limit you. Think of your business like a meadow not a path, just play!”

Lewis Howes.

Lewis is the New York Times best-selling author of The School of Greatness, and host of the top-ranked podcast bearing the same name. He’s a writer, speaker, and online educator that teaches entrepreneurs how to start profitable online businesses—and he shares his story in this episode of my podcast, right here. Here’s his single best piece of business advice for aspiring young entrepreneurs: “Perfectionism cripples a lot of entrepreneurs. They won’t launch their site or put their product up for sale until they think it’s perfect, which is a big waste of time. It’s never going to be perfect.” “Pitch your product or service as soon as you have the bare bones of it put together. This will give you valuable feedback about whether your market really wants it. You can polish it later.” Quick note—I’ve been talking a lot more lately about podcasting, so if you’re thinking of launching your own show, here are my picks for the best podcast hosting platforms to choose from this year.

Jon Acuff.

Jon is the New York Times best-selling author of five books, including Do Over. He’s helped some of the biggest brands in the world tell their story, including The Home Depot, Bose and Staples. Now, he speaks to hundreds of thousands of people annually and reaches over 4 million readers on his blogs. Here’s his business advice for aspiring entrepreneurs who want to start a business: “What I’ve learned, and what you’re going to learn too, is that being an entrepreneur takes hustle. And here’s the problem: Sometimes we think hustle is about becoming a workaholic or adding a lot of stuff to our lives.” “Hustle is an act of focus, not frenzy. Hustle is about subtraction and addition. It’s not about doing more, it’s about focusing on the things that you need to do, in order to move your business forward. Hustle the right way.”

Syed Balkhi.

As the founder of WPBeginner, Optinmonster and several more successful online businesses, Syed has learned a thing or two about creating a successful blog business plan and launching companies in his 25 years as an entrepreneur. When asked to share his best business advice for young entrepreneurs, especially when it comes to figuring out how to promote your blog in the early days, here’s what he has to say: “Perfect is a curse. Innovation is messy. Test, learn, and improve.” “Often new entrepreneurs wait too long to put their product out in the market. With limited resources at hand, its crucial that you get an MVP out ASAP and start getting traction. Take the user’s feedback to iterate and improve your products.” “Not launching fast enough is a mistake you simply can’t afford to make. If you want to get an edge over others, launch now!”

Sujan Patel.

Sujan is a growth marketer and co-founder of the content marketing agency, Web Profits. He also runs Mailshake, Narrow and jumps out of airplanes in his free time—but seriously, Sujan has some impressive marketing skills and he (unknowingly) taught me much of what I’ve learned about going from learning how to make a website to picking up how to drive traffic to my blog. Here’s his best business advice for first-time entrepreneurs who want to start a business today: “The most painful mistake I see inexperienced entrepreneurs make is copying or doing the same things that successful entrepreneurs have done, expecting similar results. What first-time entrepreneurs don’t realize is that the world is not a vacuum and there’s more going on behind the scenes than it appears. There’s much more effort that has gone into creating the success they see on the surface, and there’s no guarantee that a particular tactic or strategy will be successful for everyone.” “My advice to first time entrepreneurs is to not get caught up in the glamour and don’t take things for face value. Rather, use these successes they read about as inspiration for what you can do too. I almost always recommend they set more realistic goals and forget about ‘going viral’ or trying to be like someone else.”

Tim Ferriss.

Tim is a New York Times best-selling author of three books, including the The 4-Hour Workweek. He’s also an investor, host of what’s usually the #1-ranked business podcast and an entrepreneur in his own rite. Today, he’s passing on the best business advice he’s received: “The best advice I’ve ever received is that you’re the average of the 5 people you associate with most.” “I’ve actually heard this from more than one person, including bestselling authors, Drew Houston of Dropbox, and many others who are icons of Silicon Valley. It’s something I re-read every morning. It’s also said that ‘your network is your net worth.’ These two work well together.”

Build like the Romans

The Colosseum is 1949 years old. And for the most part it’s still fairly intact. The material it was built with was stronger than any concrete we use today. It’s beauty is so captivating that millions have flocked to Italy just to look at it in all its glory. The Romans used the best materials, purchased rare marble from other countries, and designed things that were built to last. But when it comes to building a business, there are many entrepreneurs who build for the short-term. They look at a business as a way to make an extra couple thousand bucks. Instead, they should be building something that’ll last for years to come. One of the oldest businesses in the world is based in Japan. Kongo Gumi, a construction company specializing in Buddhist temples, was first launched in 578 AD, making it 1441 years old! Prior to a merger, it had a $70 million annual budget. Focus on building a business with a legacy by doing what you do so often that you do it better than anyone else. Like the Romans, you should focus on high-quality products and like the Japanese you should have a well-defined niche.

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