Contributed by Jon Carder, the CEO and Chief Mojo of MojoPages.com.
- Never give up. Throughout my career I have missed payrolls, been behind on payments for every one of my credit cards and, at one point, had amassed more than $12,000 in overdraft fees at $20 each.
- Befriend well-networked people. Become close to well-networked people, and suddenly you will gain access to well-developed networks. I found my CFO, two key advisors and a primary investor from one well-networked lawyer. Return the favor and do whatever you can to help these people— a one-sided relationship won’t last.
- Surround yourself with experts in areas where you are not an expert. I always surround myself with the smartest people I can find. Spend at least 25 percent of your time searching for these people.
- Entrepreneur/business groups are a superb resource (e.g., Entrepreneurs’ Organization, Master Minds, IMarketers). These groups allow you to learn from others’ experiences. You can avoid serious headaches and stress by learning from other people’s mistakes. You also gain insight into what successful people are doing that their competitors are not.
- Stay balanced so that you remain creative and your brain functions at 100 percent. Take vacations at least three times a year and rarely work on weekends.
- Constantly seek new ways to grow your business. I changed the way my business attracted customers every six months. From pay-per-click marketing to e-mail, affiliate programs, partnerships with marketing companies, offline marketing to an in-house call center, an overseas call center— I did this because competitors will catch on to your strategies and tactics. What once worked will no longer work. You always need to stay one step ahead.
- Generating creativity. Take time every week to read, listen or watch some type of information pertaining to your specific business, sales or marketing. I often find that when I’m reading a magazine, marketing article, book, blog or even watching a movie on business, that is when my ideas to improve the business are born.
- Motivate your team. Hold pep rallies or weekly meetings to pump up your troops and keep everyone accountable.
- Goals and top fives. Everyone in the organization should create their own goals and have their top five priorities written down.
- Read, read, read. When facing a certain business challenge, select the highest-rated book on Amazon.com that is directly related to that issue.
- Never criticize an employee. It will only break down their morale. If you are upset with someone in your organization, wait a day or two before addressing them or approaching them and start the conversation with appreciation for something positive that they have done.
- Stay laser-focused. There are always plenty of ideas that seem like they can make money. Focus on core competencies and core business. Never try to run two businesses at the same time.
- Retirement for entrepreneurs is death. Don’t believe that the goal is to make lots of money and retire. It’s about the journey, not the destination. You will find that when you’ve made a ton of money, you can’t retire like you always thought you would or you will die of boredom.
- Live in the moment. If your only destination is to amass significant wealth, then you will forget to live the experience while it unfolds.