By James Stinson, CEO of Global Sky, Inc.
#1 Good ideas are not enough. It’s not enough to have a good idea for a business. You have to learn how to market and sell that idea. You need to make that a core part of your business activities each day, especially in the beginning when you should be testing your idea in the real world through selling that idea. The market will reveal to you just how good the idea is (innovation) OR how well you’ve presented it (marketing). Entrepreneurs that get both innovation and marketing have figured out 90 percent of entrepreneurship.
#2 Cash flow is key. Building a business is like driving a car, you can get lost and make wrong turns and still correct things all day long, but if you run out of fuel everything comes to a halt. Entrepreneurs that get loads of startup capital have no concept of the importance of cash flow. They can usually lack the disciplined spending and resourcefulness of bootstrapping entrepreneurs that learn very quickly how critical cash flow is if they want to stay in business. Companies that have no concept of cash flow in the beginning like YouTube or Facebook are exceptions rather than the rule.
#3 You need a team. Business is a team sport and you can only play one position really well. The conscious brain can only focus on one thought or one task at a time. That means even the smartest people in the world are limited by their brain’s bandwidth, plus time and space limitations.
A good team is 1 + 1 + 1 = 111. A good team takes time to build and every entrepreneur makes partnership and hiring mistakes along the way. It’s impossible to avoid hiring and partnership mistakes, they will happen. The key is to cut low performers quickly so you always have a space for a high performer before exhausting your resources. Successful entrepreneurs like Richard Branson, Bill Gates and Steve Jobs have proven that leverage is the key to massive wealth. They might get the credit for the innovation, but massive implementation requires a team.