Monday, October 11, 2010

Ten Lessons Learned in Entrepreneurship

I spoke at the Entrepreneur Lecture Series course at BYU today. Here is what I spoke about:

  1. Be in a position of ownership - my first startup, a baseball umpiring business, taught me this when I tossed my first coach from a game and I took serious heat for the behavior of the other umpire.
  2. Know your customer - my second entrepreneurial venture bombed because I failed to do this. And I'm talking about getting into their head and knowing what they think, what their problems are, and so much more.
  3. Become an advocate for your customers - now that you know them, become a voice to which they can look for guidance, advice, and more
  4. Experience + Education - One or the other is good, but both is powerful and improves the chances for entrepreneurial success
  5. Know you numbers - without the clarity that comes from numbers, every business is missing out on strategic competitive advantages it could gain
  6. Know you partners - I learned this in my second startup failure when a prospective partner turned out to be someone much different that anyone suspected. Please refer to 4 Signs Your Business Partnership will Fail for more on this subject.
  7. Don't be afraid of the big boys - startups can do it faster, better, and usually cheaper. Never let a big competitor scare or intimidate you.
  8. Caution: Family Business - Please read 3 Rules Every Family Business Should Live By.
  9. Services are difficult to scale - time is a limited resource, and selling it has a finite capacity.
  10. Turn services into products - Read Built to Sell for more information.