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How To Make A Startup Succeed, Even Without Experience


how to make a startup succeed

Everyone wants to speed through the difficult parts of starting a business, but that doesn’t teach you the lessons you need to run a thriving startup.

Everyone wants to know the secret to success. But there’s no blueprint to reach the top, no cheat code for victory.

As an entrepreneur, building your own company can be a daunting journey full of failures, uncertainty, and a lot of wading through crap, so to speak.

Almost two decades ago, I started my first business selling car parts on eBay—and I had no resources and no real knowledge of what I was doing. I saw there was a market, but my competitors were massive companies like Pep Boys and AutoZone. Through trial and error, I found novel ways to attract customers and differentiate myself.

But I also learned one trick to help find success as an entrepreneur: a healthy mindset. If you arm yourself with self-awareness and a can-do attitude, you’ll be able to cope with anything.

Here are other tips I’ve learned for how to make a startup succeed, in no particular order:

Figure out how to solve problems and make things happen on your own.

Of course, it’s good to seek advice and talk to mentors. But the biggest value in terms of learning and self-growth happens when you’re struggling on your own.

Say your friend inherits a profitable business that he doesn’t know anything about, while you start your own company from nothing. You have to be resourceful and figure out how to make a startup succeed, he’s just handed a company. Nine times out of ten, the entrepreneur who had to actually work for it is the one who’s going to come out on top.

Everyone wants to speed through the difficult parts of starting a business, but that doesn’t teach you the lessons you need to run a thriving startup.

Don’t gloss over your failures.

Failure is nature’s greatest teacher, and the biggest tragedy when things go wrong is not learning from your experience.

The only way you’re going to be able to see your failures is by being present enough to recognize your mistakes. You then need the desire to do something about them. Taking action means analyzing the situation, dissecting it, and questioning everything about your ideas and decisions. This helps you recognize a pattern and prevents the problem from happening down the road.

In an odd way, I get a kick out of making “mistakes” because it gives me a chance to reflect and pivot to something even better.

Slow down, and focus on what you’re going through right now.

Everyone’s in a hurry to be successful. But the rush to make a lot of money or have millions of customers is ridiculous.

Look, I love the life or death mentality of doing whatever it takes to succeed. The problem with that is you’re always looking ahead rather than focusing on what you’re currently going through. By slowing down, you give yourself a chance to gain the most valuable knowledge and build self-awareness.

If you want to truly grow as an entrepreneur, you need to be present during the struggle so the lessons stick with you.

Be particular about your people.

Who you surround yourself with can make or break your business.

Studies have shown that although we think we’re good at multitasking, our brains can only focus on one thing at a time. That’s also why no entrepreneur can succeed alone. You can’t do everything at once.

So whether it’s employees, partners, outsourcers, or clients, the right people are essential for building your company. And you’ll know you’ve found them because they’ll bring a positive, supportive attitude to everything they do.

Don’t make excuses for yourself.

People are really good at lying to themselves. I hear reasons all the time about why people can’t start their own business:

  • “I don’t have enough money to invest in my idea.”
  • “I don’t know how to create an e-commerce website.”
  • “I can’t find the right people to build my product.”

Sure, a lot of these excuses sound convincing at face value.

But many times, these statements are rooted in fear. While certain people are afraid to fail, others are just as terrified that their startup will actually take off. Whether it’s conscious or not, many people don’t want to be successful because that means their lives will change in untold ways. It’s the fear of the unknown.

No one can predict how a startup will turn out, so you have to just jump in without letting excuses prevent you from taking action.

Never neglect your health.

Nothing will make you fail faster than being less than 100% healthy, physically and mentally. After all, if you’re not healthy, there’s simply no chance your startup will be in shape.

I see so much content online that glorifies grinding 24/7 and getting no sleep. Look, there are absolutely times while you’re building a company when you’re going to have to work crazy hours and cut back on sleep.

But grinding should never be the goal.

Instead, focus on training yourself and incorporating little hacks so you can perform at max capacity. Personally, I stand or pace around my office while I’m on calls, constantly take walks in between focused working sessions. This is on top of five full-on training sessions per week, which are much more strenuous than a light walk. Being active keeps your body in tip-top shape and prevents you from burning out.

There’s no single secret or shortcut for how to make a startup succeed, but being aware of your mindset and cultivating healthy habits will give you a fighting chance.

Here are a few other related articles you might find helpful:

5 Reasons Why You Should Start A Company Today

Why Grinding Toward Your Goals Is Keeping You From Success

The Long-Term Benefits Of Finding Your Own Route, Instead Of Following Others

A lifelong entrepreneur, Brian has a knack for solving important entrepreneurial problems unconventionally. In 2015, Brian became an Inc. 500 Entrepreneur. Brian's online advertising and marketing agency made the Inc. 500 list of Fastest Growing Private Companies in America, and was the 25th fastest growing advertising and marketing agency in America. Brian is the founder of Influencive, and a CMO in the blockchain tech and logistics space. Recently, Brian was named Blockchain Influencer of the Year. Brian has been consistently ranked as one of the top business journalists and influencers in the world.

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