Setting the Road to Succeed
The following post is from Juan Giraldo MBA’18, co-founder of Wanku – Healthy Tradition, a spring 2017 hatchery business. WANKU is an ancestral and refreshing herbal infusion made out of more than 20 medicinal herbs and aromatic flowers from the Andes. WANKU sources 100% organic ingredients directly from Andean smallholder farmers at fair trade prices.
When I started thinking about writing this blog post it took me a while to finally summarize what would be my advice for fellow entrepreneurs. As an MBA student the first things that came to my mind were the following: find a scalable business model, find a product with a unique differentiator, or make sure that you have access to capital. But even though these are all important with regard to running a business, I think there are other parts throughout the entrepreneurial journey that may have more impact on your life and your business.
I’ve recalled my path as an entrepreneur and these have been the most critical moments of my entrepreneurial journey:
Entrepreneurship & Business is a team sport: Even though there are successful businessmen/-women who have been able to build exceptional businesses by themselves, I truly believe that working in a team considerably increases the chances to succeed. It has positive effects not only from a psychological perspective – starting a business is a roller coaster of emotions –, but from a functional perspective, too. There is no way in which you could be the best of the world in everything you do. With a team you will focus on things you do well and your teammates will take care of the areas you are not so good at.
Two brains will always think better than one.
Read: Read as much as you can, make it part of your daily routine and, if possible, make a bit of room for reading time every day. A lot of people have already achieved what you are trying to achieve. Whether it is about creating a successful tech business, leading a world revolution, or crafting a top investors pitch – hundreds of people have already failed in doing so and they’ve written about their mistakes. Some, however, have triumphed and they’ve written about their success. Make sure that you study them – the ones that have failed and the ones that have succeeded – and learn from them; it will surely save you time and money. Always remember that knowledge comes from books – in order to gain more of it, you have to read more, much more.
Start with a purpose: It may sound like a cliché, but it is extremely important to have a deeper purpose than just make profits when you start a business. You will be facing some of the most challenging years of your life, so make sure that you are committed to a higher purpose that will keep you motivated even in the toughest moments. In addition, your purpose will help you align with other stakeholders more easily and it will push you to make better decisions.
Say yes: As Eric Schmidt, the executive chairman of Alphabet Inc., said “YES is how you get your first job, and your next job, and your spouse, and even your kids. Even if it’s a bit edgy, a bit out of your comfort zone, saying yes means you will do something new, meet someone new, and make a difference.”