For as long as I can remember, I have been fascinated by the American Entrepreneur and the idea that anyone can start a business in their garage & build it into an entity that can support a family. I founded PFC for that very reason – to help entrepreneurs – and during the last thirty years I have had the great opportunity to work with entrepreneurial companies at all different points in their life cycle, from start up to succession planning.
It seems that these days, ‘entrepreneurship’ is defined by having a social media presence for your “killer app” and existing off of VC money until you’re bought out or go public. While there is a lot more to success than just that, it was refreshing to read an article in this month’s Inc. magazine summarizing a recent talk given by “visionary entrepreneur,” Marc Cuban.
I have always thought of him as a relic of the ‘dot com’ era, but it was fascinating to see that his ideas for how to achieve entrepreneurial success fall so closely in line with mine:
- Know who the boss is – every business owner’s boss is the same, the customer.
- Outsmart the competition by outworking them – there is no success without grinding.
- Don’t focus on reinventing the wheel – disruption doesn’t always mean building new technologies, having the foresight to anticipate where current things are headed in order to strategically position yourself is just as crucial.
- Don’t rely on outside investors – the key is having a better product/service and customer service than your competitors, not merely outspending them. “Companies don’t fail for lack of capital, companied fail for a lack of brains and effort,” Cuban says.