Today, I’m bringing in some of the world’s most successful and respected entrepreneurs to share their best business advice and success tips so you’ll be prepared to start a business in today’s climate.
They’ve created products & services we’ve all heard of, turned entire industries upside down, redefined what it means to be successful when you start a business and many have also written business books or taught online business courses about it. Suffice it to say, their business advice is worth it’s weight in gold.
1. Robert Herjavec
Best business advice for aspiring entrepreneurs when it comes to pitching your idea:
“You have 90 seconds, if you’re lucky. If you can’t make your point persuasively in that time, you’ve lost the chance for impact. Facts and figures are important, but it’s not the only criteria, you must present in a manner that generates expertise and confidence.”
“If you’re not prepared to make your pitch, you may just miss your next big opportunity.”
Robert is a seasoned entrepreneur and investor who’s built & sold several companies to major brands like AT&T. Now a leading authority on information security technology, he’s also one of the most recognizable faces from ABC’s award-winning show, Shark Tank where he’s earned a reputation for sharing down-to-earth business advice to young entrepreneurs.
2. Chiara McPhee
Business advice to entrepreneurs who want to start a business for the first time:
“Often I see first-time entrepreneurs struggle to organize and process feedback. When starting a company, you’ll get feedback from everyone: your early users, potential customers, investors, friends, and even your second cousin twice removed.”
“I’ve found it incredibly helpful to have a framework in place to systematically collect, prioritize, and implement product features based on customer feedback–both from customers you have, and the customers you want!”
Chiara is the COO and co-founder of Bizzy, a state-of-the-art marketing platform for eCommerce businesses. She studied business at Stanford and Duke, and has a background in marketing and design.
3. Tony Robbins
Business advice for aspiring entrepreneurs who want to start a business:
“The most painful mistake I see in first-time entrepreneurs is thinking that just having a business plan or a great concept is enough to guarantee success. It’s not. Business success is 80% psychology and 20% mechanics. And, frankly, most people’s psychology is not meant for building a business.”
“My business advice? Think honestly about who you are, what you want to accomplish, and what mindset you need to have to get there. Because the biggest thing that will hold you back is your own nature. Few people are natural risk-takers or emotionally ready for the challenges of building a business. You can’t just sign up for a marathon and run it without ever training. You have to increase your capacity and become fit. Being an entrepreneur requires similar kinds of emotional and psychological fitness so that you don’t become the chokehold on your business’s success.”
Tony is an entrepreneur, best-selling author, philanthropist and the nation’s #1 life and business strategist. A recognized authority on the psychology of leadership, negotiations and organizational turnaround, he has served as an advisor to leaders around the world for more than 38 years. He’s also the author of five internationally bestselling books, including the recent New York Times #1 best-seller MONEY: Master The Game. Tony has empowered more than 50 million people from 100 countries through his audio, video and life training programs.
4. Tara Gentile
Biggest mistake new entrepreneurs make when they want to start a business:
“They wait to get started. They wait until they have more information, more experience, more, more money, and a more perfect version of whatever they have created.”
“All that waiting means they’re not really learning. When you’re an entrepreneur, the best way to learn is to do something, to put your idea into someone’s hands, or to talk to the people you want to serve. Stop waiting and do… something.”
Author, speaker, and the founder of Quiet Power Strategy®. Tara works with business owners to help them transition into more profitable business models, more compelling messaging, and more influence. She’s featured in Fast Company, Forbes, Inc, and DailyWorth for the work she’s done on TaraGentile.com.
5. Mark Cuban
Business advice to those who want to start a business:
“What I always ask people is, (1) is it something you love to do and (2) is this something you’re good at?”
“Then, taking that first step is always the hardest. It’s terrifying, but really, it’s about preparation. We all go through this process where you’ve got the business idea, you get that feeling in your stomach and you get all excited. Then you talk to a friend, and your friend says, ‘oh wow that’s pretty cool, I’ve never heard of anything like that. I’d buy that.’ And then you do the Google search.”
“The first thing I’ll tell you, is that just because you don’t see it on Google, doesn’t mean one hundred companies haven’t gone out of business doing the same thing. It hasn’t been done for a reason, because every company that’s tried it, has gone out of business.”
Mark is an entrepreneur and investor on ABC’s Shark Tank. He’s the owner of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks, Landmark Theatres, Magnolia Pictures, and is the chairman of the HDTV cable network AXS TV. In his recent interview on 30 Days of Genius with CreativeLive, Mark talked a lot about the mistakes many new entrepreneurs make when they think they’ve found a profitable business idea.
6. Vanessa Van Edwards
The biggest mistake entrepreneurs make when they start a business for the first time:
“There is no path! I think the biggest mistake first-time entrepreneurs make is they desperately want a structured business plan and direct path.”
“One of the most important things about starting a business is being flexible. Listening to customers, watching data and making iterations and changes as needed. Sometimes having a path or a rigid business plan can limit you. Think of your business like a meadow not a path, just play!”
A Huffington Post columnist, Vanessa’s groundbreaking work at Science of People has been featured on NPR, the Wall Street Journal, the Today Show and USA Today.
7. Guillame Decugis
Business advice to new entrepreneurs who want to start a business:
“In 15 years as an entrepreneur, I’ve made many mistakes and I’ve seen a lot of entrepreneurs do them too. My answer is two-part since these are equally as important.”
“Falling blindly in love with an idea. Entrepreneurship needs passion, but love can be blinding. Many entrepreneurs believe in their idea so much that they fail to validate it. They tend to dismiss negative feedback on their products or neglect collecting some. And they end up missing product/market fit. Overcoming that requires taking some distance with the idea and applying intellectual honesty. My advice is to talk to potential customers or users from day 1 and for every day after that: never stop collecting feedback. We’re now 25 people on the team at Scoop.it, but I still answer support tickets and take sales calls because there’s nothing as real and valuable than a direct conversation with a customer.”
“Thinking that ideas are more important than teams. I hear a lot of first-time entrepreneurs tell me ‘I have a great idea for an app; I just need to find a technical co-founder to code it.’ But successful startups iterate their original idea constantly based on market feedback. Sometimes they even radically pivot like Paypal or Slack. Only great teams can do that, so the execution is much more important than the original concept. And it’s easier to change the idea than it is to change the team.”
An engineer turned-marketer, Guillaume, the Co-Founder and CEO of Scoop.it, has experimented a lot with content marketing and developed the lean content marketing methodology as a way to help marketers generate ROI with content.
8. Lauren Holliday
Business advice for millennials who want to start a business for the first time:
“The biggest mistake new entrepreneurs make is banking on an idea that isn’t valuable to anyone with actual, real-world problems.”
“You read about this new social media tool or this new game or social app. And it’s like: What happened to solving REAL, big, hairy problems as opposed to helping privileged kids send pictures that explode in a day (sorry, Snapchat – first example I thought of)?”
“My advice is to spend time with people who are different than you. This will open up your mind to different people and different problems, allowing you to connect the dots faster and make a real contribution to the world, as opposed to just being the next Mark Zuck.”
Lauren is a full-stack marketer who’s been featured on Business Insider, Entrepreneur, The Muse and more. You can find her on Twitter, Medium, or you can subscribe to her email newsletter.
9. Tony Stubbelbine
Best business advice for aspiring entrepreneurs who want to start a business:
“I’ve been trying to start companies for years and I still make this mistake. Planning too far ahead. Many new entrepreneurs are stuck on this idea of what the company could be five years from now. They’re trying to make the five year version of the company happen tomorrow.”
“What they need to realize is that if you have no customers, the next milestone is one customer. A very powerful tactic to overcome this is to help young entrepreneurs focus on building on momentum. That means focusing on the next step and trusting that those first few steps will build to the speed and impact you want.”
Tony is the founder and CEO of Coach.me, an app that helps you put your goals into action by actively tracking your performance in diet, fitness, productivity and life.