Tag Archives: Business Idea

This Is the Biggest Mistake Entrepreneurs Make, According to Mark Cuban

According to a billionaire, the ‘number one sin’ an entrepreneur can make when starting their own business begins with money.

Dallas Mavericks owner and an essential investor on hit show Shark Tank, Mark Cuban, provided some good career advice on a podcast interview with Ryan Seacrest.

He told Ryan Seacrest that the biggest mistake an entrepreneur can make is thinking they need to raise money.

“I think the biggest mistake people make is once they have an idea and the goal of starting a business, they think they have to raise money.” – Mark Cuban pointed out.

“Once you raise money, that’s not an accomplishment, that’s an obligation. Now, you’re reporting to whoever you raised money from.” – He continued.

Mr Cuban indicated that by getting outside help, it adds further pressure to business owners since they have added another voice in the room – which complicates the dynamics of decision making.

He went on advising entrepreneurs to grow a business the old-fashioned way – which is to hustle and grind all the way from bottom.

“If you can go out there and start it on your own — like I started out by selling garbage bags — whatever it is … try to find something that you can make or that you can buy yourself and sell to people around you, then ask for referrals and grow the business that way, and you can turn it into something enormous,” Cuban insisted.

My Final Two Cent

While I agree the points made by Mr Cuban, I do like to argue that there are businesses that become a success after raising funds.

Yes, sometimes having another voice in the decision making process can slow things down, but if that ‘other’ voice brings in a lot of value to the table (e.g. expertise, network, experience etc), then, that changes everything.

I don’t think Mr Cuban is completely right in this case. But I don’t feel I’m completely wrong either.

One thing I’ve learned from my time running businesses, is that you’re often wrong on day one. It is your job to figure things out and become less wrong through trial and error – as Mr Elon Musk puts it. It’s just the way business works.

How To Stop Procrastinating With 2 Minute Rule

You start a few lines on computer, then your mind wanders off for a moment. You type a few more lines, then you decide to watch funny videos on internet.

Does this happen to you often?

Do you feel you procrastinate a lot?

Today, I’m gonna share with you a method which helped me to overcome procrastination.

The Two Minute Rule

“When you start a new habit, it should take less than two minutes to do.”

I went through quite a roller coaster in my life. From being a straight A’s (we had grades during my time) student, to almost failing in exams due to cockiness, and then slowly rebuilding myself to becoming someone with a degree in mechanical engineering and MBA.

Having these flashbacks, I decided to share with you a method to cast a new habit into your life.

The idea behind the two minute rule is to make it easy to create new habits.

Anyone can work for one minute or read one page. Or anyone can work on a difficult task each day too.

This is a powerful strategy because once you’ve started doing the right thing, it is much easier to continue doing it.

A new habit should not feel like a challenge. There should be less barrier to it.

People often underestimate this rule. They feel it’s strange to get hyped about reading one page or making one sales call per day. They argue it’s counter productive while those who stand by it, argue that it’s a long term process.

But the point is not to do one thing. The point is to master the habit of showing up. The truth is, a habit must be established before it can be perfected.

As you master the art of showing up, the first two minutes simply become a ritual at the beginning of a larger routine.

This is not merely a strategy to make habits easier but actually the ideal way to master a difficult skill.

Strategies like this work for another reason too: they reinforce the identity you want to build.

For example, if you decide to read on a topic everyday—even if it’s just for two minutes—you are instilling a new habit for your identity.

You’re not worried about mastering the topic – which can be overwhelming when starting out.

You’re just focused on becoming the type of person who doesn’t miss reading about it.

You’re taking the smallest action that leads to giant outcome. And like every giant leap, it starts with a small step.

That’s it for me today.

I hope this article has been helpful for you to overcome the giant obstacle between you and success.

Let me know what you think in the comment below whether this method works for you. Keep grinding and hustling.

Execute.

7 Women Entrepreneurs You Need To Know

I’ve decided to write something else this time. It’s rare to see stories written about successful women entrepreneurs around the world. Not that they need any more recognition than they already have – but I feel the time was already due to write about these ladies in my blog.

I remember the first time I saw SlideShare back in the university days. Years later, I was shocked that LinkedIn bought it for $118.75 million in 2013. Curious, I started researching about the company and its history (a nerd I was).

What caught my attention was not the fact Rashmi Sinha, the founder, is a woman, but the fact she studied PhD in neuropsychology – nothing to do with web technology at all. It just shows the level of aptitude she possesses which impress people in the business world.

She co-founded the company with Jonathan Boutelle in 2006 who became the CTO before being sold to Linkedin which has more than 16 million registered users now.

Another company that grew to become a giant, Cisco. The idea was born out of the problem where the founder Sandra Lerner experienced difficulties to email with her then-husband Len Bosack while working at Stanford University. This problem has led her to design the multi-protocol router – a platform which catapulted Cisco in 1984.

In 1990, it was reported Lerner walked away from the company with $170 million from the sale of her stock options. Her entrepreneurial career did not end there, she continued on to start Urban Decay, a company specialized in cosmetics and a farm based in Virginia.

Flickr was founded in 2002 by duo couple Caterina Fake and Stewart Butterfield. The popular photo sharing website was an offshoot of a game which Fake was developing with her husband at the time.

Three years later, Yahoo bought the website from the couple for a reported $35 million in cash and stock options. Fake went on to co-found another another website called Hunch – a site that makes recommendations based on users’ preferences. She was even named to the board of directors of the very popular online marketplace Etsy.

4. The Body Shop

Anita Roddick was not a stranger to the entrepreneurial life when she founded The Body Shop in 1976, England. Right after running a hotel and a restaurant, she used the experience to create a livelihood for herself and her two daughters – thus creating the company.

Her business concept became a hit and Anita launched her second branch within six months after launch. Realizing she hit jackpot, she soon launched The Body Shop franchise program which enabled her company to open stores all over the world.

The company’s success led to its first public offering in 1984 and 2006 later on. It didn’t end there. Anita and Co finally sold to L’Oreal for a reported $1.4 billion which today, we see there are more than 2500 stores in 61 countries.

Katie Rodan and Kathy Fields were classmates who studies together at Stanford University. Both ladies agreed to the need of finding a better acne treatment since they have also suffered similar ordeal at some time in their lives. At a certain point in their lives after Stanford, the pair noticed the problems acne posed for people of different ages which led them into developing a new way to treat facial blemishes.

Over a five-year period of researching and testing, they have developed an effective acne skin care system which is know as Proactiv Solution. It was a combination of acne medicine and soothing botanicals to create a much more effective acne fighting system designed to leave the skin smooth, clean and clear.

6. HTC

Cher Wang is the co-founder of the famously known mobile technology company HTC with an estimate worth of $1.6 billion according to Forbes. She was born in 1958 and studied degree in economics from University of California in 1981. A year later, she joined First International Computer company, which led her to co-found VIA in 1987. 10 years later, she went on to co-found HTC in 1997.

Cher has been featured on Forbes world’s billionaire list multiple times from year 2010-12 having a net worth at an estimated 1.6 billion dollars making her one of the most powerful women in 2012.

7. The Huffington Post

No one familiar with digital media world has not heard of The Huffington Post. The founder, Arianna Huffington  even plays a huge role in the company after selling it to AOL for $315 million.

Arianna is also an accomplished author having shared her experience in book Thrive: The Third Metric to Success where the book still remains featured on the website.

My Final Two Cent

What do you guys think of the list? I’m sure there are more ‘women-preneurs’ which I missed hustling and working hard around the globe. Let me know any women entrepreneur which you feel very interesting and ‘must-know’. I’d really like to find out more about them.

One Secret Quality to Become RICH – Honest Truth

In today’s article, I’m going to share with you the one skill which is important in order to become RICH.

Becoming RICH is a subjective matter as there are hundreds, if not thousands of ways to achieve it in these modern days. However, many would agree every success comes down to one important quality which is ‘Sacrifice’.

TO SACRIFICE

To put it simply, without ‘sacrifice’, ‘nothing’ can be ‘achieved’.

Without ‘sacrifice’, no ‘budget plan succeeds’.

Every ‘budget’ plan requires you to ‘cut down spending’.

So , say goodbye to those ‘expensive Starbucks’ drinks. Or to that delicious and healthy ‘Avocado toasts’.

Without ‘sacrifice’, no ‘investment’ can bear ‘profits’.

Every ‘investment’ begins with you having to ‘put aside money’ which you ‘don’t have access’ over a period of time.

Without ‘sacrifice’, no ‘self-discipline’ can be achieved too.

Every ‘self-discipline artist’ knows what it takes to achieve a ‘higher state’ of being able to ‘control’ self from ‘spending’ unnecessarily.

So, you’re probably wondering “How can one achieve a higher level of ‘sacrifice’?”

My short answer is to ‘Travel’.

When I say travel, not jet setting in ‘first class’ seats, or staying in a ‘5 star hotel’.

What I mean is to travel to isolated or remote areas where access to modern world is limited.

You see, the problem with human beings these days is not because we can’t live without technology.

That’s completely untrue.

Human beings have been living without much technology for most of our history. We have strive in wilderness back then, so why not today?

By exposing ourselves to such difficult conditions, we can learn to rely none other than ourselves. We learn that it takes some level of sacrifices to go through the day.

We start gather wood for fire & cooking. We gather water early in the morning to stay hydrated throughout the day. We even begin to forget the access to internet.

Guess what happens when you return? You’ll no longer see the benefits of owning things which are no longer essential to your survival. You’ve become accustom to it.

Personally, this is the best way to learn.

MY TWO CENT

While some argue this method is unnecessary. I argue, unless you’re a natural frugal person, I believe practical experience matters most and that some times, drastic actions are necessary to achieve higher level.

Once you’re accustom to a higher level of sacrifice, you’ll start living differently. You spend on things you only need & skip unnecessary spending without hesitation.

With such quality, any budget plan becomes easy to follow. And any investment becomes easier too as you are able to put more money into it.

That’s it from me. I hope you guys learn something from this. Let me know what you think in the comment below so we can start a healthy conversation about the topic.

Happy Weekend.

 

 

 

7 Qualities That Will Make You Rich

When you see successful people, you seldom think about what lies underneath all the cool lifestyle they exhibit.

Many people dream to achieve success but often struggle due to lack of understanding the qualities required.

Today, I’m sharing the top 7 qualities that will make you rich.

1. Become known for one thing

People often feel proud whenever they tell you they have many talents.

While this can be seen as an ‘ego-booster’ for many, the reality is that it can be both a blessing and a curse.

“He who catches two rabbits at once will catch none.” – German proverb

Attempting to achieve various things at once can drive you to the brink of depression as you try relentlessly to try fit them all into your packed-tight schedule.

You might feel you can do it at first, I felt the same too, but as time goes by, you’ll start begin to worn out. When that happens, you’ll start losing focus on ALL things.

I know that sometimes, you feel you need to make the best out of the time available to you – I’ve been there. Then, I realize that it only accelerate my exhaustion level.

So, why should you focus on one thing at a time?

To start, our brain has shown that it works best when concentrated one thing at a time.

In fact, a research by Stanford University that frequent multi-taskers were actually worse at multitasking.

They even performed worse because they had more trouble organizing their thoughts and filtering out irrelevant information.

Researchers at the University of Sussex in the UK also found that multi-taskers suffer from cognitive impairment affecting their empathy as well as cognitive and emotional control.

Apart from health concerns, if you look at those who are exceptionally successful, you’ll see how often they champion the idea of ‘focusing getting things done – one at a time’.

“Focus and be known for one thing.” – Anonymous

“Your life is controlled by what you focus on.” – Tony Robbins

By becoming known for one thing, the word gets out about you and your business much faster than someone who ‘multi-tasks a lot and known to be an average at a lot of things’.

People are more likely to come to you since you’re the best – some might even fly to you and vice versa.

Start focus today. Be known for one thing.

2. WILLINGNESS TO MAKE SACRIFICES

“Whenever you see a successful person, you only public glories. never the private sacrifices to reach them.” – Vaibhav Shah.

We often see the successes of people, but can never learn enough from the struggles they went through.

Being an entrepreneur will make you realize that the lifestyle you want doesn’t come for easily.

“The dream is free, the hustle is sold separately.” – Anonymous

Real entrepreneurs are not only able to see the opportunity, they are also willing to do what it takes to earn it. They respect the dream and know there’s a price to pay.

On the other hand, if you see entrepreneurship as a way out of your 9-5pm job, or because you enjoy less time working, then, you’re stepping into a ‘sinking ship’.

This is what separates between successful entrepreneurs and ‘wanna-preneurs’.

When I started out, I had to care for both my parents down with chronic diseases. That along with running businesses – I had to make tough decisions and sacrifices along the way, some I’m not particularly proud of but had to be done. I’m glad I made it through today.

That’s entrepreneurship. There’s no easy way up. It’s a rollercoaster.

It’s not going to be easy, but it’s going to be worth it IF you’re smart about it.

3. SELF-MOTIVATION

“Don’t focus on the risks. Focus on the rewards.” – Anonymous

Life will get harder in your journey as an entrepreneur; and to be honest, you’re in this alone in the beginning.

Unlike your job, there’s no one to motivate you but yourself. You have no boss, no peers – you get the idea.

You’d argue “what about partners, investors etc?”

Well, they can only recommend you on the direction and decision making the company should take – but at the end of day, you’re the driving force that should get things done.

You’re your own motivator.

Yes your family and friends will be around you, but what lies within yourself is where you REALLY make the difference.

There will come a number of times where your brain will start to wonder – and start telling you to doubt, stop and give up.

Why not? After all, your business is not making much progress after 1, 2, 3 years. Savings all dried up. There’s nothing left you could do.

This situation alone might scare off most people away.

But successful entrepreneurs know better. They see the risks but they focus on the outcome. This is one of the best ways to motivate yourself. See the rewards, not the struggles.

In addition, you also need to find various amount of motivational quotes and to keep it as mantra in case you start feeling worn out.

Create reminders of what success would look like, or any possessions (e.g. mansion, yacht etc) you desire to own. Do whatever it takes to remind that you need to work harder if you want to achieve it.

If you’re unable to motivate yourself, you’re in tough luck and better off working a job.

4. Define your goal daily

“A dream written down with a date becomes a goal.

A goal broken down into steps becomes a plan.

A plan backed by action makes your dreams come true.”

If you’re an admirer of various successful people, I’m sure you’ve come across the importance of writing down your goals every single day.

This is a habit most entrepreneurs live by; as it helps you an impulse to act on a daily basis.

By setting your goals, you’ll start to wake up ‘with a plan’ rather than ‘to have a plan’.

This attitude helps to start your day as productive you can – not wasting time trying to figure out ‘what to do today’.

When you set the goals every day it helps you to define priorities and keep the most important things on the first place.

The initial identification of priorities is one of the most important things you need to do.

Focus on getting the most profitable activities done early, and then everything else. Soon, you’ll discover the best route to your success.

5. Practice resilience

“The task ahead of you is never greater than the strength WITHIN you.” – Anonymous

“Resilience is the ability to fall, pick ourselves up from the floor quickly, learn and continue with the journey.” – Anonymous.

Resilience is key to success. It gives you an advantage over people who choose to give up the moment they face failure.

You can be the smartest person in the room – who are also not spared from failures; but if you lack the discipline to keep going, you ought to fail as well.

I’m a big saver. In fact, I enjoy saving money especially being able to see my money grows every month at the bank and eventually investment. Of course, I desire for luxurious possessions in life, but I knew I had to keep my grit and carry on saving money.

I’ve tried most which entrepreneurs went through (except being homeless) e.g. eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches almost everyday, had to juggle between taking care both my parents and my business, and so on.

Today, majority of the savings are in investments. I can live comfortably from the returns alone. I do still save, but slowly, I start to increase my expenses a little bit so I get to enjoy after all the years of sacrifices.

“If you don’t give up, you still have a chance ….” – Jack Ma

You cannot avoid ups and downs along the way but you need to find within yourself to uphold a strong spirit to accomplish your short and long-term goals.

6. Obey the “Rule of 500”

In a nutshell, you need to offer your services or products to at least 500 people per month in order to become a millionaire.

Of course, this depends on the nature of your business i.e. profit margin etc. What’s being pointed out here is to get your product in front of as many people; and quick.

There will be large number of refusals – but this is just part of sales. You just need to be ready for it.

7. Long Term & Short Term Plans

“You have to believe in the long term plan but you need the short term goals to motivate and inspire you.” – Roger Federer

Everything you’ve done in life so far has been for the immediate future.

Mankind functions in strange ways where we mostly know the importance of long term plan – and yet, we still seek for a shortcut.

If you wish to be successful in life, your mindset needs to be re-wired quick.

You need to stop looking for shortcuts, there isn’t one. There are large numbers of successful people can attest to that.

To be honest with you:

It will take between 7 and 10 years to change your life.

You’re probably getting discouraged hearing this – and opting for Netflix instead.

If you’re that person, that’s good. You’ve just saved yourself from 10 years of hard work to success – than decades of average work to just being average.

Being successful requires you to think ahead and take actions now which will have an impact over the long term.

Successful people often look at the rewards of hardship; and then deconstruct it into short term plans to achieve that end game. This mentality is what’s going to help you pivot towards success.

It works similar like reverse engineering a product. You tear it into pieces trying to figure how it works and being made.