We live in a society that glorifies the entrepreneur. And along with the hoopla about hustle and superhuman genius, the media portrayal is often of something beyond the reach of the rest of us.
From Elon Musk to the Internet startup flavor of the month, these people are framed as exceptional people. They’ve got it together more than you, right?
In my experience, yes and no. There is a vision and the will to execute on it, yes. But often the vision isn’t all that clear, the path changes, and bad decisions and personal flaws accidentally work out into wins.
In other words, the great results you see are hiding the very messy process that got them. This is such an important thing for you to understand, because otherwise you mark certain achievements as unattainable when that’s not necessarily the case.
So, today’s mindset article is a profile of Rand Fishkin, founder of Moz. This glimpse of “real” entrepreneurship is only possible due to Rand’s commitment to radical transparency — but you can bet the messiness is more common than others let on.
To complement the article, let’s also revisit an episode of the Unemployable podcast from last season. Are Entrepreneurs Literally “The Crazy Ones?” is another take on turning flaws and fears into business success.
Keep going –
P.S. Rand Fishkin is doing the opening keynote at our Digital Commerce Summit this October in Denver. Several of our speakers have asked for a discount to share with their audiences, and then I realized … I’m also a speaker. 🙂
Registration is currently $795, and that’s rising to $995 at the end of July. But if you use this special link before then, you get everything for only $495. See you in Denver!
Unemployable Classic: Are Entrepreneurs Literally “The Crazy Ones?”
They say that Steve Jobs was a narcissist, and that Bill Gates trends toward Aspergers on the autism spectrum. And yes, emerging research suggests that many entrepreneurs leverage what would otherwise be a psychological liability into an advantage.
Rand Fishkin is known for founding an incredibly successful company — while keeping an unwavering commitment to his core values. He also exemplifies the messy reality that runs full counter to the myth of the “perfect” entrepreneur you see portrayed in the media.
A Proposition You Can’t Refuse
Value proposition is the #1 thing that determines whether people will bother reading more about your product or hit the back button. It’s also the main thing you need to test – if you get it right, it will be a huge boost.
Facebook is pushing live video hard now, which means you might get more reach with it now than in the future. And just to make sure everyone knows that Zuckerberg is the 800-pound gorilla, Facebook continues to “borrow” popular features from other platforms.
Your Winning Difference
When you’re building a new product, it’s important to understand why this market opportunity is winnable by us. In other words, what do we have that’s a differentiator — either proprietary or first to market — that will allow us to effectively compete.
Great companies are built on effective, efficient training — but the training challenges in a small business are often overlooked. The best thing you can do for new hires is to ensure they have the right tools and resources to be productive members of your team
Tend Your Flock
This should be in the “duh” category, and yet it happens all the time — the desire to hit the next level has you ignoring the customers who got you to this level. That means that a startup now at the bottom might skyrocket past you by staying focused on the customer experience.
How do you know if your business is successful? It sounds like a simple question, but it’s one that most small business owners aren’t sure how to answer.
This article contains 7 common questions about incorporating your business. Each question leads to a full article that explores each issue in more detail.
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