Every entrepreneur has a great idea in their mind and looks to be a disruptive, innovative force in the marketplace. If it were easy, the startup failure rates would be well below 90 percent. There are many reasons for entrepreneurial failure-a poor business model, bad hiring, and ineffective execution are only some of the challenges. These difficulties are not impossible to fix, but you need the right attitude and mindset to do it and come out a winner.
International bestselling author Bryant McGill built his company Simple Reminders alongside Jenni Young, as McGill noted, "on two smartphones and cameras, a few laptops, and a sincere desire to show people the best of themselves through inspiring words, images, and products." Today McGill is one of the top social media influencers in the world, with more engagement than Oprah, Lady Gaga, and Tony Robbins combined.
Now with a multimillion-dollar media empire, McGill is a dominant force in positive thinking and self-actualization. McGill's best selling books include "Simple Reminders" and "Voice of Reason." He is also a United Nations-appointed Global Champion, a Nobel Peace Prize nominee, and his work has been endorsed by the president of the American Psychological Association.
On May 23rd, McGill and Grant Cardone will be teaching a "Social Entrepreneurship Graduate Class" at the Nasdaq MarketSite in Times Square to students of NYU and Columbia Business School. It is a free event hosted by Nasdaq to support emerging business leaders and to nurture entrepreneurship. Outsiders can attend by RSVP.
McGill has had his own ups and downs as an entrepreneur and in my recent interview shared his lessons on how to crush the obstacles on the path to success.
1. Build your network.
Many entrepreneurs focus on themselves and their own vision, but the biggest job is to inspire others, which won't happen in isolation. McGill emphasized the importance of making deep connections in today's highly virtual world. "Social media must first and foremost be-social," he affirmed. "The tenants of huge social media success are the same principles of being a good neighbor. You must be genuine, available, caring, supportive, friendly, and of good intention and good will. If you want to prosper, you must delight in seeing others prosper. Never forget that fifty-percent of social success, whether in social media, or the real world requires the other party's happiness and success; that is your clients, customers, and consumers.
2. Be respectful toward others.
"Every aspect of every business transaction is a relationship that requires thoughtfulness and respect," McGill acknowledged. "Respect is the universal currency accepted everywhere. Treat others with respect and you will always be wealthy because your community is your real currency.
3. Look at the world through the eyes of other people.
People get caught up in their own vision without carefully considering what might be the actual flaws in their plan. Best to take a step back and get fresh perspective. "Get outside of yourself! Do anything you can to expand any narrow thinking, or 'set' ways," emphasized McGill. "Expose yourself to as many new people, ideas, challenges, and viewpoints as possible. The more you can learn, connect, and integrate, the more you can evolve and grow."
4. Buck the trends.
Trendsetting requires unconventional thinking. You need to understand and play to your markets but also exploit the hidden opportunities. "The only way to ever possibly set a trend, is not to follow every trend. Don't be afraid to wait it out before investing time and capital in new and seemingly popular opportunities," recommends McGill. "You know your markets, so if you feel you have the pulse of the moment at your fingertips, explore that zeitgeist as a leader, and not a follower."
5. Leverage the technology at hand.
"Most people only use the surface of technology. We take for granted the power and availability of unfathomable tools and technology, because they are so common," added McGill. "We are so immersed in omnipresent tech that the deeper opportunities of technology become almost invisible. It may be a myth that we only use 10% of our brains, but we certainly only use 10% of technology, at most. Find creative ways to deeply leverage existing infrastructure and platforms. Use common technology in very uncommon ways."
6. Emphasize teamwork over individualism.
"The task of leadership is showing people the obvious ways they can and should work together. Cooperation is a higher principle than competition. Unhealthy competition can motivate people, but not without friction, loss of energy, and unnecessary collateral damage," said McGill. "Cooperation is more elegant and efficient. Inspire people to work together. Fear, suspicion, distrust, and resentment cannot rear its ugly head where there is an atmosphere of trust and partnership."
7. Most success is about simply showing up.
When things are tough, it can be hard to stay in the game. Winners love to play the game and revel in the challenge. "Leadership is about taking a beating and showing up again and again. Real entrepreneurs cannot live without problems," concluded McGill. "All business is-is solving problems. Don't run from problems; run to them. Problems are not a sign things are going wrong, they are a sign you are in business and moving forward. I don't care who you are, and what you do, you are a solution provider, or you are irrelevant."