:: A 26-Year-Old Serial Entrepreneur's Tips for Successful Startup CEOs ::
Don't be a founder if you truly don't want it I tried working a normal job as an employee--once. In my observation, people become entrepreneurs for one of two main reasons: Either they are passionate about something to the point of obsession, or they have difficulties falling in line with the rest of the squad. Both types are generally creative in envisioning solutions, and work independently, but still require the rest of the team to make it work. An entrepreneurial personality is unique, but no more or less important than people who prefer contributing powerfully to a healthy corporate team. Start-ups need both. At the end of the day, you need to look at what makes you happy, founder, or an employee.
Ageism can cut both ways Even in an era heavy with Zuckerberg-like successes, my own lack of grey hair can lead people to dismiss me as well. For both old and young entrepreneurs, we have to look smarter, work harder and deliver better, consistently, to be taken seriously. Flip it, use it to your advantage, go ahead and let the 800-pound industry gorilla ignore you, while you dramatically improve a product and grab market share. Our unguided creativity and development cycles free of drama and policy will allow us to blaze a fresh trail in your industry.
Filter the advice As your business grows, you may be surrounded by experienced consultants in many industries where you aren't an expert. You need to filter good advice from bad. They'll give wise strategy, but your gut may scream at you to do something diametrically opposed. Have the courage to say, "I value your advice, but my instinct says to go another way." If your instinct sucks in certain areas, hire someone to cover you there the most important thing you can do is cover your blind spots.
Welcome Risk Entrepreneurs aren't easily scared. You have to live lean while building, and be willing to fail. I have had two businesses that succeeded, but one failed. I sold the first successful venture at age 15. The second tanked because, frankly, the idea was a bit too far ahead of both consumer technology and how people were accustomed to using the Internet, but I remained undeterred. Visionary people can't stop generating ideas. I trust my innate ability to succeed, so does my team. We're all in it together.
Be Willing to Say You Were Wrong Taking risks, rejecting advice, moving fast, reiterating on results, and telling more seasoned professionals how the world is changing means you might screw up.
As a founder, it's important to own your mistakes, and show your employees, partners, and clients that you can course correct. This instills loyalty, because people trust your transparency. And, it keeps your employees failing forward along with you.
Getting Funding:The Real Secret It's not for everyone - and neither is my advice, but for those who want independence in their business but still want the funds to grow know this: Prove it.
Investors give you money based on their assessment of the risk and potential for profits in the future. The second you take their money it's about mitigating risk for them and maximizing profits. If you can show them you're in control of that before hand, you will attract the type of investors that will allow you to continue doing what you're doing and only add complementary nuggets of advice to you.
Do yourself a favor and give yourself an upper hand, turn a profit. Show the investors you're not some hair-brained lunatic trying to take their money in an attempt to create the next selfie stick or fidget spinner. You're running a business: Prove it.
Being an entrepreneur is all I can ever envision doing. If you share this unique view on the world and how you can change your own corner of it, I'd love to be in touch.
About the Author Lucas McCarthy is the founder and CEO of startup ticketing solution,
Showpass. A serial entrepreneur, Lucas is focused on revolutionizing the ticketing industry, one ticket at a time.