I’m a serial entrepreneur. I start things. I build things. I take risks.
At the age of 18, more than fifty years ago, I was fortunate enough to begin my journey as an entrepreneur.
Over the years, my companies have created more than ten thousand jobs, and owned and operated more than one hundred thousand apartments and ten million square feet of office space across the U.S., along with hotels and industrial real estate. I’ve launched and run financial institutions, co-founded a health maintenance organization (HMO), and built various software companies that sold to big public companies. I’ve also drilled for oil and owned part of an airline company as well as part of the Dallas Cowboys football team. Inspired by the love of my life, Kathryn, she and I started three wineries from scratch in Napa Valley and Sonoma, California. We now own three wine brands and thousands of acres of land and vineyards.
As someone who has seen a lot of success, I recommend keeping the following pointers in mind when starting your own business:
- Build your business around your passion. The first question you need to ask yourself is do you have a burning passion and desire for your new business idea? You need to really believe in your plan, believe in yourself, and focus to successfully create and build your business.
- Constantly reevaluate your plan. Don’t be afraid to pivot, change, and take risks, as the market will show you when you’re right and when you’re wrong. As I outline in my new book BOOM: Bridging the Opportunity Gap to Reignite Startups, I have been involved in several industries and pivoted my business focus to align with the current marketplace.
- Have a clear strategy. Giving your new business your undivided attention is critical. A lot of new businesses are, for many years, in what I call, “survival mode.”
- Mind your cash flow. When it comes to starting a business, it is all about cash and cash flow. If you run out of cash and can’t pay your bills, it’s over.
If you have a plan and keep striving toward growth, ultimately you will thrive and succeed.
Success from my perspective comes from surviving until you thrive. Surviving as a new business is all about having a plan, focusing on that plan, and making progress by working your tail off. Add to that watching cash and cash flow closely—at a minimum, on a daily basis. Through a lot of hard work, you put yourself in a position to get lucky.
The truth is, luck is an important ingredient in success as well, but there are ways to position yourself to take advantage of the opportunities that come your way.
Adapted from Quora.
Bridging the Opportunity Gap to Reignite Startups
There is an alarming decades-long decline of new business startups facing the United States today. BOOM exposes the reasons behind this downward spiral and outlines strategies to solve the problem.