This is from a talk I gave at FR8Star, a marketplace for shippers and carriers.
11) Do put in your 10,000 hours
My 10th lesson was about not taking shortcuts for a variety reasons, not the least of which is that you're only shortchanging yourself. After all, those times of even doing the mundane add up to the 10,000 hours of doing your trade. In an interview with Elon Musk, his advice was to work twice as hard as everyone else, meaning if everyone works 40, you should work 80. That amount of time may be a bit much for most people. But for those who do put in their hours, it is most likely the case that they are working more hours than others -- and that will benefit them in the long run.
12) Do embrace constraints and boundaries
Jack Dorsey, CEO - Twitter and Square
Life isn't always up and to the right. The same goes for entrepreneurship. Sometimes the reason things don't always go our way is because we have too much of a good thing. That was the case with Jack Dorsey, who told me that "it's important to constrain the process." Constraints and boundaries are under-appreciated, he suggested. Jack was referring to a time when his startup had too much money - more than they really needed.
"In my dispatch days back in 1999,2000 we built something cool," Jack said in our interview back in 2008
. "We loved it. We hired a CEO who didn't match our personalities and vision." In the end, the company grew too quickly and scattered the focus of the company, he said.
So if you're feeling constrained, maybe there's a reason for it.
13) Don't accept more than you need
Ring CEO Jamie Siminoff
In like vein, Jamie Siminoff also learned about the value of constraints, when it was too late. Jamie raised $4 million at the seed round. While this amount helped the company to start generating revenue, it found that it was too big to go back to seed investors but not large enough to get Series A investors interested. "The middle is a tough place to be," Jamie said, in our interview.
Jamie goes on to say that he wished he just raised $500,000 and "put the right group (of VCs) together."
Jamie learned that lesson well, knowing not to take money when it's offered, but knowing when to take it and from whom. He went on to start Ring and famously rejected an insulting investment
offer on Shark Tank. Afterward, his company Ring was acquired by Amazon for $1 billion.
14) Do desire, but don't have strong expectations
One of my favorite quotes about entrepreneurship comes from legendary venture capitalist Vinod Khosla, who said that vision is bumbling around. "Vision is great, especially when you can do it with 20/20 hindsight," he said, adding, "I still don’t believe in vision. I believe in bumbling around long enough to not give up on things. Eventually, when success comes your way because you've failed in every possible way, and the only way that’s left is the one successful way. And, always for those of you who are entrepreneurs, it seems to come last."
I almost titled this "Do bumble." But it doesn't tell the whole story. My takeaway, and something I tell my sons, is - do desire. Do pursue. But don't have strong expectations as you may not achieve 100 percent of your goals. You will bumble.
15) Do be patient
There's a much bigger picture out there that we're not fully aware of, and sometimes it’s just not your time. As we bumble, it's hard to be patient and keep the faith. But the upshot, from an entrepreneurship or an investor standpoint, is that just because a market appears saturated or dominated, it doesn't mean you're too late to participate. Opportunities do emerge. Be patient, and you'll spot them.
"Some of the best investments occur late" in the life of a technology, said iconic investor Mike Moritz of Sequoia Capita. In 1986, ten or 12 years after the first consumer PCs, the conventional wisdom said that the PC industry was too crowded to invest in, he continued. "But then you had a kid in Texas (Michael Dell of Dell Inc., which was not a Sequoia investment), who started building them in his dorm room and today he's a household name." Mike goes on to talk about Google. "It's the same history as Google," he said. "In 1999, five or six years after the first search companies, the conventional wisdom assumed that it was too late" to invest.