Recently I had the chance to sit down with Nabeel Ahmad, a serial entrepreneur who is running many successful businesses across a range of fields. Nabeel is the founder of Vertabyte, The Influencer Factory, and many other companies. He is a writer for some of the world’s most renowned publications, and his work has been featured in top media outlets like Yahoo Finance, business.com, The Good Men Project, Noobpreneur, e27, and many more. Thrive Global calls Nabeel a “marketing genius” and Influencive refers to him as a “media mogul”. Nabeel has 6 tips for aspiring entrepreneurs:
Figure out what you’re passionate about
So many people are stuck doing what they don’t like. Business is tough. And there will be tough times. There will be days when things won’t work out the way you want, and you will feel like giving up. Unless you’re really passionate about what you’re doing, you will just give up. Entrepreneurship requires persistence, and that persistence is often directly derived from passion. If you’re truly passionate about what you’re doing, if you have a burning desire to achieve something, then you will persist through the hard times, and succeed as an entrepreneur.
Take risks and be willing to fail
Taking risks is absolutely essential in order to win at business. Big goals require big risks. Every successful entrepreneur had to take a risk at one time or another. There will be failure down the road, but failure doesn’t preclude you from ultimately succeeding – in fact, it’s often a necessary step. The best entrepreneurs don’t let the fear of failure prevent them from going for what they believe to be a great idea. Some of those risks won’t pan out, but the ones that do will be the ones that define you.
Hire the right people
Hiring the wrong people is one of the biggest mistakes made by entrepreneurs. You need to bring on employees who have the relevant background and experience. They need to fit into the company culture you are trying to build. They need to be hard-working and flexible, as employees in startups often have to function in multiple roles. You must do thorough reference checks on them. Make sure your offer letter says they are “at will” employees and can be terminated at any time. Don’t forget the old quote: “Hire slowly. Fire quickly.”
Ask for advice from other entrepreneurs
Advice from other entrepreneurs and business professionals (such as lawyers and accountants) can prove to be invaluable. Consider putting together an advisory board, and don’t be afraid to motivate members by giving them stock options in your company. Read industry newsletters and startup publications like AllBusiness.com and Entrepreneur.com. Find mentors who can give you advice on hiring, product development, marketing and fundraising.
Never stop networking
Networking can land you a new investor, a great employee, a new customer, or a great mentor. Attend industry and startup events. LinkedIn can be a powerful tool to help you network, so make sure both you and your company have profiles on LinkedIn and that you are constantly adding new connections. When someone does a Google search on you, your LinkedIn profile will usually show up at the top of the search results, so be sure you’re making a good first impression.
Just do it
There is never a perfect time to launch a startup, so follow that famous advice and “just do it.” Take the first step to building your business, even if it’s only part time while you still have a paying job. Sometimes it’s just important to start. If we keep waiting around for the right moment, success will never come. That right moment is just an illusion. It’s important to act right now.