(Editor’s Note: The following article is a guest post by superstar entrepreneur and tech investor Jonathan Schultz.)
We all know that hard work and dedication are keys to success. The more you’re willing to sacrifice and go the extra mile, the greater your chances are of reaching your personal goals and passions.
While there’s no denying that hard work does play a major role in reaching success, surrounding yourself with the right people will always help. We’ve all heard the saying, “it’s not what you know, but who you know” … In my career, whenever I push myself to be around the positive thinkers and go-getters, it’s always up-leveled me and gave me more confidence to in turn fulfill my own dreams and ambitions.
Finding your network through all the different stages of your life and career is not only helpful in progressing your career, but it also creates amazing relationships and opportunities.
So, what type of people should you be surrounding yourself with?
THE PUZZLE PIECES
Find the network that is your perfect complement —the people that have the skills and abilities you strive for. Not only will this give you more confidence, it will help you learn the skills and abilities you may be lacking.
THE POSITIVE PEOPLE
Who doesn’t want to be around someone who’s happy and optimistic? Even though that doesn’t have to be all the time.
Surrounding yourself with positive and grateful people can have an incredible impact on your life, making you feel happier and more confident. Also, positive people are more likely to encourage you to take smart risks or move up the business ladder.
Dreamers and innovators are the people pushing society forward. They are the people interested in coming up with new and improved ways to solve problems and achieve success. Regardless of what field they’re working in, it’s never a bad idea to have a few outside-the-box thinkers in your social circle to help you look at things from a different perspective.
THE ANSWER SEEKERS
Just like innovators, people who constantly ask questions are the reason why we challenge old ways and come up with new ideas. When you’re surrounded by people who constantly ask questions, you’re more likely to come across the answers that you never knew you needed.
Ultimately, the people you keep in your inner circle can influence you in a number of different ways, including how you approach problems or whether you’re motivated to achieve greater things or not. Of course, this isn’t to say that everyone around you needs to be someone who’s working those extra-long hours to get to the next phase in life.
However, when you have a few business-minded people in your life, you’re more likely to inherit some of their drive, benefit from their knowledge, and even network in some of the same circles. For that reason, it’s always important to make friends who have the same goals and aspirations as yourself. It might just help you get to the top quicker.
Jonathan Schultz is an entrepreneur, real estate tech investor and influencer. He’s the co-founder of Onyx Equities, a leading private equity real estate firm, and has been voted one of the most powerful people in real estate. Follow Jon’s blog here.
INTERVIEW: Founder of $310M Clothing Line Bonobos On The Best Way To Raise Money (And No, It’s Not VC)
When Andy Dunn graduated from Stanford, the aspiring entrepreneur kickstarted a menswear company from his small apartment in New York. The clothing line, Bonobos, started off with a simple idea — selling chino pants.
Ten years later, the company was acquired by Walmart for $310M. According to Dunn, the key to raising funds does not always hinge on money. Here’s how he did it.
Here’s How Apple’s CEO Tim Cook Starts His Day (And What He Does Might Surprise You)
Apple has became a trillion-dollar company. Despite the tech giant’s great numbers, how does its CEO Tim Cook actually start his day?
In a recent Axios interview, Cook revealed he starts each day just before 4 a.m. with a strict morning routine.
What that consists of might surprise you: He reads user comments about Apple products.
“I like to take the first hour and go through user comments and things like this that sort of focus on the external people that are so important to us,” Cook says.
In other words, he reads comments from fans, trolls and everything in between.
You’d think the CEO never bothers to read stuff like that; that he’d have an assistant ready to give him the rundown.
“And then I go to the gym and work out for an hour because it keeps my stress at bay.”
Workouts can be super critical. Billionaires and other successful entrepreneurs cite fitness as a key component to their success (and overall sanity).
“I seriously doubt that I would have been as successful in my career (and happy in my personal life),” Branson once wrote in a blog post. “If I hadn’t always placed importance on my health and fitness.”
Investors Reveal: 3 Major Mistakes Aspiring Entrepreneurs Make
There’s an old saying about first time entrepreneurs—they don’t know what they don’t know.
No matter what field you are in, or what type of business you own, it is so important that you understand some of the mistakes that tend to plague so many entrepreneurs in today’s market.
There is one main mistake you can avoid from the jump. But it’s the same one many founders miss, investor Sebastien Eckersley-Maslin says.
“Most people come up with a solution first, without thinking through the problem,” Eckersley-Maslin told CNBC.
More often than not, aspiring entrepreneurs come up with a great idea…only to discover there’s no need.
This looks pretty obvious, at first, but you’d be amazed to know how many people overlook it. So what are the right moves to make?
Here are some common mistakes aspiring entrepreneurs make.
1) Underestimate the amount of time it takes to learn a new industry
“One dumb mistake I made is to underestimate the barrier and knowhow when entering into a new industry,” says Zhifei Li, Founder & CEO of the Beijing-headquartered Mobvoi, the maker of the smartwatch called Ticwatch.
“Irrelevant experience can be a burden,” Zhifei Li, Founder & CEO of Mobvoi & Ticwatch. “Stay humble, stay hungry.”
2) Holding on to an under-performing employee for too long
Chris Myers, the CEO and co-founder of the Denver-based financial tracking and analytics tools for small businesses BodeTree, says he held on to an under-performing employee for too long.
“I hesitated to take action, instead holding out hope that somehow the individual would fix their behavior and get back on the right track,” says Myers.
3) Launching a company with no customer validation
Victor Chang’s first startup idea, LifeCrumbs, a social journaling app, seemed brilliant to him. But Chang never tested it with potential consumers and that was, he says, a “terrible mistake.” He spent five months building the app in stealth mode.
“This hurts a lot because when we finally launched the service, we realized this isn’t what the customers were looking for!” In hindsight, Chang says, LifeCrumbs wasn’t different enough from existing products to be successful.