By Jordin Wilkinson, student ambassador
Adam Miron, entrepreneur, TRU alumni and recent Learn with Leaders speaker, shared his experiences starting businesses with TRU students. Here are four key takeaways from the session.
Failure is part of success
In the world of entrepreneurship, people often focus on the successes rather than the 20 mistakes it took to get there. Instant success is rare, and there are many mistakes that will happen before a triumph. Miron spoke to the power of learning from your mistakes, using it to shape your next attempt, and “just keep pitching.”
You have to be all in
There is a big difference between exploring an idea and fully committing to it. This begins with raising money for the business. The process of acquiring capital can signal to investors that you are committed to your business and willing to take the steps to make it work. Once your business is rolling, you cannot start exploring other ideas until your existing business is sustainable. Miron told students to, “focus on what you’re supposed to do and have faith in it.”
Is your business working?
Once your business is off the ground, and you are fully invested, how do you know if it is working? Here, Miron emphasized the importance of looking beyond traditional financial goals and focusing on your personal targets. This involves asking yourself what the strategic imperatives you need to hit are to ensure your business is going in the right direction; and what are the main things you need to accomplish this year or in the next six months? To hit your goals, you have to a strategy to get there.
Hire people who will move the box
When asked about the qualities Miron wants in team members, he spoke to the importance of finding people willing to pitch in outside of their day-to-day tasks. If there is a box in the corner of the office, many people will ignore the box as it is not their responsibility. Miron looks for people who, without being asked, will move the box and figure out what to do with it. Additionally, he said, seek out people who will put their time and energy toward building the business properly. Often in start-ups, people will throw themselves into producing content or a product without doing the proper research required, which can waste time and send the team back to the starting point.
Miron also emphasized the importance of having a support system. Starting a business is hard, and there will be setbacks, so you need a network of people who you can trust and who can help lead you in the right direction. The most important person will be your business partner. Miron stressed the importance of having a partner you trust. You should balance each other’s strengths and weaknesses.
The key message that Miron presented is that you need to know your priorities and how you will fulfill them. Find the intersection of what you’re good at, what you love, what will make you money and what the world needs and give it everything you have.