1. Start small. Business schools like to tell you that you need to “go all in” when you start. Not true. You have a much better chance of succeeding if you start small. Plus, always have a fallback in case your new venture takes a while to get going, or simply doesn’t work. When I started out, I kept my full time job and started my business on the side.
2. The best business partner is no partner. When you have a partner or even an investor, you spend more time discussing and negotiating and less time in action. Business is serious and operates best with one clear leader. Your energy should be spent building the business, not worrying about the needs and feelings of a partner.
3. Solve your own problems. Don’t automatically look to outside resources. Try to solve the issue within. By training yourself to solve your own problems, your solutions will be uniquely suited to your situation, business and industry, and will quite often provide you with breakthrough advantages. You will not succeed by simply following others.
4. Don’t fight fate. Once you’ve immersed yourself in your business, you’ll start to see opportunities you never knew existed. Be ready to act on new and different opportunities when they arise. Do things differently than the other guy.
5. Do you feel lucky? Business schools teach strategy and business planning, but most entrepreneurs will tell you that at least half of what they’ve accomplished is due to luck, not strategy. Skill comes by having the talent to spot lucky breaks when they arise and being willing and nimble enough to take full advantage of them.