Death of a startup: Nine tips from an entrepreneur who is running 10 failed startups in 5 years

Nine out of ten companies fail, and I have the perfect plan of success. You need to create ten companies. — Robert Kiyosaki, American businessman, investor and writer. Kurt Theobald is an entrepreneur who for five years has launched 10 startups. They all failed.

After that (in September 2007) Theobald created the eleventh company is an Agency of Classy Llama, — on which he still works. In 2013, Classy Llama has ranked among the 500 fastest growing companies in the U.S. according to Inc.magazine. Forbes interviewed the entrepreneur and asked him to share the most important lessons he learned from his own failures. According to Theobald, in the early stages of business he succumbed to the “magpie syndrome” — jumped on any opportunities (like a magpie to shiny things) and I wondered if they fit into the strategy of the service.

“Big mistake on my part. If something seemed interesting, I started this. In fact, I did everything that crossed my entrepreneurial path. However, I was not thinking about whether it is useful for my start — up was just grasping at many opportunities,” says startup teams. Lesson.

You need to learn to reject useless for start-up opportunities and to think strategically. “Fail Fast” is a well — known mantra, which experts advise to adhere to most startups. Its essence is not to “torment” his project, if he is doomed to death. However, Kurt Theobald thinks that all need to comply with the measure — otherwise the case may go too far. “I have launched 10 startups in five years.

Im a very impatient person and easily — sometimes too fast. Successful entrepreneurs find ways to solve problems, approach it from different angles — and only after you refuse the invention”. Lesson. “Fail Fast” is a good principle for a startup, but the entrepreneur should understand when it is time to apply it. Problem solved, and give up because their availability is not always the best way.

According to Theobald, all success stories have at least one common component. The founders of large companies were able to “find the recipe for your secret sauce” — and quickly scale. Lesson. Before you expand your own business, any entrepreneur should be to find the formula for success — and only then start scaling. “Youre either an entrepreneur or not.

There are no other options. A girl cant be a little bit pregnant — and also the entrepreneur cannot be “bare”,” says Kurt Theobald. “In my Notepad, I wrote down two basic principles. First. If I fall, I get up and try again.

Second. I rise because I am an entrepreneur. It helped me not to give up, despite the huge amount of failures”. Lesson. “If you really believe that you are an entrepreneur, make a note of that right now.

And live in accordance with that principle.”. According to Theobald, the most successful entrepreneurs — those who think not only about the money and fame, I want to achieve something and to benefit the world. One of my favorite examples of a startups founder — Steve jobs, who agreed to return to Apple and get there $1 a year — “to provide a world of beautiful devices”. “He wanted to make his company great and leave your mark in this world.”. Lesson.

“Dig deeper and think outside the. If you only want money and financial independence, the probability that your project will fail”. “If you are trying to get something for themselves, seize opportunities to get more money — you are not an entrepreneur. I start to get something, when I reviewed the rules and realized that the business should benefit primarily the client, and not the founder. Now I look at myself as a person who helps others become successful,” explains startup teams.

Lesson. “Turn 180 degrees. Put yourself in the shoes of the customer, team, vendor, partner and so on. Focus your attention on how to make them successful. And you will no longer worry about his own wellbeing”.

Control, says Theobald, is a dangerous thing. It is pursued in many startups, as they believe the project is his brainchild. For the sake of control, many of them left their last job, said the entrepreneur. “Actually you get much more control, by refusing him. Other people will be able to help you make the right decisions.

How would you not want to believe otherwise, you are not smart enough to keep under your own control all aspects of the business,” explains Theobald. Lesson. “Give other employees more rights and opportunities, expand their spheres of influence. The only thing you really need to control yourself — goals, values and vision of the company.”. “Yes, your company needs to become profitable.

Yes, you should get paid. But focusing only on money, you risk missing out on great opportunities,” says Theobald. “When you work effectively, you increase the whole “pie” — and your piece gets bigger too”. Lesson. “Stop thinking only about their own wallet.

Focus on efficiency”. Another tip, which Theobald gives all budding entrepreneurs — “do not beat your head against the wall”. “Be aware of what you are looking for a solution to the problem is not there, and go another way. From what you are will longer to knock his head on the concrete wall, she will not succumb”. Lesson.

It is important not to give up too early, but it is necessary to understand when to continue to fight the circumstances useless.


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