Last night, I heard author and founder of Joor Mona Bijoor speak at Samsung’s Accelerator. Tribeca Venture Partners’ Rocky Lachman was in conversation with her about her book on entrepreneurship and resiliency.
For this book, Bijoor included the stories of ten entrepreneurs. She had interviewed 50, but found many were not willing to share their vulnerability.
Highlights from the talk:
Failure is viewed as a bad thing. Failure is just an outcome. Just as success is an outcome. Fail. Learn from it. Pivot quickly.
Train yourself to be non-emotional about your business. She cites the example of former White House Communications Director George Stephanopoulous. When challenged, he would lower his voice so folks would be forced to listen to him. The key is always stay calm and non-emotional. Develop this superpower through meditation and breath work. Learn to play the long game. Be consistent. List what worked. List what didn’t work. Keep iterating.
Have a Brand Book. Founders should have a brand book that outlines the DNA of your company. In it should be answers to the following questions: What are your values? Customer personas. What’s your voice? How do you interact with customers/employees. Testimonials/case studies/focus groups attesting to the value of the work you’re doing. Why does what you do matter? Put support systems in place for when people leave.
Testimonials are key. Collect them.
About feedback. Know that feedback is based on the biases of the person giving it. She cites an example of pitching to a VC who was already burned by the implosion of the Gilt Groupe. He gave a ‘no’ But, remember it doesn’t mean you have a bad idea.
In negotiation, know your power. Raise money when you are in a position of power. In a negotiation, you have to want it less than the other person. Have other options. Also remember to partner with money that enhances your brand equity
Measure everything. You aren’t going to get very far in business unless you are measuring everything
Get creative around strategy. Bijoor challenges founders to come up with 30-40-50 tactics around their business. This is where the creativity comes in. Pareto’s principle shares that 20 percent of those tactics will drive 80 percent of business.
Visualize the next steps. Visualize the other scenarios in introducing a product or service to market.
On competition, Ask yourself, “Are you building that competitive mode? What are 5-10 things that give you an edge and are hard to replicate?
Ask yourself “What is your definition of success?” Delineate the buckets for areas of your life. Build a support system around you.
Determine what personality type you are and what makes you happy?
- Do you like certainty?
- Do you enjoy uncertainty?
- Do you need to feel significant?
- Or do you value needing love and connection?