13 lessons I’ve learned after starting a business at 21

hey guys welcome to silicon valley girl and welcome to silicon valley today we're going to talk about 13 things that i've learned about running a company since the age of 21. i'm 32 right now which means i've been running a company for 11 years so if you're thinking about starting a business like i would show this video to myself back in 2011 because these things you learn them as you go but knowing them beforehand would save you so much time mental energy and money so if you're thinking about starting a business make sure you watch this video up to the very end let's do it always think about how big this business can get and don't get me wrong there is nothing bad about starting a small lifestyle business just be honest to yourself you know if i'm starting a flower shop then this is how much i can sell maximum per day yes i could try and build a big chain out of it yes i could try and store delivery but realistically thinking if this is the only store that i own what is the maximum amount that i can make a month and if you're okay with it then you're okay with it but if you feel that you want to start something that's gonna make i don't know billions of dollars or whatever just be honest to yourself be honest about your ambitions and be honest about how much you want to make with this business how many employees you want to have how many locations how big this business can get for you the next thing that i've learned no one can run a company better than you some people think okay i need to find the co-founder who will be building the whole business part or i will need to find a co-founder who's going to do all the marketing i think as an entrepreneur who has an idea you are the best person to work on the product and you're also the best person to understand what your customer wants hence you know the marketing every investor in silicon valley says that when we think about a startup a young company if the founder goes away there is a huge probability that the startup will be shut down of course when the company is bigger when you have a team when you have all the systems in place it's easier to replace the founder but when you're just starting out it's all about you so don't think that you will be able to hire a marketing manager who'd be like oh this is how you sell your product we click these two buttons and you get millions unfortunately it's not the way it works and a lot of people have false expectations about you know if i find another co-founder if i hire this person in reality it's all about testing and it's all about you as a founder feeling the product and feeling your customers what i also learned is that no matter how hard you work no matter how big of a goal you reach there would always be people who better than you who make more money have bigger companies unless you're jeff bezos or bill gates watching this video anyways your happiness when running a business is number one priority because you create a business to make other people happy but you also do business because you want to be useful to the society you want to make an impact and you want to be happy and this constant treadmill of chasing goals and being disappointed about other people's success and believe me that happens especially with your competitors when you're like oh my god they just did this thing and i'm not even there don't do it this is what leads to mental burnout instead and this is the next tip focus on your customers versus focusing on your competitors again i've been there there are so many competitors in the language learning space where linguatrip is there are so many competitors on youtube even and when you focus on making more than somebody or attracting more customers you are competing for vanity metrics the only metric you should care about is how happy your customer is and all of your obsession needs to be around your customer how do i make this product better how can i make your my customer service better and this is what gets you those numbers it's not about comp yes it's great to look at competitors and don't get me wrong i get inspired by my competitors i get inspired by people who create similar content i get inspired by people who run language learning companies because i see where we can go but the decision on whether we should pursue something only comes from talking to my customers and only comes from understanding who my target audience is by the way guys quick question let me know down in comments below who you are in terms of these one you want to start a business but you haven't yet two you want to start a business and you have an idea three you start a business four you're generating income let me know down in comments below i'm excited to get more information about you the next step i think some entrepreneurs would actually argue with me and say this is not the best thing but as an entrepreneur who started with zero budget we had 300 to register the company we just didn't have money to hire people so i did everything myself copywriting talking to clients drafting agreements which should have been done by a lawyer doing our accounting taking pictures for the website like everything and i think because i did that it was easier for me to hire people because i knew how long it would take to do something in particular what is the quality that i'm expecting so i want you to understand that if you're starting from scratch that's actually your advantage because you can try doing different things by yourself because this will give you an understanding of how things function and it will become easier for you to hire people later and the next tip right away whenever you're doing something like creating a website or writing a text for your website create a template start building systems right away and by systems i mean a set of rules of how you want things to be done this is the tone of voice this is how we talk to our customer this is a template for an email this is how we answer phone calls everything that you do should be converted into a template you can call it a pdf you can call it a manual and instruction and then when you hire someone you need to agree together that if you change something that manual has to be updated by that person so it's easier for you to hire and onboard new people when you just start a business it could be you or you and your partner and it might seem unnecessary to have an office because at the beginning it seems like it's an additional unnecessary expense and you can work from home just fine but after a while you realize that you actually need a business address to start a bank account and you won't be giving your home address to your clients and as your company starts growing you won't really be having meetings with your clients at the coffee shops so at some stage you want to have a more professional business image but at the same time you don't want this huge expense of having an office which could be thousands of dollars a month the

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