After 35 interviews done so far for Inspiring Innovation Podcast (a cool milestone — if I may add), I have dissected and collated fifteen of the most valuable tips and advice we’ve received from top entrepreneurs sharing their story so far.
Why Stop From Normal Scheduling And Do This Episode?
Actually, it was triggered by a challenge from one of the VIP members who posed a question, asking for a list of the ‘top 10 completely unnecessary mistakes which can make a business fall’.
I thought it was a great idea and came up with another one: highlight the best pieces of advice that all these amazing entrepreneurs whom I interviewed in the show had shared with us so far.
I’ve also been playing with the idea of producing an additional weekly episode — a shorter one apart from the weekly interview — that’ll be showcased on a Monday perhaps (with a co-host or someone). We’ll talk about and dissect the interview episode, extract lessons and talk about it for about 20 minutes or so.
For this episode, it’s going to be a compilation of all those golden nuggets that I also find myself giving to VIP members, to people who email me and friends. I realized that it would be much helpful to list them all down in one place.
So, here are the top 15 take away from 35 interviews:
- David Janner — IIP033: The Flea Circus, And Making $100,000 A Month!
“Don’t waste time trying to get everything perfect.”
I see this all the time; I get through this loop myself. Trying to get everything perfect — never launching, never releasing, never validating, never getting any feedback from the market — is all a waste of time.
You don’t actually need the “perfect” solution. You need A solution.
On a side note: I often make an excuse that I’m a perfectionist and try to make everything perfect, when actually, the reason I’m perfecting it is because I’m scared. It’s the fear of failure or the fear of success that make us think we need to perfect stuff.
Resist that urge.
- Dino Dogan — IIP011: How To Get More Attention To You Blog and Make Your Fans Insanely Loyal, With Dino Dogan
He managed to mention Hitler and Steve Jobs in the same sentence during his interview that made some people angry. To know more, you could listen to the interview HERE.
The lesson wasn’t directly from Dino’s mouth, but it was based on his work:
You need to have an opinion and not be afraid to share it and stand behind it.
Having a strong opinion creates polarization — you get supporters and haters, which is great for customer/reader/fan engagement. By sharing your opinion, you’ll be amazed on how much it helps to build your brand, your engagement and respect.
Bob preached about how to make your product valuable when I challenged him with a question:
In a saturated market where everybody has pretty much the same solution and offering, how do you increase your value?
He said, “The only advantage/benefit you can offer over your competition is YOU.” It’s not your price, it’s not anything else . . . it’s YOU.
What do you stand for?
Whoever you are or whatever makes you YOU — that’s your advantage. That’s the one thing no one can replicate because there’s only one YOU.
When I asked Sean, “Are you crazy? Why do you release a book every week?”
He answered, “Because people don’t go to church every other week. They go to church every week. There’s a reason.”
The point here is consistency. You need to be there at least once a week so you’re on top of mind. It becomes a habit to spend time with your product … your content … your blog … whatever. Like you guys, you know — at the very least — that we’re going to be together every Thursday (or whatever day you picked for to listen to the show).
The lesson is consistency . . . and at least once a week.
John did something that no one has ever done before: he created a daily podcast.
This has created amazing results for him — really mind-blowing results with income surpassing the $50,000 per month after a year of doing it (they just celebrated their anniversary, congrats guys!).
Here’s what I got from John:
“If you believe in something (no matter how crazy it is), even if all the experts tell you you’ve lost your mind . . . DO IT. “
Everybody told John he shouldn’t do it. They told him it was crazy to think of doing a daily podcast. He did it, and now his success cannot be denied.
This was the episode I launched with.
One of the ways Rand got into such a big debt ($500,000) is wasting his time and money (and a lot of it) on fancy business cards, fancy offices, furniture, equipment, etc.
This is something that makes me crazy: seeing people planning a business and spending weeks to create the perfect business card, the perfect website — the perfect whatever.
And their product never hits the market.
They spend so much time, so much money and effort to create things that the customer doesn’t care about.
It’s the customer that matters, not how you seem to your colleagues in the next trade show when you exchange business cards.
Reality check: Some of the biggest names in the online entrepreneurship world don’t even walk around with business cards. Their business card is their email and that’s it.
Stop wasting effort on that.
“You need to give away your secret source again, and again, and again.”
Every time she shared everything she knows, she reached a new level in her expertise. She understands things in a deeper way, could create even more content. Every time she gave away everything she had, she came up with a new product with a new service that was even more powerful and even more prolific to her and to her customers.
So, give your secret source away. It goes back to “it’s all about YOU as the value” and you’re providing the best that you can; that’s the part of what will differentiate you from the experts who think they should hide some of the secrets from their customers.
- Jaime Tardy — IIP034: Live an Enjoyable Life AND Make Millions, The Story of Jaime Tardy – The Eventual Millionaire
“Stop comparing someone else’s outer life to your inner life.”
A good example of this was when I met Lisa Howell during a mastermind group. I couldn’t help but think how most people would kill to be in her position. But behind it all, Lisa was devastatingly miserable at that time for reasons you can find out from my interview with her.
My point is, we were all judging people’s outer life and comparing it to our inner life — our business as we saw it — but we need to remember that there’s not necessarily a correlation between what people and what their business looks like on the outside and what is happening on the inside.
It used to make me nuts and really depressed looking at how far other people had gone compared to me within the same time frame. And then I heard an interview with Joel Runyon, who I had in the show a couple of weeks ago.
“Never look how far you are from your ultimate goal. Look at how far you’ve come.”
This was one of the moments when everything changed. I just started seeing things that way. And every time when I’m still frustrated on how far I have to go in my journey to reach my goals, I look back and say, “Okay, what have I achieved in the last three months . . . six months . . . a year . . . two years . . . three years?” and I’m always amazed. We don’t give ourselves enough credit for the progress that we have been achieving and doing.
- Antonio Centeno — IIP020: From USA Marines To World Leading Style Expert For Men
While talking about networking and more, Antonio mentioned something that really worked well for him:
“You need to reach out to market leaders when you can help them, not when they can help you.”
That’s the best way to create strong relationships with market leaders.
In Antonio’s case, when he heard Pat Flynn (from Smart Passive Income) was going to give a talk at some event and Pat posted the clothes that he’s going to wear for it, he (being a style expert for men) thought Pat could do better.
So he created a video explaining what he thinks Pat should wear, and why and how he matches stuff, etc. He sent it to Pat (privately for free), not expecting anything in return.
Reciprocity had its way.
It came back (big time) and Antonio has been rocking it since.
- Amy Porterfield — IIP013: How To Be Resourceful At All Times, With Amy Porterfield
Amy has made an art in making her competitors her close friends: When someone is a better fit for one of her colleagues, she’ll lose the sale and refer it to them, understanding that there’s enough fish in the ocean for everybody.
She has made friends with everybody in her niche. Everyone is referring to her all the perfect customers because they know Amy can serve them best and vice versa. Not only is it a much happier way to do business, it’s actually a lot more prolific.
Mike learned something after creating successful business. He looked into growing ginormous, world-record-breaking pumpkins and applied what those farmers were doing in business.
“Crop away or weed out the weak pumpkins and invest everything in one pumpkin.”
How does this apply to business?
Figure out who are your best target customers (who do you want to work with and who would be the most prolific and the most fun customer to work with and focus only on them). It doesn’t have to be a specific person; it can be a person type or a company type. The concept is to figure out who’s your biggest pumpkin and serve them like no one else. Find out what’s on their wish list and make it rain for them. Crop any customer that doesn’t fit that vision.
- Srini Rao — IIP023: Confessions Of A Corporate Misfit
“The only way to have huge success in your life is to start doing things that may fail.”
No one has ever succeeded in something that was fail-proof. Do something that may fail; get out of your comfort zone and you’ll achieve amazing things.
And start listening to BlogcastFM!
“Use your unfair advantage. Solve that problem that no one else could. Pack it nicely and offer it to the world.”
Pat considers his unfair advantage as a knack to being able to really explain complicated stuff in a simple manner that people just understand. He does that a lot with his sketching or doodling on whiteboard videos.
We all have our unfair advantages. We just need to figure out what it is and use it.
- Stacey Ferreira — IIP006: Making $1M From A Single Tweet. Stacey Ferreira, MySocialCloud
“Everyone has great ideas. Execution is the only thing that matters.”
You can have as many ideas as you can dream of, but if you never take action or never execute, it really doesn’t matter.
Last but not least — taking a shot on Chris Ducker’s words, “You need to always under-promise and over-deliver” — I’m going to over-deliver with one bonus tip that I live by, day by day:
16. Chris Ducker — IIP003: How To Do More, Work Less, And Help a Food-Poisoned Girlfriend: Learn How to Outsource.
“When something you try fails, dust yourself off and try again.”
Entrepreneurship isn’t meant to be easy; otherwise everybody would have been doing it. Everybody would have been having a wonderful life.
The point is… it’s only those who handle the failure and look at failure as just feedback from the market, saying it wasn’t what it needs or wants that makes it. It is rejection — yes — but it’s a lot better to know and carry pivoting on until you make it.
There was a recent Harvard statistic says that over 90% of businesses that do succeed and prosper after the first 5 years aren’t doing the exact thing they started with. They change. It’s the part of their journey.
Don’t dread bad results; they are a lesson to be learned and to improve. As long as you’re learning and fixing, you’re still making progress. Dust yourself off, keep your head held high, and try again.
I’d really be happy to hear what you think. Leave a comment below and let me know if I left out some golden nuggets or which of these did you find most helpful — please let me hear your thoughts.
If you think these lessons are powerful and can help someone, I would really appreciate and be very grateful if you could share it via Twitter, Facebook, email, etc.
Until then, take massive actions!
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[spoiler title=”Episode 036″]Still in progress, please come back later![/spoiler]
12 thoughts on “IIP036: 15 Best Takeaways From Over 100 Interviews With Top Entrepreneurs”
Meron, this was awesome! I think this digestion and integration of the great ideas is critical. Listening to your guests stories is excellent and important. But I think coming back to the idea a few days later and discussing how to implement the ideas, how to integrate them into our lives, and even how to take the first couple of baby step is the missing link. You talk to successful entrepreneurs. Many of them make a great living doing this. But hearing that Mr. X did something that allowed him to quit his job and make a gazillion dollars can feel intimidating.
It can also make people (okay, we’re talking about me) feel as if I’ve missed the boat (again). So finding out how to take apply the lesson from your guest and translate it into a realistic action would be truly beneficial.
I hope that all made sense.
Love it, Trevor. Thanks so much for the feedback. So what do you think? Weekly “dissection” episode? Monthly? Seasonal? 🙂
Some great advice here. It’s nice to look back and be reminded of who you’ve had on the show and all the wisdom they shared. Congrats on reaching a milestone!
I agree with everything Trevor said in his comment about the idea of adding an additional episode each week. I think you might be on to something with that. Being able to go deeper into the ideas shared from an episode could be very valuable.
Tips #1 and #15 are the ones that resonate the most with me right now. 😉 Sometimes it’s not easy to hear that you just need to take action and stop being a perfectionist or procrastinating, but it’s what you need to hear. You can either get caught in a web of perfectionism or you can break free and get stuff done. It’s always a challenge but that’s why you have to keep at it and not fall into that trap. I think that’s why once you start getting things done you want to keep going, because you’re building on momentum. Here’s to defeating whatever is standing in the way and getting stuff done! 🙂
Thanks, Melissa! It was a really amazing process, to go through the list of my old interviews, reflect, remember, ponder.. and try to list what I learned from those interviews. I’ve had a huge privilege to host these people on the show. Truly amazing (and fun!) to look back. Still, it would have meant nothing has it not been to people like you, and Trevor, and Matt, and Mark, and Rob, and Ryan, and Michelle, and Michael, and Steven, and many, many others, who shape the show because of who you are, and because my allegiance is first and foremost to you guys.
BTW – I have another few tens of lessons and tips that didn’t make it to the final 15, but I’m making an eBook out of it, that I will give away to all VIP members. But only after the bootcamp is done. One thing at a time, right?? 🙂
I’ll ask you the same thing I asked Trevor – would that be weekly, monthly, seasonal? How do you see it? What day should it be released at?
You know you were on my mind when I prepared this episode. Is that landing page ready? Can we see it?
You’re right, it’s about momentum and about realizing that it’s not going to be easy, and that even if you win the battle against fear today, it will be fought tomorrow – all over again. It never becomes easy – but once the mindset and habits required to win these battles is set in place – it becomes easier. Manageable. Obviously, that’s only my personal experience. I’d love to hear other people’s!
I like that idea for an eBook. Releasing it after the bootcamp sounds like a good idea. This way you can focus on one thing at a time.
As for when you should do the “dissection” episode, I would say it would probably depend on each interview. There might be some episodes that would be good to go deeper into a few days later and then there might be others where that won’t be necessary. So I think when you do these additional episodes will vary. Hope that makes sense.
Landing page isn’t quite ready yet but I made more progress last week than I had up to that point. Should be ready this week. I’ll be sure to let you know when it is. Thanks!
That makes sense. And good job on making progress with your project! 🙂
This is one of my fav posts in a long time. The way you weaved the takeaways throughout is masterful, and I am honored to be a part…rock on!
My friend, I’m so glad you liked it, and I thank you for the incredible lesson that you taught me and the Inspiring Innovation family 🙂
Thanks for the feedback & Twitter shares. Much appreciated!
This podcast thing you’re doing is a great idea. How about adapting business consulting down to a six second Vine video? THAT is where a whole demographic /generation can be reached.
Interesting idea. But I’m having trouble imagining how to use the 6 seconds format to do it well. Anyone you follow that’s already doing it?
Great insights Meron! I wish you would have told me that you had the author of the Pumpkin plan on your show and I would have listened to your podcast episode instead of reading the whole book 🙂
thanks man! How was the book??