If you have read either of the two preceding books in the “How To Become A Startup Pro - On The Side” series you will know that my QSS or Quick, Small and Simple approach to starting up businesses is the cornerstone of the entire process. I have used the QSS system for years and it has proven to be the most effective way of quickly formulating, testing and validating ideas before starting to invest valuable resources (time, energy and of course money) on developing them. This agile “test first, fail fast” ethos is one of the core differences between those who fail to make progress in their startup endeavours and those who continually launch successful ventures.
The QSS theme continues throughout this book as we start to dissect crucial startup topics such as how to quickly create sustainable value, picking a winning business model, building differentiation in markets that you define rather than ones that are defined for you, how to frame and position your proposition and, of course, QSS methods of financing your startup(s). With this being the final book in the series, for the time being at least, my hope is that by following each one you will have developed a robust understanding of the core principles, thinking and capabilities needed to reduce uncertainty and risk, and by doing so make your own startup journey much simpler, easier and more successful.
I’m often asked what separates average performing entrepreneurs from those that excel beyond all expectations, including their own. The truth is, those who achieve mastery within any given subject learn to develop and apply just three fundamental disciplines. I have used these myself for years and they have accelerated my own journey faster than anything else. I share these with you now in the hope that you will find value in applying them to your own entrepreneurial endeavours.
#1. Commitment - Without it you're a ship lost at sea with no defined destination. Lack of solid commitment is the one thing that talkers, failures and wannabes have in common. Despite the myth it is not lack of skills, expertise or know-how that stops most in their tracks, those can all be learned and developed if you have the right aptitude and attitude, but more often a lack of commitment, which is akin to trying to run a supercar on an empty tank. The bottom line here is that winners are always committed, or are so obsessed with their mission that they should be!
#2. Focus - Anything that detracts your attention from the tasks required to deliver the results you desire simply acts to dilute your effectiveness. The likes of Warren Buffett, Steve Jobs and Bill Gates have all cited focus as the number one contributor to their own success.
#3. Get a teacher - This one for me has been the single most important accelerator in making the leap from average to outstanding. I can honestly say that my achievements have not come from me in isolation. They have been enabled by the teachers, coaches and mentors I have engaged to help me over the years. I can read a thousand books a thousand times, but it will never deliver the same benefit or impact as the guidance, wisdom and experience of a great teacher. Here is the thing. Most of us have a default expectation level we subconsciously set for ourselves. The challenge here is that we might just fulfil those internal expectations and in doing so we fail to reach our true potential. A good teacher will challenge you, make you accountable and, most importantly, accelerate your learning way beyond what you think you can achieve.
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