Eddy Badrina is a co-founder of BuzzShift, a digital strategy firm for mid-sized and large brands, and CherryPick, a content curation application for brands and bloggers. He is also an adjunct instructor at the University of Texas at Dallas, and on the board of Great Investors Best Ideas Foundation, which benefits at-risk youth. Follow Eddy @eddybadrina.
Who is your hero?
What’s the single best piece of business advice that helped shape who you are as an entrepreneur today, and why?
“Always hire people smarter than yourself.” That insight has so much wisdom packed into it. First, it requires a large amount of humility to admit that someone is better than you at something.
Second, it implies that you are giving up control of certain elements of your business, which is the only way you can really scale. Finally, it demands that you are very selective about why you hire, and whom you hire.
What’s the biggest mistake you ever made in your business, and what did you learn from it that others can learn from too?
The biggest mistake was trying to do too much by ourselves, and not hiring experts and delegating tasks to others. With every startup, you are always trying to be economical and frugal, but we learned very quickly that we expended too much energy on things we weren’t good at.
We were better off paying someone to code or write, even if it cut into our margins, because it freed us up to work on things that were more valuable to our business and our clients.
What do you do during the first hour of your business day and why?
I meditate and exercise almost every morning before cracking open my inbox. It helps me get my head straight before being flooded with other people’s tasks and to-do’s.
What’s your best financial or cash-flow related tip for entrepreneurs just getting started?
Conserve cash like crazy. We’ve bootstrapped both Buzzshift and the CherryPick app, and were able to do so because we guarded our cash stringently.
Build up your operating expense buffer as quickly as possible, because there is nothing more stressful than worrying about payroll or avoiding vendor invoices.
Quick: What’s ONE thing you recommend ALL aspiring or current entrepreneurs do right now to take their biz to the next level?
Find a mentor (someone a couple of steps ahead of you), and find some fellow entrepreneurs with complementary businesses in your industry. Your mentor will be a good sounding board, and your cohorts will be good commiserators/celebrators.
The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, the YEC recently launched #StartupLab , a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses via live video chats, an expert content library and email lessons.