Who is your hero?
In life? My parents. In business? Steve Jobs. I pride myself on being innovative.
What’s the single best piece of business advice that helped shape who you are as an entrepreneur today, and why?
Our growth has been fueled by a strong business plan. That has helped us more than double our value in just two years. So, while it is a very straightforward piece of advice, having a plan is vital for your success. It has helped ground us and drive our activities and partnerships. It helps us focus our hiring decisions and how we will expand our business globally in the next several years.
The beauty of a plan is its customization. Tailor your plan to the level of detail you need. Encourage each team member or department head to create their own plan that outlines their work so it coincides with your overall goals. Staff should share their plans so teams can see where and how they can collaborate to achieve shared goals. Review those plans regularly to assess your progress and see what you need to modify.
What do you do during the first hour of your business day and why?
The first thing I do is check in with my team. Even though we are a small office, it's important to stay on top of things so we stay on track of projects. Spending just two minutes in each person’s office lets him or her know that I’m invested in the work he or she is doing. It also helps me connect with my team and helps me share what other team members are doing, so I can help them collaborate. After that, I tackle a mountain of emails and voicemails!
Quick: What’s ONE thing you recommend ALL aspiring or current entrepreneurs do right now to take their biz to the next level?
Be your own best cheerleader. Grab a megaphone and share your story. Don't feel like you have to wait until you have 500 or 1000 or 10,000 clients until you begin to broadcast it. Every happy client is a success. Share those as often as possible.
What's your definition of success? How will you know when you've finally "succeeded" in your business?
Success is execution. Entrepreneurs execute -- that's what sets them apart from others. You'll know you've succeeded when you look back and know you gave it your best. When you're willing to put it all on the line just to make it.
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.