Peter Awad is the Co-Founder at GoodBlogs. GoodBlogs is licensed to companies interested in generating massive amounts of targeted traffic by rewarding user generated content. Awad is also a loving husband and father with an interest in people and upcoming businesses. Follow him @peterawad.
Who is your hero?
My wife, hands down. Even on the most difficult of days, I arrive home to realize my workload is a cake walk in comparison: diapers, tired kids, meals and the aftermath three kids under the age of six can leave in their wake.
What’s the single best piece of business advice that helped shape who you are as an entrepreneur today, and why?
Clarity of mind. That sounds simple, right? Nope. It's incredibly difficult. Once you pay closer attention, you find that many of your daily decisions are made emotionally. Furthermore, if not made emotionally, they are likely made without taking a step back to ask the right questions. Examples of those questions include: "Why do we have this process in place to begin with?" "What if we didn't do it at all?" Or, "What would happen if we did the exact opposite?"
It's what my mentor likes to call the discipline of asking the five W's. When you ask these questions and emotion is removed from the equation, you can make decisions with mental clarity. The outcome is typically much more positive than if the emotional, non-question-asking method. The process is like a breath of fresh air.
What’s the biggest mistake you ever made in your business, and what did you learn from it that others can learn from too?
That's a tough one. You know the mantra, "Fail quickly, fail often." Sometimes I wonder if I follow that too closely. But if I have to pick one, it is a lack of measuring approach I used to take. Sometimes we don't measure because we don't know how. Sometimes it's because we are not sure what to measure. But most of the time, it is because we are too busy to make it a priority.
Think about that for a second: we are too busy to measure if what we are spending our entire day on is actually working. It sounds insane. But the reality is that the vast majority of entrepreneurs do just that. Alternatively, if we take the time to measure, than we will have a much better idea of why it worked (or didn't) and can be on the path to predictably replicating results. So before you want to test an idea, understand how you will measure your efforts and set aside time to analyze the data when the test is complete.
What do you do during the first hour of your business day and why?
Easy, it's my Big Rock of the day. Each day on my calendar is what I call a Big Rock. It is something that is very important (some like to call this MIT, or most important task) and if I got nothing else accomplished for the day, I would still feel satisfied with my progress. The key to doing this successfully is to accomplish it first in your work day and to limit your distractions: shut all other browser windows, don't take calls and don't check your Facebook.
What’s your best financial or cash-flow related tip for entrepreneurs just getting started?
Don't pay yourself, if possible. If that seems ridiculous, then pay yourself the bare minimum. Your business will grow much more quickly if you don't choke it out with a large payroll expense. Try eating like a college student for a while. It can be fun.
Quick: What’s ONE thing you recommend ALL aspiring or current entrepreneurs do right now to take their biz to the next level?
Analyze your customers, products, leads, whatever and see where you are getting the highest ROI. Then kill the rest off and spend the time you would have spent supporting those customers/products on finding another home run customer/product. It's both intuitive and counter-intuitive. On one hand, firing a customer or deleting a product line seems crazy. On the other hand, the numbers don't lie. I'd much rather replicate the success of a product instead of spending the time and energy supporting a lower ROI product line.
What's your definition of success? How will you know when you've finally "succeeded" in your business?
Ah, the elusive S-word. I think success is about feeling fulfilled as a human being and having the freedom to do the job when you want. Does this mean your job should always be fun? Absolutely not. But the good should far outweigh the bad.
As for knowing when you have succeeded, I think that is a huge moving target. Understand that what makes you feel fulfilled now will definitely change. So take the time to reevaluate your life on a regular basis. Sit down and think about the last time you felt totally excited and happy with life. Then pick that moment apart to determine why. Talk about the best time to measure and predictably replicate results.
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.