To be the best founder, learn from the best founders
Joshua Davidson wrote this article
It’s incredible to see how many inspiring entrepreneurs are entering the startup game.
Every day, you see hundreds of new startups launching to the public.
Every day, however, you also see hundreds of startups, failing and shutting their doors.
What gives? Why is this happening?
It’s actually an easier explanation than you think.
We’ve passed the point of quality and enter quantity.
This means that building a startup is mainstream. Becoming an entrepreneur is the norm.
This is alarming.
Most people who claim to be entrepreneurs are well, not entrepreneurs.
They’re pretending to be.
We’ve covered this subject on the blog before.
However, quite a few are also entrepreneurs who sacrificed quality and had to learn the hard way, when in fact, if they spent a little bit more time working smarter than harder, they could have very well succeeded.
They should have learned from the best to be the best.
Think of the top athletes in the world.
They didn’t just become a top athlete.
Then they practiced some more.
Then they continued to practice even more.
When they weren’t practicing their skills, they would be in the weight room, trying to become stronger, leaner and faster.
When they are not in the weight room, they’re watching a tape, they are listening to those who have already accomplished what they’re shooting for, they are having coaches critically critique them on how to improve their game.
Every single detail, every single effort, everything is being poured back into their craft, to become the best that they can be.
How come more entrepreneurs don’t have the same mindset?
Instead of just jumping in, take the time to hone your craft as a leader, visionary, CEO, manager, sales person. It’s not as difficult as you may think.
Start by reading books.
People have been writing books on subject matters that’ll make you smarter not just for years, but for thousands of years. You can broaden your outlook on life and therefore your entrepreneurial spirit by reading on all subject matters. Stoicism. Self-help. Work ethics. Rethinking how you work. Psychology. Biographies.
Books are like downloading new software to your own internal operating system. It’s an incredible way to gain knowledge quickly, understand new perspectives, and become a better person, therefore a better entrepreneur. You should read books as often as you take showers. Yes, that often.
(By the way, if you claim you don’t have time to read books, which is a lie, you can always listen to audiobooks.)
Start listening to podcasts.
Similar to books, podcasts have become mainstream in recent years and jam-packed with an incredible amount of knowledge.
Listen to podcasts from those who pick the brain of intelligent individuals (wink, wink, here is #thePawdcast). Listen to stories where you can adapt the lessons to your own life. Listen to the news and become more self-aware in your industry. Listen to understand how to become a better person and show more enthusiasm, passion, and love for what you do.
Take care of yourself.
Why do we sacrifice sleep and let our diets go to hell as early stage entrepreneurs? Early on, you’re your biggest asset, so don’t go killing yourself for temporarily increased output. You’re in the game for the long-term.
Workout often. Eat well. Grab a lot of sleep. Repeat. Work smart, not hard. If you can work smart than apply working hard to smart, you’ll go places. Make yourself a well-oiled machine.
Pick the brains of experts.
We live in the greatest time in history. You have someone who is alive that you look up to? Odds are, they are on social media and respond back to fans. Pick their brains!
For a lot of you who are in technology, what you’re doing today, the books that you’ve learned from, are written by those who are still alive. Reach out to them. You’ll be surprised how approachable many experts are!
Dr. Anders Ericsson’s research back in the 1990s supported that it takes 10,000 hours of practice to become an expert in something. Entrepreneurship is the same.
You’re not going to be an expert overnight, so you need to practice.
For as much time as you spend focusing on building your startup, apply a part of that time to yourself.
You’re an athlete trying to become the next Michael Jordan, LeBron James, Mike Trout, Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Muhammad Ali, so start acting like it. Put everything you have into becoming the best that you can be through practice.