Do The Best Entrepreneurs Hide Their Secrets?
Without a doubt, the best entrepreneurs I know always hide some secrets.
For example, a buddy of mine who makes about $50 million a year purposely goes on industry forums and posts the wrong things. He misleads other competitor entrepreneurs by saying, “Hey, here’s XYZ that’s really working for me right now in marketing.”
But in actuality, he posts what’s performing the worst.
I asked him why he does this and he said, “Hey, you gotta throw them off track.”
No, I don’t necessarily think all entrepreneurs are like this. Some are a lot more generous with their time and information than others.
In fact, my mentor Allan Nation used to tell me, “Tai, go ahead and tell everybody what you’re doing. People are so proud and cocky they won’t even copy you.”
Interestingly, I’ve tested that over the years and he’s right. It’s rare that people are actually humble enough to copy.
As Picasso said, “Good artists copy. Great artists steal.”
But back to the original question – are there insider tricks that only the elite entrepreneurs know?
I would say without a doubt, yes.
And the sooner you learn them the better off you will be.
Personally, I give a lot of stuff away for free online and even more in my paid programs. But I always hold back about 5-10% just because I’m not an idiot, haha.
In the spirit of generosity though, let me share a few insider tricks that are rarely talked about in the entrepreneur magazines or conferences (some of these you might know, but ask yourself how well you’re actually applying them):
3 Entrepreneur Insider Secrets
1. Marketing trumps all: Steve Jobs and Apple eventually beat Microsoft. “Good product and good marketing” don’t beat “decent product and amazing marketing.”
There is the old saying by Ralph Waldo Emerson: “If a man has good corn or wood, or boards, or pigs to sell, or can make better chairs or knives, crucibles or church organs, than anybody else, you will find a broad hard-beaten road to his house, though it be in the woods.”
That may have been true in the 1800s, but it sure as hell isn’t true anymore. In a world with billions of webpages there’s absolutely no way you will succeed as an entrepreneur without being insanely skilled at marketing.
2. You need a real team: There is this myth among newbie entrepreneurs that they can do it solo or with just one or two employees and do it well. It’s BS.
In my opinion, the minimum viable entrepreneurial company is made up of at least ten people. Anything below that is operating without efficiencies of scale, without the necessary redundancy needed to reduce risk, and without the increased skill levels that come from specialization (like Henry Ford understood).
You might be able to think of some random entrepreneur who did well with just a few people, but like Bill Gates used to say, “I never did anything alone.”
That’s what Bill Gates knew that made him $70 billion while the average global entrepreneur struggles to make even six figures.
3. Raising capital should be done in precise phases: Only truly advanced entrepreneurs fully understand how to utilize capital. Most new entrepreneurs think they need a whole bunch of money upfront. They don’t understand the seasonal phasing cycles of business.
Bringing capital from outside sources is rarely wise right at the beginning.
Occasionally it is – if you’re in a highly capital-intensive industry or if you already are an entrepreneur with a proven track record.
But if you are not, you are going to get bad valuations and give up too much equity upfront in your business.
Even more importantly, the extra capital will make you lazy and less likely to run through the numerous experiment cycles needed to build a powerful business.
Bring in capital once there’s a proof of your concept rocking and rolling with real momentum.
Do you need a real team and plan?