The startup journey is a constant struggle to be the best and stay ahead of the competition. This war of attrition is not won easily, as entrepreneurs are required to always be on their toes and ready for the next big crisis to hit.
Adrian Ghila is a serial entrepreneur and investor. He is the founder of Earth Car Wash LLC, and the founder/CEO at Luxe RV, Inc. Check out his interview below and make sure you never let up in the fight for startup success.
Who is your hero? (In business, life, or both.)
My dad. He taught me to think twice and speak once. I’m still working on that. He also taught me to negotiate from a young age. Not only did I have to make deals in our house all day long, but he also trusted me at only 12 years old to negotiate and purchase inventory for our retail store. Most importantly, he gave me the confidence to become a go-getter.
In business, I look up to a lot of people. I learned from Jim Rohn to simplify everything, from Grant Cardone and Dan Pena to be aggressive in sales, from Elon Musk that anything is possible, and from Peter Diamandis to think boldly.
What’s the single best piece of business advice (unorthodox tips welcome!) that helped shape who you are as an entrepreneur today, and why?
Don’t let your guard down ever and for any reason. You are in a non-stop competition. The moment you relax or become comfortable, other sharks will eat you alive. Obviously that comes with the idea of “never giving up” in order to be a true competitor with the competition and future competition that can affect your market.
Back in the day, you could have a business for several generations. Now you would be lucky to have a business for 5-7 years, tops. You have to diversify, expand and, of course, always think on your feet and be vigilant.
What’s the biggest mistake you ever made in your business, and what did you learn from it that others can learn from too?
Trying to do everything myself. Every small business tries to save, so the founder will try to wear every hat in the company. You will never know exactly the right time to start hiring and letting go of the tasks that will work against you at some point.
Darren Hardy said it: “If the task is not worth your pay grade, don’t do it. Delegate it.” Plus, in most cases, hiring and delegating will lead to a better product or service for your company.
What do you do during the first hour of your business day and why?
I write down my goals and plan the day. Then I make sure to delegate and touch base with my direct employees. It’s very important that you schedule time with the rest of the company to make sure they’re on task and at maximum efficiency, and then focus on your direct tasks. I’ve seen a lot of small business CEOs so busy with their tasks that the rest of the team doesn’t know what to do or where to focus.
What’s your best financial/cash-flow related tip for entrepreneurs just getting started?
Whatever you do, try to make a profit from the get-go. Don’t worry too much about testing and retesting. The market will tell you. It’s very important that you are profitable and that you try to grow your business with your own financing or minimum outside investments.
Sell your customers on your vision and the importance of your company’s survival, so they can benefit from your great product or service. That way you can raise your prices and charge up front to ensure cash flow.
What’s ONE thing you recommend ALL aspiring or current entrepreneurs do right now to take their biz to the next level?
Dream big. Picture your company in the next 2-3 years. Then become ridiculous and multiply that by 10. Be bold in your thinking and go for it.
After you make this ridiculous plan, find your “why” and split your actions into segments. For example, if you are doing this for yourself, your family or for people in need, put a motivating picture on your desk so that you won’t accept “no” or failure.
What’s your definition of success? How will you know when you’ve finally “succeeded” in your business?
I think you succeed in business when your business name becomes the industry, for example: “I’ll Uber to you.” or “Let’s get Starbucks.” Apple beats them all. When you Google “apple” and can’t find one result about the actual fruit, you know you have succeeded.
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