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To entrepreneurs by an Internet millionaire at 26

An internet millionaire at 26, Bo Peabody co found six companies in six different fields. In Lucky or smart? Secrets to an Entrepreneurial Life, his advice to all entrepreneurs:

Entrepreneurs are B-students; managers are A-students. B-student entrepreneurs need A-student managers so that the entrepreneurs can concentrate on developing the concept and creating a market for their product or service.

Great is the enemy of good. Start-ups can always be improved on. As long as yours is fundamentally innovative, morally compelling, and philosophically positive, simple survival will ensure success and attract talented employees. Get your idea going now and let perfection follow.

Start-ups attract sociopaths. Normal people will join normal companies. Entrepreneurs need to hire passionate, driven specialists who are attracted by the moral compulsion and innovativeness of a new enterprise.

Practice blind faith. New businesses are fragile. When one experiences setbacks, the entrepreneur must believe and convince others that it is worth saving.

Learn to love the word NO. People don’t like to hear, or say, no. Remember that the person who says is more vulnerable in that moment, though. Instead of accepting rejection, start selling your business concept anew.

Prepare to be powerless. You need investors and customers much more than they initially need you. An investor doesn’t return calls? Keep trying. A potential customer offers a strange excuse for cancelling a meeting? Set up another one and get busy on something else in the meantime.

The best defence is a gracious offence. It’s a small world, and social graces matter. Never offend anyone personally no matter how tough negotiations get. Even if the outcome is unfavourable to you, leave the table knowing that the other side likes you.

Know what you don’t know. Then remedy that situation. Don’t be afraid to admit that you need help figuring something out, which is far better than misleading your investors, employees, or clients.

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