Last week we hit our 10th interview! In celebration of that milestone and going into a holiday weekend we are sharing our favorite advice so far. Enjoy and have a wonderful Independence Day!
Chart Your Own Path. "Don’t do things the way everybody else does. They all read the same startup books and try to follow the same generic Bay Area formula for their career, relationships, etc., and seldomly end up happy. Chart your own path, even it means taking a few different twists and turns along the way."
- Devin Eldridge, COO of Radar
Stay Curious, and just Start. “Curiosity will allow you to continue to grow and stretch and welcome new experiences. And sometimes that curiosity will bring experiences that might scare the sh*t out of you. When that happens, just start. Find the right next step or action that will move something forward. And take it. That action should lead to the next step, then the next, etc. Usually all it takes is that initial step to get you on your way to learnings and success.”
- Nicole Kennedy, CFO of Syncro
Be Consistent. “Back in the day, I used to compete in power lifting, and I trained with a guy who ended up winning the National Championship. He would always say, “consistency trumps intensity.” Anyone can show up at the gym one time and have a killer workout. But it's about the guy who shows up consistently.”
– Ben Rudman, Managing Partner of Charis Consumer Partners
Be Uncomfortable. "My brother once told me that you’ll find that your success can be measured by the number of difficult conversations you have. He was absolutely right. As cliché as it sounds, you have to roll with the punches and pick back up and keep moving."
- Chloe Kettell, CEO & Co-Founder of PolyPort
Find Mentors. “Every person is a teacher and every person is a student. I think it's critical no matter what phase you're in, to be vulnerable, share what's on your mind, get people that will hold you accountable, and push you to achieve your goals.”
- Dan Kasper, CEO of Wishlist
Be a Servant. “Business is common sense and how you treat other people. A leader’s job is to actually serve other people. You get a lot of credit for the success, incur the blame for the failures, but the secret to either outcome is whether you view yourself as a servant or someone who should be served. I see myself as a servant."
- Shaka Bahadu, COO of Cipher Skin
Strategy is about Listening. "Strategy is not about thinking to me; it's about listening. Really do due diligence before you try to do strategy. I talked to thirty booksellers--some who were successful, some who weren't--and asked them what they're doing, what's working, what's not working. You look for trends: what are these things that you start seeing all of the successful elements of their business. And suddenly you don't have to think very much, you're just connecting the dots and where the thinking comes is picking your battles. Because the number one thing about strategy is, you can't do everything."
- Kwame Spearman, CEO & Co-Owner of Tattered Cover
Balance Matters. “Grit and hustle matter a lot. But so do balance, happiness, fulfillment, family, health, reflection, and passion. If you sacrifice most of that list in the name of “hustle” you’re shorting yourself. Some of my most creative ideas, “ah ha” moments and honest self-reflections related to work and career come when I’m doing something that I absolutely love to do that has nothing to do with work. I make time for fulfilling, non-work activities every single day. “
-Phil Stern, VP of Mainsail Partners
Do the Right Thing. “Work hard, and do the right thing, and good things will happen. If you operate your life in that manner, good things will happen.
- Matt Blomstedt, Managing Partner of SpringTime Ventures
Keep It Simple. “Really focus on a solid user experience and try to deliver a simple product. Don't worry about over engineering and creating the perfect solution. Keep it simple and get something out there fast and iterate from there.”
- Casey Jenks, Former CEO & Co-Founder of TrueCoach