I recently listened to a Ted talk of Cam Lanier speaking to business students at Point University. As one of my life long hero’s and mentors, it was quite a treat to hear so many of the principles that I have picked up over the years condensed into one organized speech. It is titled, “How to Make a Million Dollars Raising Dogs on Paper/Cam Lanier/TEDxPointUniversity.”
There has never been a better time in history to either start a business or join a vibrant growing business. Technology has lowered the barriers to entry to the point where anyone with a enough passion, grit and perseverance can start a business and be successful. But if you are thinking of starting a business or joining a growing business, here are a few pieces of advice from Cam:
1) “It’s easy to make a million dollars raising dogs on paper." Many good ideas, like raising dogs, look really good when you sketch them out on paper. Many people have tried to make a fortune raising dogs, but very few have actually been able to do it. Before you begin a venture, make sure you consider what’s on paper versus reality.
2) “It will take you twice as long and twice as much money as you think.” After building or backing over 100 companies, only 2 have ever been executed at or better than the original plan. Don’t let this be a deterrent, but rather use this reality as a means to plan for sustainability and set realistic expectations. If you only have enough capital to survive if things go exactly as planned you might be setting yourself up for failure.
3) Create a value system and goals that you will build the business around; people are everything. All of your customers, employees, partners etc. need to know exactly what you value so they can hold you accountable. You become who you hang out with, so surround yourself with people that share your values.
4) “Bet on the Jockey, not the horse”. When investing in business, remember that you are investing in the people and not the idea. You better believe in the character and integrity of the people if you plan to join or invest in a business.
5) “The need to love and be loved”. Never underestimate human beings need to love and be loved. Genuinely care about your team members and make sure they know it. People will not follow you unless they know that you care.
Cam’s two book recommendations are “The Richest Man Who Ever Lived - Steven Scott” and “The Sociopath Next Door - Martha Scott.” He also recommends that you listen to the SaaStr podcast every day. For more please make sure to check out the Ted Talk. Thank you Cam for your continued example and inspiration.