People have called this millennial generation the most entrepreneurial yet. The media is full of their success stories, whether it’s raising tons of funding or selling their startup for billions of dollars. Despite their accomplishments, older generations believe these stories can give us misconceptions of what it takes to succeed.
The first thing lesson everyone should start with is to realize the harsh realities of business which all young success seekers need to be prepared for. This will not only better equip them in the business world, but allow them to avoid costly mistakes at the expense of naïveté. Without further adieu, here are nine harsh truths about business that will make you a better entrepreneur.
1. People only care about how useful you can be to them.
For anyone truly serious about getting to the top, they have to always connect with people that will help them get there. This is not because they are douches/bitches that don’t care to give back, they just don’t have time to shoot the shit with you constantly. Being nice is great, but if you can’t offer anything to help win the battle, then get out hell of the way.
2. If you’re an attractive girl, everyone will try to sleep with you.
I’m not saying that all men are complete dogs, but in an industry dominated by males, there are dogs are everywhere. I always see attractive females who are new in the game and always say how everyone is so nice to them and helpful. Please don’t be dumb and assume they are simply helping from the kindness of their own heart (see point #1). They are trying to bang you, plain and simple. Even Victoria Secret model Cameron Russell has noted in a TED talk of the benefits she’s received just purely because of her looks. The powerful thing is if you know are aware of this, you can use this to your advantage.
3. The more successful you get, the harder it is to make friends.
In the words of Kanye West, “It’s crazy how you can go from being Joe Blow, to everybody on your dick, no homo.” When you don’t have any visible value anyone can take advantage of, no one is going to care to talk to you. However, once you start coming up, you’ll find that more and more people want to hang out and be friends with you. They want to do this for one thing, to get something from you so they can find success themselves (again, see point #1). While it’s great to give back and success should certainly be shared, good luck finding someone that really does want to get to know you for you once you reach that high point in life.
4. Money solves everything.
No, money definitely doesn’t buy happiness in the long-term, but when we’re talking about business, it solves pretty much any problem you can come across. People build businesses to make money, so no matter how much you want to impact the world, you still need money to function and get people behind it. In the business world, without money, you ain’t shit.
5. People will always compare the value of their time to yours.
No matter how busy people claim to be nowadays, people will always make time for you if they know it’s worth it to see you. They base their decision on whether your time is more valuable than theirs, if they perceive your time to not be worth it for him/her, you’ll probably be in their low-priority list of people to make time for. This doesn’t mean that people are douchebags and bitches, it just means that there are only a certain amount of hours in a day and everyone is trying to succeed. They need to allocate their times correctly because they know their window for success is limited. You can’t give back unless you have something to give.
6. The only thing that matters is if you can deliver.
Talking a big game can work great and garner a lot of initial interest, however, if you can’t deliver on the things you promise, you are worthless. It doesn’t matter what happened in your life outside of work, those are just pure excuses for you not getting the job done. Deliver, or they will find someone else that will.
7. Investors only care about whether you can make them money.
I get incredibly infuriated when contestants on Shark Tank resort to telling sob stories about their life or how passionate they are about their projects because they don’t have solid numbers to back up their business. No smart investor is going to give you money without a solid plan of how they will get a return on their investment. If by any chance you encounter someone like that, they either have so much money that they don’t give a shit, or they are just pure idiots. Also, make sure to introduce them to me as I have some fresh snake oil they should invest in.
8. If you have to follow-up, they are not interested.
No, your emails did not get lost in their inbox and yes, they got all your missed calls and voicemails. If they were interested in what you had to say, you wouldn’t be trying to follow up. It’s almost like a guy that keeps texting a girl that he’s interested in who won’t reply back- take a hint and realize that she isn’t into you.
9. You will most likely fail.
It’s been said that 75% of startups fail. Creating something great is not easy, and for most people, creating a company takes many tries and learning to failure. Unless you’re just incredibly lucky, you can’t win big unless you fail. Ask any big entrepreneur today and they will always have a story about failure before they found success. Take Max Levchin for example, it took him four failed startups before he found success co-founding PayPal.