They say that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. In my case, “they” said it right. Both my kids have decided to launch their own, vastly different, startup businesses.
Having built an ad agency 20 years ago from a desk in my apartment, here’s my advice to them:
- Every successful company starts by SOLVING something. If you can’t figure out what you’re solving, then don’t even start.
- This solution, or value proposition, becomes your MISSION STATEMENT.
- If other companies have what seems to be the same value proposition (as in the case of, say, an ad agency) figure out a way to solve these problems better. For example, I create a strategy, an intention, behind every ad, logo, website, brochure, letter, business card… this has made me stand out from other agencies whose focus is on design and aesthetics. This is your COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE.
- Find out how to make people crave you. Cravings eventually lead to habits, and every company ultimately yearns to become a part of people’s HABITS.
- Become an expert at what you do. This is your ADDED VALUE.
- Brands, like people, have personalities. Define yours and STICK WITH IT. Nobody likes a phony.
- If you have all of the above figured out, congratulations! You have your VISION.
- Don’t change directions with the first criticism you receive. And on this note, here’s a warning: you will be criticized, judged, doubted… And you won’t be able to prove them wrong unless you stick with your original mission.
- You will stumble, encounter distractions, and, sometimes, feel lost. But always stay on the road. You’ll get there eventually.
- Write your answers to all of the above on a piece of paper. Don’t act without first consulting this paper.
Powered by Facebook Comments