In today’s session, we were inspired by a David Attenborough documentary. Why you may ask. Well, the animal world is very relatable to the business, entrepreneurial world. The hunter/prey mentality.
Are you the hunter? Or are you the prey when it comes to business? Are you the cheetah or the gazelle?
Your instincts would automatically go towards the cheetah. However, the gazelle’s curiosity and paranoia certainly have entrepreneurs alert and on their toes. The never-ending-worrying-about-the-future type of paranoid.
We go around the topic by first asking… Is it bad for our health? Have we really become the prey? And what should an entrepreneur be?
Colin shared his experience as an entrepreneur, “our businesses are always at risk. The key then, is to build a moat around it to protect it”.
How? Discover your X-Factor, as we have discussed in previous sessions. What is it about your business that makes it stand out? As soon as you figure that out, get a trademark or a patent. Secure your business before it crumbles.
“If you’re not paranoid, you’re not going to survive. If you are paranoid, you’ll build that moat.” (Colin Quote)
Believe it or not, most entrepreneurs are not paranoid, so they don’t build a moat and they don’t spend the time to build the defenses, instead, they’re only focused on the growth.
Your army won’t be protected and you can’t go into war without a shield. You may have better success if your defense is as strong as your fight.
Isn’t an entrepreneur’s life all about speed?
Michael and Colin both agreed that the best way to save your business, in the long run, is to be ahead. Be the first person in line and in front of the rest. If you’re ahead, how can others catch up?
You need to be paranoid from day one of launching your startup.
One way to do this, as Michael shares, is by doing a mental SWOT analysis of your business frequently. He thinks about the strengths of his business and then moves on to the weaknesses. Where are the exposures and the cracks in his business? Where are his big opportunities and where are the threats?
Michael will then consider what defenses he needs to create in order to fill in those cracks and protect his business from the cheetah.
But don’t over do it, balance is key
If you’re too paranoid, you’ll end up shooting yourself in the foot. You don’t want to get the idea that everyone you encounter is out to get you and miss out on opportunities.
Your mindset will trick you, and it will make it very difficult to focus, be creative, and build partnerships.
“Not everyone is out to get you… there are actual people who are honest and trustworthy and want to work with you and help grow the business.” (Jeff Quote)
A good level of paranoia should lead you to always have a plan B. No matter what you do you have to assume that something could go wrong and if it does, you have a backup plan.
There’s a big difference between paralyzing fear and a protective fear. The one that protects you is the one you want to focus on. When you feel paralyzed or stuck, it may mean that you’re overdoing your paranoia.
Use this to your advantage, figure out how you will proceed when things go wrong, and always keep in mind that problems can be solved, you just need to take action.
Listen to the full session above as we shared so many more insights on how to be prepared for when things go wrong, but still enjoy your victories!
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[00:01:00] So if you’re interested in hearing about that, please make sure you sign up. Thanks so much. Hey, Michelle, I have to do a little bit of a brag here. Um, so we did have Mr. Wonderful twice last month. And, um, I had been working on it. Who I’m telling you is probably one of the top five business authors of all time.
I’m pulling them out of retirement. You might even be able to guess his name and he’s never been on club as before. It’s actually rather funny, um, in the way we’re communicating with them and he is coming on. He’s I think he’s on for January 15th. We haven’t actually, I don’t know if we firmed up the date or not.
I don’t want to announce it yet. I’ll now send next week. Okay. But let me tell you this. This is the kind of stuff that you can learn a lot about. And this particular author is someone that I based my entire career on his theories and his concepts, and they worked. And fortunately I’ve been very successful [00:02:00] and I gave him a lot of credit for that.
So I’m pulling them out of retirement or bringing them on startup club. If you’re not on that mailing list, you’re not going to know the date and you’re not going to know the speaker, but it’s going to be probably the event. It will be probably the top event on club.
Wow. A lot happening there at startup like cloud and had to pretty exciting, but, um, we’re taking a look today on the complete entrepreneur at a great topic. I must admit when I first, first was thinking about different topics and so forth like that. You know what, this is one I will, I personally want to explore, and that is only the paranoid survive.
So the question I have is, was Andy Grove, who was the chairman of the board of Intel? Was he rides, destined that entrepreneurs and businesses need to be paranoid to survive in a hyper competitive world? Yeah, it’s an interesting question. Um, is it [00:03:00] right? And is it helpful? To always be paranoid or do we need to be paranoid or were you going to get the devoured by a competitor?
I was reflecting on, I watched a David Adams. Um, if you don’t take bad and Bari, great naturalists running, watching one of his documentaries this past week. And I had like this cheetah crawling through the grass on the Savannah plane in Africa and the cheetah was there going through the grass and his eyes, looking at this gazelle in the distance and David Adler, boy voice only he can do his voice.
Of course it was. I wonder what’s on his meal menu this week or today. And so, and you see that the gazelle and suddenly he sticks his head up and begins to look around and seen something moved in the grass. And it just took off, like you wouldn’t believe tell you what [00:04:00] that gazelle was paranoid. It was constantly checking.
All the time am I back to be eaten? Am I about to be devoured? And I stood about that in terms of entrepreneurship, is that, should that be our attitude as entrepreneurs? Should we be that gazelle, which is constantly looking constantly checking, constantly worried about disasters. And I then begin to think of my own life this past week in my own company, where we had literally record.
And crazy high and doing unbelievably well, but you’re the first thing I thought about was I wonder what’s going to happen. Um, next week, are we going to go down? What’s going to happen with any competitors what’s going to happen here. What’s going to happen there. What’s going to happen with, with, um, with clients what’s going to happen.
What’s going to happen. What’s going to happen. And it’s the great. Is going to happen [00:05:00] machine of the mind of the entrepreneur, is that healthy? Is that healthy? Are we the gazelle or are we the cheetah? What is the mindset of an entrepreneur, which is different? And, you know, it’s constantly thinking about things all the time, which in some ways, I think in my own thinking.
That maybe Andy Grove was right. And that we do need to be paranoid as entrepreneurs because we aren’t paranoid. We become the prey rather than the predator. And it’s an interesting thing. So Colin, I can ask you the question. Are you prey or predator? Are you the cheater? The gazelle? What should an entrepreneur be?
Oh, no, no, let, let, let’s all be very clear here. We’re not Elon Musk. We’re not bill gates. We are prey. Okay. The big [00:06:00] corporations are out there. They want our space. We know how to survive in this space though. Right. And we know how to figure it out, where they often are very nervous. They’re scared to journey into unknown territories where the entrepreneurs, we have no choice.
We walk into that field. We walked into that grass and we. We’re being hunted, but we also know this is new terrain. This is an opportunity for us to really win. Um, that is something that I learned when I was at a fortune 1000 company. And I actually had, um, the opportunity to, uh, understand from the very top that these big companies lacked the innovation.
They lack the risk taking. As entrepreneurs we’re always, our business models are always at risk and the key is to build a moat. And if we keep building something and we [00:07:00] don’t think about the moat, then we are a potential of losing the gains that we’ve made. And what do I mean by a moat? There are different ways of building your defenses.
One, you can patent, you can trade. You can come up with processes. Uh, we’re having a session tomorrow at two o’clock Eastern on the serial entrepreneur hour. And we’re talking about creating an X factor. That’s probably one of the greatest moats you can create, which is basically something that you have that no other company in the world has or in your space.
The mode is your defenses. If you’re not paranoid, you’re you’re, you’re not going to say. If you are paranoid, you’ll build that mode and you will defend it and you will win and you’ll continue to scale. But more often than not, Michael, I actually believe that most entrepreneurs are not paranoid. They they’re too innocent.
They come into it [00:08:00] and they don’t build them up. They don’t spend the time to build the defenses. They’re always focused on the growth and not the. Yeah, but let me just tackle you on this building and Mert sounds great. You’ve got a castle and you’re going to build a motorman and that’s all very well, but isn’t the life of an entrepreneur.
All about speed. Like I look in the internet space where I, um, my businesses are read. And let me tell you, there is almost no point in trying to build a big motor Rhonda castle, but there is a great impetus around speed and innovation and being ahead of competitors and everything like that. Because one thing I do know is.
Um, big corporations don’t move fast, but as an entrepreneur, I can move really fast. I can pivot quickly and light that gazelle. I could be like dodging backwards and fours as I’m hitting it, heading in the direction of my vision. So is it, is it about. Or is it about [00:09:00] building the mode or is it about speed until you can get to a place of rest where you can have the time to build them out?
Like, what is it like, what is it about? Yeah, it’s funny you talk about that. Cause I just did, uh, another session at, uh, NSU and the students. I talked about this, this concept that if you can actually choose an idea that has a mode. And you begin to think of the moat before you launch your idea or your concept, then you’re much better capable of defending against the lions.
You’re the gazelle. You’re right. You’re definitely exposed, but if you’re a gazelle and you’ve got an army around you, you’re in a lot better situation. And I actually think you can, when you first launch this. I truly believe you have to be paranoid from day one. You have to move fast, but at the same time, you have to be [00:10:00] thinking about how can I build that load?
How can I build the defenses? And you can do it. I’ve mentioned a few ideas already. We’re on patents, trademarks, X factor. There are ways of building that. Am I saying, Michael, you need to move slow. I think you’re mis-characterizing. My description here. I’m saying you need to be quick. You need to be fast.
You need to be that gazelle, but at the same time, unlike most startups, you also need to begin to think about how do we defend. And that’s what most startups are thinking about. Grow, grow, grow, and they’re not thinking about defend, defend, defend. I think it’s a combination of the two, and I think you can actually have better success, even at the inception of the idea of your.
Yeah. I agree with you on that. Yeah. And I purposely probably miscategorized you a little bit, they’re calling, um, about the mode and the castle and so forth, but you know, when I think about it, Um, as a, as a startup, if you’re launching the startup gates and you’re sluggish and slow, then you will be [00:11:00] devoured.
I can guarantee it. You’ve really got to, like you hit, hit, hit your stride and you just street. I know it’s like I’ve watched many, many businesses over my career. And every one of them was launched in a sprint. Why you wanted your tape? That grant is quite often a grant, a land grab. You want to get that ground and so forth, but you’re also right also, right?
That how do you, how do you protect it? And one of the things I I’ve sort of developed a habit of doing every single week is I do a, a mental SWAT analysis of my business, every single. And I sit down in the morning and I’m on a Monday morning and I think strengths, what are the strengths and what business are they going to go?
What are the strengths of my businesses? Are they going to be devoured? Where are my weaknesses? My business, um, where, where, where the, the exposures I’ve got. [00:12:00] How do I shore up those exposures? How do I minimize those exposures? Do you have a big single client? Is that, is that big seal client go to leave what’s to stop them from leaving your business, um, that big single client.
So suddenly your revenue line collapses. Opportunities w where’s my big opportunity. And am I really focused on that? Or am I trying to be focused on the 50 opportunities and threats? Where’s my threats, by the way, just on the opportunities. One of the biggest mistakes I see a lot of entrepreneurs do, um, is the, it’s the classic saying?
My grade five teacher taught me well, Uh, good. Better, best, never let it rest until your good is better and your better best. And what that taught me was the enemy of the best opportunity is the good opportunity. It’s not the bad ones. Just the good ones. Yeah. It’s a good opportunity. But what’s the best opportunity when you’ve got limited resources in your organization, [00:13:00] quite often, entrepreneurs, they are the resource.
Um, then you better be choosing the best opportunity otherwise that cheetah’s going to run you. But the threats, what are the threats and for your business? Colin, you’ve got somebody saying on my club, I was going to ask you, Michael, what do you think Paul Davidson and Rohan are thinking right now with clubhouse?
Like, are they paranoid or you think they’re paradise with Facebook? Uh, Twitter, Spotify, they’re all breathing down their necks. I mean, they must be paranoid. So what do they do? Let’s talk, let’s talk about that one. They’re innovating very quickly. I still, I think one day we’re the first to market on social audio, audio media.
And, uh, I believe that they’re innovating very quickly. So that’s one of the techniques they’re using. And the other technique is they raised a lot of money. They raised a lot of VC capital to compete. Can they need it too? Cause [00:14:00] they were in, like, they walked into the gladiator, like they walked into the chamber and they were ready for that.
You know, just have your thoughts. Maybe you have a few thoughts about clubhouse and Paul and Rowan, but otherwise we’ve got to move on. I know that. Yeah. Look, I think there’s a good case study actually. Uh, when you think about clubhouse and had their behaving as the gazelle, because, um, they’re definitely not a Facebook or Twitter or, or anything like that.
They’re um, did the newborn in the block and the kickstand, the face of the other. They really did. They kicked Santa Fe’s and my guess is they would have had a number of those companies, um, knock on the door and say, here’s a big check for a billions. And they’ve said, no, that I’m just guessing here. So that’s a guts move.
Um, so how are they actually responding? Um, I would agree with you calling just on that. They’d have to be paranoid. You just need to look at the number of [00:15:00] updates, um, until the clubhouse. First up and this insane, like I’m the middle of a tech development and the lecture stuff. And let me tell you, um, to do a deploy, um, is a big issue because you’re, you’re, you’re pushing your code out there in, into the production environment and real people are going to be interacting and you have to be really careful with it.
And you’ll look at the number of updates the clubhouse does. It’s pronounced. The speed of which they’re innovating is frightening. Like my guess is their CTO is probably not. Um, as, uh, as these, what was it? What’s that saying that beacons will finish when morale improves. It’s almost like that to his team.
I imagine he’s like being in them, Greg, we ain’t got to innovate. We’ve got, we’ve got to get this out. We’ve got to get this out because you know what someone’s about to go along, eat our lunch and that’s a paranoid mindset. [00:16:00] Um, it’s not sort of saying, is, is Facebook. Well, or Twitter, go to eat my lunch.
It’s assuming they are coming to the watering hole to go along and wipe me out. That’s the mindset. So I agree with you on that. And they’re, they’re innovating and they just rather things they showed up, obviously the capital base and so forth like that as well. But the interesting thing I think about this whole space, And I know Colin, you and I’ve had this conversation a number of times is I don’t think anyone really understands.
I don’t think anyone really understands what clubhouse or this whole social auditory environment really is. And there’s social interaction type environment really is. And that’s an interesting challenge to call it. So, um, and I think it will pan out over time exactly what it is and that’s where it gets really, really [00:17:00] interesting.
So, Michelle, do you have any thoughts just on that? What Colin said, but past. And what’s going on with clubhouse and things like that. Because as a case study, it’s, it’s, there’s amazingly good one. Yeah. I mean, look, they’re in a tough space and you know, let’s be candid here. Like I know they’ve taken some criticism in the market lately.
Like people think they should be growing faster or this or that, but I’m going to say that the. How many people, how many companies, how many products have been launched in the last five years that have been able to accomplish what they’ve been able to accomplish? So clearly they, you know, they are very aware, various toot and very responsive to what’s going on in the market right now.
They’re innovating and it’s tough to be an effective. [00:18:00] It’s tough to grow that fast. It’s tough to, oh my gosh. We all know to have the growing pains that they’ve had and still persist. Obviously, you know, I would say I don’t have any insight information. Of course I don’t, but obviously their investors are very confident in them.
Um, because it shows in terms of the speed and veracity that they’re growing and improving. How could you not be paranoid when you have Facebook on your back and Twitter on your back and read it on your back and who knows who else? Like I was reading some studies today about others that are, you know, coming right around the corner.
So it’s a very interesting time. Um, clearly this was a HubSpot actually, um, Article I was reading about trends and social media. It is being recognized as a very edited, innovative channel and innovative [00:19:00] approach to social media. Um, especially in terms of, you know, it’s all centered around people talking, you know, real time and people are looking at it as the, you know, the next evolution, the next improvement of podcasts.
So. Uh, clearly, uh, you know, they’re hiring like crazy, they’re throwing resources and money at it because they believe it’s, you know, a very, you know, viable space and money’s flowing there. So I know, you know, if I were them, I’d be very paranoid and I’m paranoid about much smaller things in my life and my businesses.
So I can only imagine. Yeah, that’s so true. What you just said there, Michelle. And, um, you know, so we’re talking, take a look at the topic of only the paranoid survive and is this true for entrepreneurs and how does that spill over out of the business environment and your approach? Shouldn’t you be paranoid in your personal life too.
And what’s the impact of that, or what happens to [00:20:00] when your business mindset translates into your personal life as well? It’s all big, big questions. Now, if you’re in the audience saying, you know what, let me tell you, I’ve got a story to share with you guys from my own experiences, entrepreneur, I’d like, love you to put your hands.
And we have having to the stage and we can hear your thoughts on this really exciting topic, but yeah, just as, um, as we do. So, um, Carissa, welcome to the stage. It’s great to have you here. And Theresa, um, do you have any thoughts on only the paranoid. Thanks for having me. Yes. So I, the loving the conversation, and I have a little bit of a different take on this, this metaphor of whether or not we’re the prey or the predator.
To me, it kind of solves some of the issues to think of myself as the [00:21:00] predator and the dream as the prey, because this means my job is to move fast, uh, and to outsmart figure out how to capture and get to that, get to that dream, get to that play at w whatever it takes. And so it encourages me to think about how.
To focus on and grow my strengths and, and look for these holes and, and look for that blue ocean or the, or the moat of where I’m unique and take advantage of that in every way that I can. So, yeah, that’s just, what’s come up for me so far in the conversation. Michael, can you hear me, Jeff? Tell them my experience.
And I think, I think it’s have a different take. I think it’s very important to be paranoid as an entrepreneur, but it’s also very important not to be too paranoid. [00:22:00] I had a business partner who probably quoted Andy Grove three times a day saying only the paranoid survive. That was his mantra. That was his modus operandi.
And he took it to such an extreme though. That he basically approached startup life from the point of view that virtually everyone we encountered. I was out to pardon the French, screw him. Like everyone was out to take advantage of him and every business opportunity, every meeting we went into, he would go into it with that mindset, with that completely paranoid mindset that, that they’re out to get me.
They’re going to steal our idea. They’re going to take advantage of us somehow. And you know, that made it very difficult, especially in the early days to. Partnerships to, to trust that we can enter into a working business relationship where both sides benefited. And it was a real challenge. He [00:23:00] took it to such an extreme that I felt it was a negative.
And, and I was always trying to temper his level of paranoia, um, and, and try to contact. Teach him or get him to understand that not everyone is out to get you right. That there are actual people who are honest and trustworthy and want to work with us and help us grow the business, whether that’s by being an investor or being a partner, et cetera.
So that level of paranoia is a negative, in my opinion. The flip side is I think that the good level of paranoia should lead you to always have a plan B you know, and I talk about this in my book, from my experiences in the film industry, when you’re making a movie. You know, you have to assume that ever something is going to go wrong every day.
Something’s going to fail and you have to have a backup plan. So I think only the paranoid survive to me means that everything you do, no matter how [00:24:00] confident you are, you have to assume. Something could potentially go wrong and you have a backup. If you’re starting a new marketing campaign and everything’s lined up perfectly, you can’t assume that it’s a, in that it’s going to succeed, that you’re going to hit the revenue goal.
You know, if you’re launching a new product and you have a target launch date, you can’t assume that you’re necessarily going to hit that target date. You have to be enough paranoid enough to understand that there are. Variables, there are things that can and will go wrong. And how are you going to proceed when the things do go wrong?
You know, what’s your backup plan? What’s your plan B for every step of the way. So I think having enough paranoia to always have a plan B is very healthy, but I think that having so much paranoia that you are unable to trust anyone or anything is not healthy for your business.
Yeah, Jeff, it’s an interesting thing you bring up there. Is it really healthy for your business or healthy for you [00:25:00] personally? Um, as well. And the thing that I, I started to note down then when you were talking and about your, your friend, you were in business when business waves and everything, and how he was quoting the mantra of Andy Grove constantly.
Is it is Goodwill and paranoia on opposite sides of the spectrum. So you go to a, meet, a business meeting for instance, and if you have a paranoid mindset, you’re looking for the person who is going to go along and do you in, if you go to a business meeting with a Goodwill mindset, um, uh, have you just translate yourself into being the prey versus the predator?
Uh, because I’m going to have going with. Or is there a balance between those two, Colin? What do you think about that? Is there a juxtaposition almost between Goodwill and paranoia and it’s almost [00:26:00] like the, uh, the entrepreneurs be schizophrenia and have a bit of both when they go along and have their meeting as their business, uh, as part of their business, just suite of tools.
Okay. That’s interesting. You bring this up because I often talk about. You know, when you have an idea for a startup, don’t be paranoid, share your ideas with everybody, you know, because they’re here to help you. Obviously you want to trusted group, you’re not going to go walk into a bar and talk to some guy or whatever about your idea.
I’m talking about the people you. More often than not too many people hold on to their great ideas and they never share them, but I call it vetting, uh, vetting process. So I have an idea. And then Jeff knows about this. Michelle knows what this, I keep coming up with different ideas, you know, from shareholder blockchain to, um, startup [00:27:00] club, like, uh, guys we’re going to, or guys like, and Michelle, we’re gonna to.
Idea. And what do you think could this become a media, a media companies, startup.club. What do you think you share it, you share and share and share and share, and you get feedback and you get great ideas and they help you sharpen that sword so that you can win in that battle. And if you’re paranoid of sharing your ideas, then you’re never going to move on.
So I do think there’s a time and place where you need to be open as a startup when you’re in that early stage, you definitely need to be there as you grow and expand. I talked about building the moats. That’s, uh, that’s very important as well. And then ultimately you are in competition with these big companies.
You are in competition with the wannabe. You know, I walked into a Costco a year ago. I was so upset. I walked into [00:28:00] Costco and there was the product that we had invented at one of my companies. And we had a patent on it and I’m like, you gotta be kidding me. And it was just, I was so depressed the whole afternoon that they would just do that.
And yet we had a patent on that. Of course we’re defending our pot and we’re fighting that, but I’m just saying like, you have to, once you’ve established it once you’re there also, you do have to. These are your ideas. This is your intellectual property. This is your business. This is just start up. You do need to defend that.
You need to find ways of defending that. And I’ve talked about building the out earlier and you always have to repair a night’s sorry, Michael, I’m rambling now at this point. Yeah, no, no, but you bring up some interesting things. Once again, you came back to patents and so forth like that. And I agree with you, pages are very, very important tools for the entrepreneur and if you’re an entrepreneur and you’re not sort of aware of the painting process, then can I [00:29:00] suggest you actually, um, educate yourself on that.
But just on that though, Um, what happens? Buring in an industry like many of the internet industries where it’s, what you’re doing is not painter patentable, but what you’ve got to do is you’ve got to move. You’ve got to move really, really fast and you need to be that gazelle or have the mindset of a cheetah, which is chasing down the prey, as Theresa said so eloquently.
That’s my vision out there. I’m going to chase that down. Um, and what happens when you get to the vision Chris up and you chase it down, you find the achieve. Everything I give, could look at, um, was it, uh, how. From from Starbucks, he achieved an incredible vision, amazing vision for Starbucks. He leaves the company, the company rests on his laurels.
It begins to fall apart, and then they [00:30:00] get him back into the game and it takes off again. And he resets the vision. So, Chris, just on that, is that, did someone like a Starbucks or, or have you ever seen companies where they’ve achieved their vision and they lose their sense of parenthood? And they begin to sort of rest on their laurels and they need to be pushing forward to a new, fresh vision, but they don’t and they begin to go backwards and slow down.
And yes, they’ve got the Mo, but they’ve also got the deck chairs out the front of the, uh, of the moat and they they’ve got their umbrellas out and people are bringing in. Bringing them drinks. Is it more like that? And what is it about entrepreneurship, which needs a really kick things and do a new, fresh vision.
Have you ever had an experience of like that Carissa? Well, working with a lot of entrepreneurs, I find people kind of fall into a couple categories. So there’s the person. Who’s [00:31:00] chasing money. Um, they, they want to, they they’re going for the comfort. Um, and when that’s the goal, I guess what you’re saying is definitely.
Definitely a possibility where you get comfortable and you can kind of just sit on the tech and see what happens. And, um, but if you, if you really are that the cheetah, like, if, if you’re like, like there’s this breed of entrepreneur that you’re not like you’re, you’re, you’re dreaming and you have to try it out.
Like if that’s in your blood, um, It’s like that sitting still place is very uncomfortable. Like you either are new visions happening all the time and it it’s almost like too hard to ignore them. Like you you’ve got the, you got this when you locked it down and you just have to wait for the next right ones that come, and then you go for it.
Yeah, but you used the word uncomfortable, very uncomfortable. Um, I’ve seen many, uh, [00:32:00] many, uh, entrepreneurs. They’ve got their deck chairs and they’re seeing that they have the deck chairs they’re seeing on the title. I’ll tell you what that’s pretty uncomfortable versus, um, versus being in the speed boat or something like that, um, which can weave around the iceberg and everything.
So, uh, it’s a big challenge, you know? Being uncomfortable. Isn’t that the mindset of an entrepreneur in isn’t that in itself and mindset are being paranoid because you’re relishing. The uncomfortableness is Michelle. When you, when you look at some of the businesses that you’ve been driving forward, is, is that sense of being uncomfortable, something that you relish or you sort of.
Oh, my gosh. I wish I could just be in that direction. Perhaps someone bring me a drink at some point. Like, what is it about being an entrepreneur and that sense of paranoia and sense of uncomfortableness that drives you? [00:33:00] Well, I don’t know if it’s a good thing first and foremost, because I think I spend personally way too many sleepless nights and it makes me a little crazy sometimes.
Um, you know, um, Kind of pivot a little bit on your question that I was thinking about as the others were speaking is for me personally, one thing that I have found that I have to be careful about, and I think a lot of people, you know, may make this mistake. Maybe they don’t is being like overly paranoid about competitors.
Versus being paranoid over, making sure that you, you know, are executing at the highest possible level that you can and not forgetting things. Um, for me, you know, paranoia is more around execution, making sure I didn’t forget things or you know, that I didn’t look at [00:34:00] things that were obviously in front of me, the thing that’s.
You know, more of a thing that I’ve learned as I’ve gone on in life is not being overly paranoid about competitors, because why that’s not something I can control, what can I control? I can control what I do that I execute and that I’m doing my research and that I’m talking to folks and like trying to do that.
Thing and bring a good market, a good product or whatever it is, service to the market. What I cannot control is my competitors. And also what I have found through the years is I’ve seen people and I’ve made the same mistake before, like hyper-focus on something competitors doing. And not even knowing my goal, if they’re even making any money out of it, like that’s a really big trap that I feel you have to be really careful not to fall into.
And I do feel that it’s more about execution and I [00:35:00] mean the full realm of execution on, on your plan, on your strategy. So that’s, that’s more kind of the lens that I try to look at it. You might call it paranoia, Michael, but for me, it’s execution and making sure you know, that I’m communicating, you know, like the basic things I need to be doing that I don’t forget that I’m not holding back the team that I’m not holding back the company.
Like, that’s my worst nightmare, Michelle. I love what you said about the competition. And I think that’s, that’s a really important point. Whether it’s paranoia or not, you know, too many people get caught up in worrying about what the competitors are doing as Michelle said. And really at the end of the day, our biggest competitor is always going to be ourselves and our company.
Right. Are we executing to the best of our ability? So I think that’s great that you brought that up. Uh, Michelle, Michael, I’d like to push back a little and say that. I think you’re, you’re mixing, mixing metaphors a little bit when you equate. [00:36:00] Uh, paranoia with being uncomfortable. I don’t think that they’re the same thing at all.
In fact, I think, um, it’s important to be a little bit uncomfortable, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you can be uncomfortable and not be paranoid. And conversely, you can be paranoid and, and not necessarily being. The race car driver, Mario Andretti, you know, famously said something along the lines of, you know, if you’re not a little bit nervous, you’re not driving fast enough, you know?
And that’s more about being uncomfortable than being paranoid. It’s about pushing the envelope and really trying to. To, um, you know, exceed your abilities and exceed expectations for your company and really push to the point where you’re feeling a little bit uncomfortable. And that goes back to what you said earlier about, you know, resting on your laurels.
Whereas paranoid, I think is more about. You know, worrying, you know, looking over your shoulder constantly and worrying that, that someone else is gonna take that piece of cake. That’s supposed to be yours, that someone else is going to, you know, [00:37:00] as Colin was saying before, steal your idea or, or, or, you know, you know, be able to get through because you don’t have a moat around you.
So I think. Being paranoid and being uncomfortable there may be related, but I don’t think it’s the same thing. And I think it’s both are healthy in small doses. It’s healthy for an entrepreneur as Mario Andretti said to push things to the point where you’re, you’re not a little comfortable, right. You’re, you’re all on the edge a bit.
Um, and it’s also healthy to be paranoid enough to not assume that everything’s going to go the way you think it’s going to go. And that. Deal you make is going to be the right deal and that someone’s not going to attempt to or succeed in pulling the rug out from under you from time to time. Um, that would be my.
Yeah, Jeff. You’re right. I was pushing it there. I’ll tell you one thing for sure. Uh, I was really hammering up there having a good dose of being uncomfortable. Good dose paranoia is great, but should we be consumed by it? That’s a different question altogether. Um, and a great, um, a great [00:38:00] illustration for Mary and Dreddy, you’re listening to the complete entrepreneur.
I’m we’re looking at the top. Only the paranoid survive that famous saying by Andy Grove, the chairman of Intel. Now, if you’re in the audience there and you say, look, I got some stories to tell you about that. Then please take up your hand. We’d love to invite you to this stage and hear your perspective on this fabulous.
But in the meantime, I just want to share a story from a business commentator. His name is Simon Sinek. I was listening to his story and, uh, he was sharing this and it relates back to what both Michelle and Jeff said, um, about competitors. And he said he was in a car going back from the airport. With a, um, an apple executive, you spoke with the apple conference and he thought he was rattled the apple executive a little bit.
And so you say, Hey, I spoke at the [00:39:00] Microsoft conference, um, the previous week and the apple executives said, yeah, that’s good. I guess they showed me this, this incredible advice. They gave me one and it’s called. There was, uh, it, he said, and it, it plays so many songs that it’s so much better. Then, then there’s the iPod and the apple executives, turnarounds, I undoubtedly.
And that was the end of the conversation. And it brings up the point of, should you be focused on your competitors or should you be competing against yourself? And should the paranoid be, how am I actually developing myself as an entrepreneur versus looking over my shoulder? What everyone else is doing around me?
Should I be focused on myself as this apple executives mindset was I’m competing against myself. How do I [00:40:00] make my products better? How do I make my improve my mindset and so forth and moving forward. And it’s, it’s in his book, Simon Sinek’s book, the infinite game. He talks a bit about this, and it’s a really interesting concept of the difference between companies that play the infinite game, uh, versus companies a play like the static game.
It’s been pure paranoid about something very different and being paranoid about, am I learning? Am I expanding? Am I increasing my capacities? So Colin, is that more important? Doing something like that, like Simon Sinek was advocating versus paying attention. When I was saying before, they’re doing a SWAT analysis saying, what are my strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.
What are my competitors doing? What are they doing over here? What are they doing over there? Is there a balance for a, an [00:41:00] entrepreneur? Like what should they be focusing on? Or should it be all about them and expanding their own capacity? Okay. So I don’t think there’s anything wrong with doing a SWOT analysis.
I’m sorry, like you’re going to sit there and you’re gonna spend a half an hour. You’re gonna figure it out. Your team’s gonna figure it out. You’re going to try to understand exactly what’s going on in your marketplace. Um, look, our biggest enemy more often than not is not our competitors. It is ourselves.
Okay. We are. We have laws, we hold ourselves back and we don’t often get out of the way of ourselves to allow our companies to scale. This is a problem. We talked about this on a number of episodes a couple of weeks ago on different, a different show. But the fact of the matter is entrepreneurs fail to scale and they fail to get beyond themselves [00:42:00] because they are holding themselves back and.
I don’t know, Michael, I was sort of going in a different direction here, what you’re asking, but, um, yeah. It’s, it’s it’s yeah. Yeah. I think it’s interesting. The fact that, uh, one of the things I’ve noticed about many business, uh, businesses is they’ll grow to the capacity capacities of their founder or the grow, the capacities of the entrepreneur.
That’s driving. And if that entrepreneur doesn’t expand their own capacities and get input into them and develop themselves and everything like that, eventually they’ll tap that. Um, and I’ve seen it in organization after organization, whether it’s a, um, a not-for-profit, whether it’s for a business or whatever, it just taps up.
It’s exactly. Same thing. I want to bring this back to be a bit more personal because we are on the complete entrepreneur. It’s in your relationships with your significant others. I [00:43:00] think that that is so true as well. Is what is your capacities, uh, your capacity to expand your relationship? What does that mean to expand your relationship?
Like, I’ll look at myself on that. My, my wife, who I’ve been married for 34 years now. And I remember when I was first going out with her, I thought, oh my gosh, this is the most incredible girl I’ve ever met in my life. I love her so much and I couldn’t possibly love her even more 34 years later or thereabouts.
Um, and, and I look, and I think I was so naive. What I didn’t realize that over time is I’m sowing into the relationship continuously. The level of love grows dramatically. Um, and if I bring a level of paranoia into that relationship, that’s a way of destroying that. So is that wrong? So in my business relationships, my level of trust and commitment [00:44:00] to say, in my case with PAC logic, we have some, uh, business relationships been 15 years now.
And there’s a level of trust. There there’s a level of almost comradery. And if I bring suddenly noise into those relationships, am I the being begin to destroy them? As Jeff said earlier on bed, uh, one of the people he worked with had that mindset is that, is that just going to destroy? Well, then we had the SWAT analysis we call on.
You mentioned, um, um, that’s a good and healthy thing to do, and we need to be a little bit paranoid. The whole point of a SWOT analysis is almost having an aspect of paranoia. So what is it? The longevity of a business, like you talked about the castle and the moat earlier on Colin. And I actually believe you’re right in that.
Yeah. Yeah. We’ve got the gazelle and the cheetah, but we have the castle in the mode and at some point in time, the [00:45:00] business does grow out. And it puts its roots down and develops those long-term relationships and those long-term relationships that really help it to thrive and not just become a castle, become a mega castle.
So what stops the entrepreneur? Um, from developing from a little house to a castle, with a moat to a mega castle, like w what is that? Is it a mindset thing Colin, you think, or is it lack of paranoia or they bring paranoia to their relationships? They destroy them, or like, what is it that then is, um, uh, undoing many entrepreneurs?
I don’t think there’s a one simple answer, but I will say this, that there are 28 million small businesses. 99% of businesses are small businesses. 99% of businesses fail to scale. And we spent two weeks on that topic on the cereal out per hour, [00:46:00] which is recorded at startup that club. If you want to listen to these sessions, I mean, but we’re really trying to decode this.
We’re really trying to figure this stuff out. Um, but I don’t think there is one clear answer as to why that is the case. I will say that if I was to point to one thing that might be predominant in all these scenarios, it’s the entrepreneur. It is the entrepreneur that fails to get out of their own way.
What made them succeed as a small business does not allow them to succeed as they try to scale to become a bigger company. And there’s a lot of different things that go into that. Um, but I think particularly the personality of the individual is probably what’s holding them back the most. And if they can come to that realization, if they can recognize that they have these weaknesses, that they have these, these issues that hold them back, I [00:47:00] believe they can actually step through that.
Take the red pill and scale or company. There was a matrix matrix, a matrix. Yeah, let me tell you. Yeah, it’s a red of the blue pill for the matrix, the red pill. I can’t remember which one’s good. Exactly. Do you want to see you say goodbye to everything you’ve always known. It’s almost like, yes. The blue pill is the good one or the bad, probably the matrix movie has got a blue and a red pill.
And that’s all I know, but yeah, it’s an interesting, interesting question. And this whole issue around. Um, paranoia and uncomfortableness and what’s the scaling, the issues and all that sort of thing. And, and how it comes back to the entrepreneur. Olivia, it’s great to have you on the stage and, um, here at the complete entrepreneur.
And do you have any thoughts on this [00:48:00] topic? Yes. Thank you. Um, I’ve actually never thought of. Um, as paranoia, but now I’m like thinking about it. I’ve had to learn the hard way, um, to start keeping myself accountable with my irrational fears. Um, I’m a single mom and I feel like my, uh, entrepreneurial mindset works very well in my type of family.
Um, and I’ve had to learn how to recognize irrational fears over positive theory. Uh, when it’s an irrational fear is a fear that paralyzes you and it’s not healthy, it doesn’t help at all. But when it’s a positive or healthy fear, it’s keeping you safe basically. So throughout the years, I’ve learned to start analyzing my fears and bringing it down to earth into fact to actually use it to my advantage instead of the fear paralyzing me and not moving forward, basically.
Um, and [00:49:00] also I think the personality. Thing that Colin was talking about is very important too. Like if you get stuck in problems, like you’re not going to move forward. So you have to learn somehow how to start solving those problems or things that come your way. Instead of getting stuck to just look for solutions, to be, and be open for those solutions and try things.
And I don’t know, like the whole analyzing my fears has helped so much and not getting stuck and actually moving.
Well, let me tell you, you bring up a great point there. Olivia, let me tell you, are you, are you a deer in headlights? That’s the question is that you’ve got that irrational fear does grabs you and that’s the next level of paranoia, um, or where you have the mindset of, I know it’s the train coming in at the end of the tunnel.
If there’s the train’s going to run me over or is it just the end of that? And the burst forth as [00:50:00] an entrepreneur, into a fabulous landscape of abundance. Yeah. What is it? And, uh, having that, that mindset of and recognizing is it or irrational fear or is it rational? Like, let me tell you if that is the train coming down to the downtown and you want to make sure you step off the tracks.
Um, and, uh, on the other hand, it’s not always the truth. It could be just the end of the tunnel and that’s what you’ve been waiting for it. And as Teresa said earlier, it was like, that’s the vision. You’ve actually been fighting the hallways entrepreneur to get there. You’re exhausted. You’re running out and you finally achieve your.
And that is it time to reset your vision? Um, and is that an aspect of paranoia itself that you know what I I’ve got there and now I need to go along and reset. I’ve got there now. I need to reset. I’ve got there. Well, one of the things I’ve [00:51:00] noticed from this conversation that we’ve been having together today is the whole aspect of it’s comes back to the entrepreneur and the capacities of the entrepreneur and the mindset of the entrepreneur.
Here’s a question I may throw to you, Jeff. Um, which would be an interesting one. Is that, how do you think that many entrepreneurs or what can entrepreneurs do to expand their mindset? What is it that you found has been useful for you? That’s allowed you to break out of the limiting capacity that you inadvertently bring to whatever adventure or enterprise you’re involved with?
Hmm. Okay. It’s a deep, deep question, Michael, I’ll try my best two minutes for this one. Yeah. Um, well I think, you know, obviously, you know, mindset, attitude is important, you know, that, that whole idea of, [00:52:00] of, you know, to Mario Andretti’s point being on the edge, I think you have to understand that you’re not going to know everything.
Right away, you know, especially if you’re starting a new business, especially if you’re a first time entrepreneur and you have to be willing to, to go outside of your comfort zone and. Take on new challenges that you’ve never done before. The good news is in today’s world. There’s so many resources available to learn, you know, online.
So if someone mentioned something to you and you, you didn’t know about it, you can find out by Googling it and almost find a quick tutorial on anything to at least get started. But I also know. You know, you touched on it before not using this term, but I think it’s really important. Not only should a, should a entrepreneur be paranoid because only the paranoid survive and not only should be the, they be uncomfortable because, you know, if you’re not a little bit nervous, you’re not driving fast enough, but they also need to be self-aware and self-awareness [00:53:00] is really important.
And yes. By self-awareness. I mean that you need to come to understand your strengths and your weaknesses, because we all have them. And as an entrepreneur, if you’re self-aware and you know, the things that you do very well and contribute very well to the growth of your company because of it. But you also need to know the things that, you know what I’m not, I’m not really, I’m not that guy or that gal, and I need to bring someone on or find someone on my team.
Who’s going to be able to do that far better. Uh, than I could ever do it. And that self-awareness is really important, not just individually, but for the company. I think it’s important for an entrepreneur to be self-aware about where their company sits in the world. You know, um, if you’re not a biotech company out there to cure cancer, you may not.
Act as if you are right. If you’re not really saving the world and there’s nothing wrong with that, every entrepreneur is saving the world in a way, because you’re providing jobs and income for families. And that’s, that’s a [00:54:00] wonderful service that virtually by definition, every business provides if you’re hiring any employees.
So, so you are saving the world a little bit at a time, but you’re not saving the world in the way that maybe other companies or industries are so carriers. And carry your company in a way that’s appropriate for your place in the world. And I call that corporate self-awareness. So I don’t know if I answered your question or came even close, but that’s what I’ve said.
Yeah. Look, Jeff. I think it was really interesting the way you asked that question, but it’s also be about being self-aware and it’s really developing your emotional intelligence and understanding what makes you, you. To me, the adventure of life is not how much money do I finally I’m making and having my bank, the bench of life is actually discovering things about.
And what, what, you’re good at what you’re not good at, but it’s not just a skill set. It’s [00:55:00] the mindset? Like what, what is it about our minds that, uh, we we’d lock out as entrepreneurs from certain behaviors? Well, not other behaviors. What is about the mindset of an entrepreneur that says I’m going to take this risk?
Well, other people weren’t, what is it about the mindset of an entrepreneur that pushes us? And it’s all these things are really interesting. And this is a sort of thing we discussed in the complete entrepreneur. It’s been wonderful having everyone here with us, but before we close things out, This has been a discussion I’ve thoroughly enjoyed and really appreciate my fellow moderators and also its speakers.
So comes to the stage. It’s tackling the issue of paranoia is almost one we could unpack week after week after week. You know, um, it’s been paranoid is a state of mind, but one of the things I’ve found from this conversation, [00:56:00] which has really helped enlighten me is it’s all about expanding the capacities of the entrepre.
And, you know, as we expand our own capacities, we’re going to expand. Our relationships will deepen our relationships with loved ones will go long and expand the relationships with our business partners in that process, all those sort of things begin to wrap. And around and centered around the capacities of the entrepreneur.
And this is the complete entrepreneur you’ve been listened to. But before we wrap things up completely, I want to hand it back to Michelle. Michelle, tell us what’s going on with startup.club. Oh, there’s been a whole lot of really interesting and exciting. Oh, my gosh, you know, things are moving so fast and it’s super exciting, you know, it just keeps getting.
Yeah, right. Like it just keeps getting better and better. And for us, we just see so much, you know, opportunities. To work with the [00:57:00] members of the club and bring amazing content, which, you know, that’s, that’s our mantra. That’s our mission around here. So please, you know, visit our website, www.startup.club.
We, you know, do a lot of work around here to record these sessions, to write blog posts, to do transcripts so that they can live. And you have them as reference points as you like. Also, we have an email list. We’re working really hard to always get great speakers and keep, you know, keep the train on the track, so to speak.
So please sign up for the email list and when there’s really cool, exciting new content or speakers, you’ll get an email. So thank you. Yeah. Like, can I, I just want to emphasize that as well, is that, um, we talked about. About the entrepreneurs need to expand. Their incapacity is one of the best ways you can do that as learn from other entrepreneurs.
And that’s what startup club is all about. [00:58:00] If you haven’t signed up for the email, um, listen, you’re not going to get spammed. I can tell you that. Number one, um, I personally have signed up for it. Um, and the reason why I signed up, because I want to expand my own capacity. And it’s one of the easiest ways to do that is to learn from others and what a great environment club has provided us to be able to do that.
So this has been the complete entrepreneur. Um, it’s a session that, uh, we run every single Thursday at 5:00 PM Eastern time. And we have a great time, really unpacking what it means for the business aspects of an entrepreneur, as well as the personal side of entrepreneurship. And I, once again, I want to thank all my fellow moderators and other people have come to the stage and openly shared their thoughts on the complete entrepreneur today.
But next week, boy, we got a topic for you. We’re doing unpacking, managing. Without the answers. How do you provide an [00:59:00] inspirational persona to yourself, your staff, suppliers, and even the bank that you have it all together when you actually need. How do you mention that world? The ambiguity that when you don’t have all the answers, because they’re just, they’re just not there yet.
The business’s business is not at that stage. It’s going to be a fantastic time. I look forward to seeing you at 5:00 PM Thursday next week Eastern time, and look, have a wonderful week. And may your business has been incredibly successful. God bless have a wonderful week. Thank you.