“We don’t discover humility by thinking less of ourselves. We discover humility by thinking less about ourselves.” ~Dieter F. Uctdorf

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What I’ve learned from my six startups, 28 team members, 12 co founders and five investors

Everyone has their limit of what they are willing to give, sacrifice, and risk. It’s just that I haven’t hit mine yet.
Early on I avoided having difficult conversations, i.e holding my co founders and myself accountable.
Every goal needs a deadline.
Goals without deadlines are ships without sails.
Sweat the details from day one.
All meaningful progress comes from nailing the details.
Be willing to be wrong.
Even if you’re the ‘domain expert’ on your team.
Always be listening.
Listen first to your customers, potential users, team members, competitors and then trust your gut.
Teach what you learn.
I’m not as smart as I think I am. But I might be.
It’s easy to mistake hustle for intelligence when things are going well.
Hustle every dang day.
Don’t settle and do three things perfectly. Instead, do eight
Leaders are in fact readers.
Read to learn and for pleasure but never, ever, ever in place of taking action.
10/1 – execute/read.
Sales are the only thing that matters.
Revenue hides a multitude of mistakes. No money = no company.
Balance does not mean even.
You can be a great spouse, a wonderful parent, stay in shape and build a company at the same time but you can’t give them all equal time.
Be present.
When you’re with your team be with your team. Don’t let your mind wander. Be fully ‘in’ each moment. Same goes for customers, family, and friends.
Keep some in the tank.
Your family always gets your best, most creative, enthusiastic, optimistic, happiest self. “No other success can compensate for failure in the home.”
Perspective is a calming agent.
What I’ve learned from my six startups, 28 team members, 12 co founders and five investors

Why We Started Over After Eight Months

We built the product that we needed to generate revenue. In our case it was a robust booking engine for activity SMBs. Our revenue model is to act as a distributor for activity SMBs by connecting their inventory to sellers, mainly online travel agents and local hotel concierge desks. To eliminate the overhead associated with tour/activity distribution we needed the SMBs to adopt a software tool that would enable them to upload their inventory to our database but be useful enough for them to use on a daily basis, hence a booking engine that would allow them to accept bookings/reservations from their own website.
We did a very large amount of customer development with activity SMBs and built the product that they told us they would need in order for them to use it. Our software is robust and was built to be an 80% solution. Through cold calls, cold emails, referrals, and ‘trade shows’ we had about 70 SMBs create accounts within the first 60 days. 60 days later and half of those SMBs have used the service but not one of them are using it neither regularly or the way it was built to be used.
 
What I Learned:
-build a minimal prototype then iterate, iterate, iterate. Success will be measured through user adoption as a % week over week. In other words, how often they use it and for how long have they been an active user. More often and longer are the “up and to the right” signs we are looking for.
-this time around I’m asking myself, “What is the most bare-bones MVP that our target market will use everyday?”
Why We Started Over After Eight Months

Why My investors Love Me

I. Won’t. Quit.
I absorb wisdom from every mistake. I make a ton of mistakes.
I listen. To partners, prospects, and customers before I make decisions.
I embrace my weaknesses. Whether I lack experience in a certain situation, a skill set or knowledge I own my weaknesses and I’m not ashamed to ask for help.
I’m transparent. I used to think I needed to posture my way into business success. Then one day I realized that I’d never postured my way into anything even slightly resembling success. All the truly amazing things I have in my life have come from times when I’ve been absolutely honest.
Why My investors Love Me

Why I won’t quit

Experience is the best teacher. The longer you stay with something the better/smarter you get at that thing whether it’s playing a sport, an instrument, starting a business or building a marriage.
Quitting might save you some of the pain that inevitably comes from perseverance but it also guarantees that you’ll never feel the satisfaction of success or the gratitude that comes from persistence after failure after failure.
This is why I will never quit.
Why I won’t quit

What I learned when my technical co founder quit on New Years 2014

Everyone has their limit of what they are willing to give, sacrifice, and risk. It’s just that I haven’t hit mine yet.
Early on I avoided having difficult conversations, i.e holding my co founders and myself accountable.
Every goal needs a deadline.
Goals without deadlines are ships without sails.
Sweat the details from day one.
All meaningful progress comes from nailing the details.
Be willing to be wrong.
Even if you’re the ‘domain expert’ on your team.
Always be listening.
Listen first to your customers, potential users, team members, competitors and then trust your gut.
Teach what you learn.
I’m not as smart as I think I am. But I might be.
It’s easy to mistake hustle for intelligence when things are going well.
Hustle every dang day.
Don’t settle and do three things perfectly. Instead, do eight
Leaders are in fact readers.
Read to learn and for pleasure but never, ever, ever in place of taking action.
10/1 – execute/read.
Sales are the only thing that matters.
Revenue hides a multitude of mistakes. No money = no company.
Balance does not mean even.
You can be a great spouse, a wonderful parent, stay in shape and build a company at the same time but you can’t give them all equal time.
Be present.
When you’re with your team be with your team. Don’t let your mind wander. Be fully ‘in’ each moment. Same goes for customers, family, and friends.
Keep some in the tank.
Your family always gets your best, most creative, enthusiastic, optimistic, happiest self. “No other success can compensate for failure in the home.”
What I learned when my technical co founder quit on New Years 2014

Why I moved to Utah

I moved to Utah because I saw opportunity. I’ve always wanted to become remarkable and to do things that would change the world for good. Utah is chock full of individuals and families who have “thrown off the bowlines and left the safe harbor” in pursuit of the common good, often times with no thought for themselves or the financial repercussions of potential failure. These kinds of idealistic do-gooders have inspired me from childhood and continue still to inspire and further convince me that I can make a positive impact.

Why I moved to Utah