141: Guy Kawasaki: Lessons Learned From a Lifetime of Entrepreneurship

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Guy Kawasaki is the chief evangelist of Canva, an online, graphics-design service, and an executive fellow at the Haas School of Business at U.C. Berkeley. Formerly, he was an advisor to the Motorola business unit of Google and chief evangelist of Apple. He is the author of The Art of the Start 2.0, The Art of Social Media, Enchantment, and ten other books. Guy has a BA from Stanford University and an MBA from UCLA as well as an honorary doctorate from Babson College.

Favorite Success Quote

“If you believe it, you will see it” ~ Jesus Christ

Key Points

1. Things Are Seldom as Good or Bad as You Think

In life, you will be presented with numerous challenges and triumphs. Accompanying these experiences will be a roller coaster of emotions from tear drenched depression and frustration to euphoric highs of achievement. However, despite what you may feel in the present moment, things are rarely as good or bad as they appear.

The failure in your business or relationship is not the end of the world, and generating your first 7 figure company is not as life-alteringly incredible as it once seemed. As the Latin proverb states “En medio stat veritas,” the truth lays in the middle.

Learn to see life’s struggles and accomplishments for what they truly are and always keep perspective on the good and the bad.

2. Life is Short

Don’t waste  time waiting for tomorrow. If you want to build the business, build it, if you want to talk to the girl, do it, if you want to pack up and travel the world, now is as good a time as any. Do not wait for all the lights to turn green or for the stars to align, if you want something, make it happen. The only certainty in life is death, act in accordance.

3. Your Customer Cannot Tell You What They Want

Your customers are an excellent source for improving existing products, but they lack the innovation and vision to tell you what they really want. They did not know that they wanted an iPhone or Amazon.com or any of the other industry shattering creations of the past. It is up to you as a producer and entrepreneur to innovate and create something that alters the way the industry works

4. The Goal is To Ship

Your goal as a businessman is not to secure funding or build capital, but to ship. Ship your product or service as soon as humanly possible. Then, after you have shipped; learn, improve and ship again.

5. Tell a Story

If you want to connect with a customer or client, tell a story. Don’t hash out the same, dried up marketing hype surrounding every new product. Tell them a story that they can relate to, tell them a story about what your product can do for their lives, tell them a story about who you are and why you are doing what you are doing.

If you can engage your audience into your story, into your journey, you have a much greater chance of closing the sale and building customer loyalty in the long term.

6. Man Up

Quit whining, grow a pair, and put in the work. Quit bitching about how unfair life is and make something of it. If you want something, than go after it, pursue your goals tirelessly, never quit, and at the end of the day, you will achieve what you want.

7. Take Advantage of Opportunity

The biggest key to being a successful entrepreneur is to have the ability to seek out and take advantage of opportunity. When you see a viable opportunity, don’t be like most people who simply say “That’s a great idea,” or “Someone will make millions off that one day.” See the opportunity and take it. You never know when you may pass up on the next billion dollar enterprise

8. Work Your Ass Off

“Good things come to those who wait, but only things left by those who hustle.” ~Abraham Lincoln

You cannot sit on the sidelines and expect the world to hand you the life of your dreams. You have to be willing to put in the work to make it happen. Wake up before everyone else, stay longer, train harder, invest more, educate yourself more. Do not settle for mediocre work. Strive to be above average, to be extraordinary.

Be willing to put in more work than anybody could reasonably expect of you, and you will achieve the results you want in less time than anyone could reasonably expect of you.

Influential Books

1. If You Want to Write by Brenda Ueland

2. Influence by Robert Cialdini

3. Absolute Value by Itimar Simonson

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Connect with Guy Kawasaki

guykawasaki.com

canva.com

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