36 Strategies For Startup Success

With every interview we feature on IdeaMensch, we take away at least one key insight about the startup world and what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur. Of course “startup success,” as we’ve learned, means different things to different people, which is precisely what makes it so fascinating to compare and cross-pollinate what we’ve heard by creating the following list. Studying all these interviews, it comes as no surprise that many of these people are where they are. This startup success advice is for anyone putting their blood, sweat and screen-time into building a big idea from the ground up.

  1. Wake up early. –Garrett Gee, Co-Founder and Engineer at Scan.me
  2. Just start. –Caitlin McCabe, Founder of Real Bullets Branding
  3. Study the market. –King del Rosario, Founder of Finisher.me
  4. Wrap your business around your values. Once you know what matters to you, it will be a lot easier to create a plan and follow through with it. –Lori Deschene, Founder of Tiny Buddha
  5. Listen to the experts and follow a simple business plan. –Brandt Smith, Co-Founder of Industrial Energy Audit Services
  6. If you do something that provides value for others, figure out how you can charge for it. That’s the only way for you to provide that value long-term. –Mario Schulzke, Founder of IdeaMensch
  7. Trust yourself and your instincts. –Paul-Frédéric Viès, Co-Founder of Voxtrot
  8. Work at least one keyword you are looking to target in Google into your URL. –Anthony Adams, Creator of The Hangover Cure
  9. Learn from your mistakes. –Ashley Bodi, Co-Founder of Business Beware
  10. Start offering your service manually via email and only invest to automate if it sticks. –Phil Michaelson, Founder of KartMe.com
  11. Take bigger risks. Sometimes you just need to shoot first and aim second. –Gaston Javurek, Founder of No One Without
  12. Work out of a co-working space. It really does take a community to foster growth…” –Joe Miller, Founder of Print a Forest
  13. Believe. Believe. Believe. –Emily Wilkinson, Creator of the botlfilter
  14. Find mentors. Meeting and building relationships with people who have already found success is vital to finding your own. –Andrew Loos, Managing Partner and Co-Founder of Attack!
  15. Read. Read. Read. Don’t stop reading. –Mitch Joel, Author of Six Pixels of Separation
  16. Be nice to people. –Justin Johnson, Director of Digital Strategy at Lunchbox
  17. If you have a technology company, code as little as possible until you can validate that your approach is right. –Elizabeth Yin, CEO and Co-Founder of LaunchBit
  18. Don’t be timid. Challenge your own assumptions (which first must be unearthed) as rigorously as you do others’. –Pat Ford, Executive Director of Save Our Wild Salmon Coalition
  19. Save some time for self-reflection. –Monica Hahn
  20. Spend time completing the following sentence about your company (if you can fill in the blanks with clear, definitive, information-filled words, you will have solved 50% of your marketing challenges): We are a ______________ company, that provides _________________ to _______________, which is better than __________________ because __________________. –Gavin Finn, CEO of Kaon Interactive
  21. Monitor your time burn as well as your cash burn. –Brian Shields, Co-Founder of #IncubateNYC
  22. Listen to your body and mind, and take breaks when you need to. –Alexis Peterka, Founder of Stayhound
  23. It pays to focus on where you’d rather be, not on the obstacle in front of you. –Dave Turnbull, Co-Founder of Chrometoaster
  24. Simplify and keep things manageable. –Dayson Pais, Founder and Janitor of Textme
  25. Start a blog and make it your mission to write a post every day. –Jamie Lin, Founder of Taiwan’s Leading Startup Incubator
  26. Always be selling… as an entrepreneur, you have to sell people all day every day. Every meeting and every chance encounter is an opportunity to sell your idea, and you should never let an opportunity to sell pass you by. –Siva Kumar, CEO and Co-Founder of TheFind
  27. Don’t let yourself get caught in the daily grind and stress. –Marc Nager, CEO of Startup Weekend
  28. Talk to your customers all the time. –Julien Mayot, Co-Founder of Blue Orange Games
  29. Maintain your integrity at every turn. –Tammy Mastroberte, Founder of Elevated Existence Magazine
  30. Say yes. –Jennifer Morehead, Founder of Lockboxer
  31. Host an event. But don’t just pick a time, place, and theme. Coordinate with local
 companies–stores, eateries, etc. –Jill Salzman, The Momtrepreneur Maven
  32. Don’t wait until you’re successful to be happy. If you do, you’ll never be happy because your brain will keep changing what “success” means. Reverse the formula so you start by focusing on creating authentic happiness; then your brain’s success rates will rise. –Shawn Achor, Author of The Happiness Advantage
  33. Be ahead of the market–but not too far ahead. –Seth Sternberg, CEO and Co-Founder of Meebo
  34. Focus all of your energy on one company if you want to create something big. –Neil Patel, Co-Founder of KISSmetrics
  35. Hire smart people and don’t accept mediocrity. –Daniel Carroll, Founder of Wealthfront.com
  36. Stay curious. –Bernie Pitzel, Creative in Residence at Jacobs Agency

Do you have any startup success advice? Comment below.

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