TouchSuite CEO Touches on 9 Key Aspects of Being an Entrepreneur
To be a successful entrepreneur you need the right mix of passion, people, and persistence. That’s the key takeaway from a recent Smart Hustle interview with Sam Zietz, CEO and founder of TouchSuite. Sam bootstrapped his business and skyrocketed it to success as one of the country’s leading financial technology companies. In this interview, he shares with me his wisdom, story of success and nine key aspects of being an entrepreneur.
Although Sam devotes his working hours to TouchSuite, a point of sale system for restaurants, salons, spas and retail establishments, his daily life never strays far from entrepreneurialism. His three children are very interested in the topic, including a 9 year old who takes entrepreneur lessons to heart, a 13 year old who is starting his own business in the video game realm, and a 14 year old who already has her own company that does over $1 million per year in lacrosse sales.
Entrepreneurism is what they talk about at the dinner table, and if we were a fly on the wall, here are some of the most important words of advice that we’d hear:
You have to be passionate about what you do, and it is that passion that will drive your success. Passion is what pushes you past the road blocks and helps you see the light at the end of the tunnel. Also, when you pursue your passion, it’s never really work. You’ll enjoy it no matter how much you’re getting paid.
It’s important to think about the culture of your business – what is it that makes us so great? Write it down and let those ideas become the core values that drive your business. These values are also a helpful recruiting tool as you add new members to the team. You want to find people who are on the same page, with the same passion and the same belief system.
You need to have great people who believe in the purpose and mission of your company. With their belief, there is no stopping them or the company. They are empowered to “act like owners” and contribute to success.
Excuses are justifications for failure, and there should be no excuses. I don’t want to hear about why you couldn’t do it – I want to hear how you hustled, never gave up, and eventually succeeded.
Problems are opportunities. If you have a problem, you aren’t the only one with that problem. And if you can find a solution, you have a great opportunity to sell that solution to others with that same problem. Every problem has a solution – now go out there and find it.
“Cash is like air – if you don’t have any, you’re dead.” Sam bootstrapped his business. He didn’t have the money to pay high price executives so he decided he’d use what he had saved and just work three times harder instead. Eventually, your recurring revenue will snowball, and you can invest more in your company.
Debt is okay, but everything should be a calculated risk. Never bet everything on one shot, because it you go all in, it could be game over.
Test your options and take multiple bets to find out what works. You may lose on nine out of ten of those bets, but the one that works can be scaled up and repeated so in the long term your gains will recoup your losses and put you ahead. There are also plenty of inexpensive things you can do, using time alone. After you’ve maxed out your time, roll the money you’ve made into paid marketing.
A mentor can help you avoid costly mistakes, so you don’t have to learn them the hard way, and also show you opportunities you weren’t aware of. All entrepreneurs need mentors.
One thing is certain: Sam’s children have a great mentor on their side. While they are enjoying meatloaf at the dinner table, their minds are also being filled with business lessons, inspiration, and the kind of entrepreneurial spirit that helped build our country and continues to fuel our competitive advantage.
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