The Young Entrepreneur Council, Proud Media Partner of CEO GOLF:
Daniel Rounds is an innovation strategist for Fortune 500 companies in biotechnology, tech, aerospace/defense, and social enterprise.
Who is your hero? (In business, life, or both.)
I would have to say Kevin Hart. He is a relentless comedian who even after he failed (did anyone see Soul Plane?) bounced back as the most successful comedian of our generation. He has leveraged his platform to branch off into many other areas that warrant him as a successful actor, comedian, and one of our generation’s most influential individuals.
What’s the single best piece of business advice (unorthodox tips welcome!) that helped shape who you are as an entrepreneur today, and why?
A lesson that I learned during my time as a collegiate athlete (track and field): when you’re not running, someone else is. This basically means that there is always someone trying to take your spot and outduel you, whether it’s the top runner at your rival school or a competitor in your respective market. Make sure you put in the work.
What’s the biggest mistake you ever made in your business, and what did you learn from it that others can learn from too?
I stayed in a role longer than I should have. It didn’t allow many opportunities for upward mobility and growth as forecasted. The environment was very bureaucratic and not conducive to the millennial ideology due to the “it’s always been done this way” stigma. When you are no longer learning, growing, or making the impact you intended to make for a certain initiative, it’s time to move on. Always seek new challenges. Real growth occurs on the cusp of discomfort, so constantly force yourself to live on that cusp.
What do you do during the first hour of your business day and why?
The first hour of my day consists of writing down three to five things that I want to accomplish that day and numbering them by priority level. I still prefer to use loose leaf paper as opposed to typing them out on my computer or phone; I feel a heightened sense of accomplishment when I cross out each task one by one. Getting my first hour done right is critical because it’s likely to be the most productive time of my day. This way, I don’t get bogged down by emails, meetings, or conference calls. I take care of my most pressing issues immediately and schedule the rest for later in the day.
What’s your best financial/cash-flow related tip for entrepreneurs just getting started?
Frugality is essential when you’re starting your entrepreneurial journey. Sometimes you don’t know when or where your next round of funding will come from. If money is scarce in the beginning, then you have to be lean in order to make sure you can cover the basics.
Quick: What’s ONE thing you recommend ALL aspiring or current entrepreneurs do right now to take their biz to the next level?
Make sure that you know and believe in your “why.” As Simon Sinek discussed in his TED talk, “How Great Leaders Inspire Action,” this concept is essential to your brand.
What’s your definition of success? How will you know when you’ve finally “succeeded” in your business?
I will succeed in my business when millennials no longer have to think about how, if, why, or when they can be involved in philanthropy and social good initiatives. I will succeed when my services can give everyone in the world the means, resources and accessibility to make a change in the world. My dream is to create technology for millennials that makes an immediate impact in whenever, whatever, or however they choose. I want to change the way people look at philanthropy and make it the new swag. I want folks “swiping right” for social good.