1. Who is your hero?
Richard Branson for his fearlessness. Rick Caruso for bringing life into his developments. My mother for being an example of strength, work ethic, deep unconditional love and integrity.
2. What’s the single best piece of business advice that helped shape who you are as an entrepreneur today, and why?
Allow yourself to have micro failures along the way — that’s where genius and growth live. On the flip side, when making a decision that has a long-term consequence, evaluate all the details and how they will impact you on all fronts: financially, legally, emotionally, operationally, etc.
3. 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 made a mistake in considering different roles in my company as equal to mine and to each other. No two roles are equal. Know your role and make sure others in your organization know theirs. The team will operate effectively when everyone knows their place in the organization.
4. What do you do during the first hour of your business day and why?
I review my to-do list, and it’s not just any to-do list. It’s broken down by categories of operation and timeline. I start my day by making sure I am on the right track. Also, from time to time I have breakfast out of the house. It helps me set the tone for the day and gather my thoughts before I focus on any one thing.
5. What’s your best financial or cash-flow related tip for entrepreneurs just getting started?
Entrepreneurs often make the mistake of forgetting to include themselves in their financial forecasts. Remember to put YOU in the budget. How much do you need to make at each stage of your growth in order to be on top of your game? Another thing to mention is to make sure you have a very realistic worst-case scenario. Do not pour a ton of money into a project or a business right away. Always spend small amounts and grow in increments.
6. Quick: What’s ONE thing you recommend ALL aspiring or current entrepreneurs do right now to take their biz to the next level?
Develop a very clear rationale for why you are starting this business. You will need that why to carry you through the days, months and years. You will need it to develop your marketing angle, your operational structure and your company culture. Be detailed!
7. What’s your definition of success? How will you know when you’ve finally “succeeded” in your business?
Success evolves over time. If I told you my definition today, when I reach it, my definition will be different. Much like happiness, the feeling of success is fleeting. Some may think of this as a negative. I think success and happiness are fleeting for a reason: you’re never finished. Continue to grow and focus on what you can be grateful for and what you can improve on instead of focusing on the end game. You’ll enjoy the process a lot more that way!