Startup Strong!

You’ve heard the stats. Only 10% of startups survive beyond the first five years. The first three years of business don’t even show a profit. On and on they go.

This is the reality for most new startup ventures. But it doesn’t have to be for you.

I’ll let you in on the startup secret sauce I’ve discovered after more than 40 years in the business and entrepreneurial world. All the successful startups I’ve seen have these three traits in common.

If you don’t get these right, you’ll get frustrated fast. You’ll stay busy but not get much done. You’ll feel like success is just out of reach or only for “other” people as you watch your dreams slip away a little more every day.

If you want to be a part of the 10% of startups that explode with growth instead of the 90% that fail, you must have these three ingredients. Without them, your chances of failing are 100 times greater, in my book.

Let’s dive in…

#1 — Get Comfortable With Risk (It’s the key to breakthrough success)

“Shoot for the moon. If you miss, you will still land among the stars.”

— Norman Vincent Peale

“What you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.”

— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

This should go without saying, but startups are risky. Everyone involved in the company — whether we’re talking about investors, the CEO or the employees — is risking something.

In a successful startup, not only is everyone OK with this but they’re excited by it. High risk can yield high reward.

And while the reward of success is even greater than most people think, the reason the risk energizes us to strive for it is because…

#2 — Create Contagious Buy-in (Belief drives behavior)

“Customers will never love a company until the employees love it first.”

— Simon Sinek, author of Start With Why

If a startup is going to succeed, everyone has to buy into the company’s beliefs. Every single person has to be 100% convinced and committed.

That means the right employees have to be found, hired and put into place.

You as the leader or primary investor of the business have to instill your company’s values in each of your employees and partners and investors.

Talk about them all the time and make them feel valued. They have to be real in your life first, and then others will buy in.

#3 — Build Around a Great Idea (Schedule time to think)

“Capital isn’t that important in business. Experience isn’t that important. You can get both of     these things. What is important is ideas.”

— Harvey S. Firestone

A great idea drives the startup ship. Without a good idea, how will employees buy into the company? How will you convince investors to fund you? How will your startup have an impact on the world?

Great ideas turn into great products. Great products turn into great money.

Without a great idea, your startup is dead in the water.

In the best cases, the product sells itself. That’s HUGE when you start talking marketing and advertising strategy.

Before you even start, make your idea the best it possibly can be. You’ll thank yourself later.

Believe in Yourself

This concept is pretty simple: If you don’t believe in yourself, then who will? To be successful, you have to bet on yourself. If your ultimate goal is to run your own business one day, then you have to think — and know — that running your own business is possible.

Having a positive attitude goes along with this concept as well and it will drive your startup to new horizons!

Success is the one thing that we all strive for. But while we all create goals and dreams, our paths are likely all different in some way. Some paths are rockier than others, for instance.

While there is no blueprint to success, we can change up lifestyles and mindsets to try to get closer to our startup goals and dreams. That is why we have devised some simple ways to find success — because by changing up your mindset and staying positive, you can realistically achieve anything.

Our conversation goes on, so email me your reader questions at

Sent from a Shark,

Kevin Harrington