Showing posts with label entrepreneur. Show all posts
Showing posts with label entrepreneur. Show all posts

Friday, April 29, 2016

7 Reasons Why a Drug Dealer is a Better Entrepreneur Than You

7 Reasons Why a Drug Dealer is a Better Entrepreneur Than You
Sebastian Dillon - May 13, 2014

Drug Dealers have usually always been looked-down upon within society, but if you take a closer look at some of today’s most successful entrepreneurs, they started out as drug dealers. Jay Z, P. Diddy, and 50 Cent all used drug dealing as a means of survival and reaching success.

Some studies have also shown that successful entrepreneurs and drug dealers are actually cut from the same cloth. In a paper titled “Drug dealing and legitimate self-employment,” economist Rob Fairlie notes a statistical relationships between being a teen drug dealer and being an entrepreneur as an adult. Fairlie argues that the same characteristics that lead people to become entrepreneurs as adults also lead them to be drug dealers as teenagers.

With that being said, here are seven reasons why a drug dealer is a better entrepreneur than you are.

They face way tougher competitors.
In the business world, a competitor can try to mess with you by offering lower prices or copying you. In the drug world, if you do things like accidentally selling in someone else’s corner, you potentially face pain and even death for you and your whole family. Dealing with situations like this while having to make sure your product is still good and your operations are running smoothly is something no startup entrepreneur will ever have to face. Take this Quora user’s account of his time as a drug dealer:

“I was threatened with knives. Once a guy with four spiked rings on his hand was a second from punching me in the face. I’ve had guns pointed at my head.”
As a startup founder, I think it’s safe to say that you’ll never have a gun pointed at your head, not literally at least.

They know the true meaning of risk-taking.
Say you build a startup, what is the WORST thing that can happen to you? Losing money? Bankruptcy? Getting a bad reputation? In the drug world, you’re not only constantly facing death, but you also risk getting caught and jailed. For someone that goes into drug dealing with this reality in mind, you know you are going absolutely all-in with hopes of seeing success.

Many millennial startup founders today have a safety-net, whether it’s their parents or a full-time job to handle. It’s rare to see something that is truly risking everything in order to succeed.

They’re laser-focused on the bottom-line.
Drug dealers have only one goal: to make Money. This is the core of why businesses succeed and survive.

Because of all the stories of startups getting acquired for billions of dollars with no revenue, entrepreneurs everywhere think they than start a company without thinking about how to make money at all. In a past interview with serial entrepreneur Scott Gerber, he explained:

“…I need more than enough people that are 18-20-somethings that simply say, “I’ll figure out the money equation later.” And I think that’s the stupidest way to think about business because at the end of the day, less than probably 2% of people that start a business are ever going to see a dollar of real investment money.”
Having passion is obviously great, but you will need to focus on the bottom-line longterm if you want your business to thrive.

They know that it’s all about the product.
People may buy from you the first time, but if your drugs suck or they feel ripped off, you won’t get repeat customers unless you’re completely scraping at the bottom of the barrel. Every successful business starts with a quality product so you need to spend a ton of time perfecting it. In the words of angel investor Jason Calacanis, “product speaks.” So when you’ve actually produced a top-notch product, it will market itself.

They know how to manage people.
Notorious drug kingpin Freeway Rick Ross was known for managing over 1000 drug dealers and was making $2 million a day back in his prime. How did he do it? He genuinely cared about people and always looked for ways to keep his subordinates happy.

“…when my guys would go to prison, I would try to go out and [try] to get the best attorney I could. I would try to bail them out of jail immediately, and do all the things that they needed to put their life back on track, because that’s the way I would’ve wanted for somebody to do for me.”
Being able to keep your team in check at all times while making sure they like working with you is a concept that many startup entrepreneurs today have yet to grasp. Take Clinkle founder Lucas Duplan for instance, he raised $30 million for his startup and is known for treating his employees like shit. One of his former employees goes as far as saying that working for him “was like going through an abusive relationship.”

They can sell and know customer service.
Let’s face it, as underground as the drug dealing business is, there are tons are people doing it. What is going to separate you from everyone else? Take some notes from Freeway Rick Ross:

“People buy from people they like, so in the drug business people came and bought from me because not only did I have good drugs, but they also like me. They wanted to see me do good, and when people want to see you do good, they’re going to help you. They would rather bring their Money to you because you treat them like somebody than go to this other guy who’s going to talk to him bad, cuss him out, slap them when they short. You know, my customers come to me and they were short, I would give them some on credit. And I think people appreciated that.”
This is customer service 101. Keeping your customers happy is not an easy thing to do, and I see many new businesses struggle with this. This is the reason Zappos is so successful- they make sure everything they do starts with great customer service.

They’re creative marketers.
When building a startup, it can be tough to budget out Money for paid advertising. When it comes to drug dealing, you don’t have the luxury of publicly promoting it even if you had the Money. So they have to resort to being more creative like researching and choosing the right places to sell, as well as networking with the right people to gain more customers. Lead generation is a huge challenge that many new startups have and I personally find it amazing how clueless entrepreneurs can be when it comes to it.

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Written by Sebastian Dillion


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Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Monday, March 16, 2015

5 Steps to Build a Million-Dollar Business in One Year

Some people go their entire lives without earning a million dollars, so it sounds crazy that some businesses might be able to achieve this milestone within their first year. But it is possible. Plenty of businesses have achieved this goal, and you can too!
Pay attention to the following tips and use them to help power up your revenue growth:

1. Find a growing market

One of the easiest ways to build a million-dollar company in such a short period of time is to find a growing trend and ride it to the top. Take the example of Micah Adler, CEO of mobile app developer Fiksu, which grew from less than $1 million to $100 million in just three and a half years -- with only $17.6 million in venture capital -- following its 2010 launch.
Certainly, Adler’s success comes in part from building great products, but it also comes from his timing. In 2012, just two years after Fiksu’s launch, mobile-app development represented $19 billion in revenue and was experiencing annual growth of more than 60 percent a year. Finding a growing market of your own like this can put you on the fast track to massive revenue growth.

2. Think monetization from the start

It seems strange to think about objectively, but some startups start without any obvious monetization strategies. Twitter is one example of this phenomenon, but there are countless other companies out there building up their free user bases, hoping that inspiration -- and, consequently, financial stability -- will strike along the way.
If you want to grow a million-dollar company in your first year, you can’t afford to think that way!
Most profitable companies operate from one of two models: either they sell a lot of inexpensive products to a lot of people or they sell a few big-ticket items to a more limited buyer list. Neither model is easier or inherently better than the other. What’s more important than choosing is having a defined plan for monetization. Knowing how you’ll make money from the start will prevent wasted time spent hoping that something profitable will come together for you.

3. Be the best

There are plenty of mediocre products out there, but the odds are good that these companies aren’t making a million dollars or more during their first years. If you want to hit these big potential profits, you’ve got to bring something to the table that wows customers and generates buzz within your marketplace.
How can you tell if you’ve got a “best in breed” product? Look to your current customers. If you aren’t getting rave reviews online or positive comments sent to your inbox, chances are your clients aren’t as ecstatic about your product as they need to be to hit your target sales. Ask your existing customers what you can do to make your product better and then put their recommendations into place. They’ll appreciate your efforts and will go on to refer further sales to you in the future.

4. Hire all-stars

Hitting $1 million in revenue during your first year is no small feat, and you certainly aren’t going to achieve this goal with a team of underperformers. Yes, hiring these people will be cheaper and easier, but you’ll pay for this convenience when your end-of-the-year sales numbers come up short.
Instead, you need to hire all-stars, and the fastest way to do this is to ask around for referrals. Pay particular attention to the sales hires you make, as these key employees stand to make the biggest difference in your business’s bottom line. Get them on the bus and then encourage them to do whatever is necessary to close deals (pro tip: a good series of incentives won’t hurt!).

5. Consume data

Finally, if you want to shoot for the revenue moon, you need to be absolutely militant about gathering data and acting on it. When I approach a new marketing project, I prefer to work in short sprints of a few weeks or less where we’ll try something new, check the statistics to see how the changes impacted revenue and then either commit the changes or try a new test.
Do the same with your growing company. You have a veritable gold mine of information just hanging out in your Google Analytics account, so put it to good use by identifying your company’s key performance indicators (KPIs) and running tests designed to push these metrics even higher. If you aren’t able to carry out these tests on your own, bring on a rock-star analyst who can help you make sense of your numbers. When every penny counts towards reaching your $1-million-a-year goal, you’ll find these employees to be worth their weight in gold.
Growing a company to $1 million in revenue in your first year isn’t easy, but it is possible. Stick to the tips above and be ruthless about profitability -- even if you don’t hit this particular goal, you’ll earn the strongest sales results possible for your unique company.