Jeff Hoffman is a successful entrepreneur, proven CEO, worldwide motivational speaker, published author, Hollywood film producer, and even the producer of a Grammy-winning jazz album. He has been part of a number of well-known companies and billion-dollar startups, including Priceline.com. uBid.com, ColorJar, and more.
Jeff now spends most of his time mentoring entrepreneurs, and in this episode he shares valuable tools that the most ambitious and hard-working individuals in Gen Z (that’s you!) can use to design their own future through entrepreneurialism.
Driven by Desire
Jeff isn’t driven by some innate entrepreneurial trait – his entrepreneurialism stems from wanting something he doesn’t have, which no one will give to him.
So it isn’t about simply being born an entrepreneur, but instead having a goal that requires a lot of work hard to achieve.
For example, Jeff started his first company on the second day of college. He went to a school that he couldn’t afford (Yale), but he wanted that degree and there was no other way to get it. His only options were giving up (which wasn’t really an option) or buckling down and making some money, because no one else was going to give it to him.
Over the years, Jeff has noticed that this is a trend: the most successful entrepreneurs are driven by a goal greater than their income.
Failure is Part of the Process
If you never fail, you’re just not pushing hard enough; people that push the edge trip and fall.
You shouldn’t necessarily celebrate failure, but you should accept it, shake it off, and keep going.
Networking is Necessary
You won’t get far in any industry if you don’t have connections, and that means you have to go meet people. You won’t meet people sitting in your dorm, at home, or at your desk.
Just showing up isn’t enough – you have to be engaged and listen, and not just at networking events. You should build your network all the time, everywhere you are.
You will probably have to get out of your comfort zone, but that’s okay – if you’re driven by a goal greater than yourself, you’ll put in the work.
At Launch: Focus on a Short-Term Plan, Create Long-Term Architecture
Startup founders generally need to focus on the first two years before they concern themselves with years three, four, and five. If they don’t perform well in those first two years, they won’t have a third.
However, founders also need to lay down a solid foundation for growth. Think about scale, and make sure the architecture you put in place will allow it… but don’t worry about implementing it until you have a small business.