In honor of World Entrepreneurs’ Day on August 21, we invited Swag.com Co-Founder and CEO Jeremy Parker to share the lessons he’s learned so far as an entrepreneur. We hope this can inspire anyone with a great idea they want to bring to life!
My business partner, Josh Orbach and I cofounded Swag.com in 2016. In five and half years, we’ve grown the team to over 60 people and have been listed as one of the top 500 fastest growing companies in the US for the past two years.
Here are the most valuable things I’ve learned about entrepreneurship so far:
- Things won’t always work out the way you expected… and that’s okay. When things go wrong, focus on what you learned and improve. Most people don’t become entrepreneurs for the fear of failure. Be okay with failure — that’s the secret. Once you are comfortable with failure and you can accept that it’s going to happen, often on a daily basis, nothing can get in your way.
- Consistency is key. You don’t need to be perfect every single day, but try to be better today than yesterday. It all compounds.
- Learn to love sales. When starting a business, you are always selling: you’re trying to attract early employees to join you, bring on different partners, raise money, get early customers. Five and a half years later, I am still selling every day!
- Startups are a team sport! Your team is the most important thing. I’ve had to learn this the hard way at times, but 99% of the time it’s worth the wait to find the best fit. Dedication and willingness to learn are especially valuable traits in early startup team members.
- Always be open minded to learning new things. About 90% of what we build at Swag.com is directly based off customer feedback. Having an open mind and being willing to change your focus with new data is super important.
- Time management is insanely necessary. I used to say yes to everything, but over the years I’ve realized that I was just burning myself out. To be the most effective leader, you need to be able to say no. No is a powerful thing. It frees up time to focus on the most important tasks.
Interested in speaking with Jeremy about startups, Swag.com and more? Reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org to get in touch!