"If you have an income right now, don’t give it up until you are at least 90 percent sure that your side hustle can pay all the bills"
Build a Foundation
Have patience and realize that things take time to build. I also tell people to go as far as they can before they need to take investments. By the time you involve investors, you want to be able to negotiate with your best foot forward. In the late ’90s and early 2000s, any good idea could get funding. Today, people want to see some sort of success before they’re willing to invest in you.
And unless you’re a young whippersnapper right out of yeshivah with no family to look after, don’t quit your day job right away either. The idea of quitting so you can go all in may sound hunky-dory — until the electricity in your house gets shut off. Your number-one priority should be paying the bills and taking care of your family, and you can’t quit your job until you know that you can replace that income.
I know because I’ve made this mistake in the past. At the time I didn’t have another job, but I still had the pressure of paying the mortgage and bills, so I couldn’t focus on my business. If you have an income right now, don’t give it up until you are at least 90 percent sure that your side hustle can pay all the bills.
—Nachum Kligman, CEO of Book Like a Boss
Focus on Sales
It’s important to be organized and to set your business up for success. But always remember that the main thing that will forever drive your business forward is its sales. Not the fancy furniture you order for your office, not the square footage of your office, not even the size of your team. Your primary focus should always be your company’s sales. Your first question should always be, “How do we generate more sales and more customers?” Look at everything else as an add-on.
—Dovid Gabay, senior vice president at Banquest Payment Systems
Plan For Failure
Get ready for a roller-coaster ride, delegate the things you’re not good at, and surround yourself with people who are smarter than you. Be prepared to fail, and don’t be afraid when that happens.
—Shlome Steinmetz, CEO of Pivot Group NYC
We can’t be experts at everything. Focus on your core strengths and expand on those areas of expertise. A successful professional has to be honest about their own areas of weakness and then bring in the right types of talent for support. I love all aspects of digital marketing and lead generation and over the years have become very well versed in my space. But if I had to balance a book — well, forget about it. Instead, I’ve brought in some terrific staff members and consultants to support the financial details that help run our agency as efficiently as possible.
—Fran Jakubowicz, CEO of Sunhouse Marketing
Changing the Rules of Giving
When Rayze.It, our fundraising platform, was still new, we had banks freezing bank accounts on us. Organizations were transferring millions of dollars into their accounts over a very short amount of time, and the banks thought it was fraud. This organization usually raises $50,000 a month and now they’re bringing in millions overnight…? Something isn’t adding up.
Banquest sat down with the banks’ fraud departments and explained to them how tzedakah works in our circles. We showed them the different campaigns we do and the actual stats and they were totally floored, to the extent that they changed their policies to accommodate Rayze.It. They gained a new understanding of the frum community and what it means to give and give on a regular basis.
—Duvy Perkowski, CEO of Duvys Media and Rayze.It
I split my life into three: family, health, work — in that order. It’s been a long time coming, but I’ve come to appreciate that in order to be truly successful in any of the three, you need to be successful in all. In the long run, everything — your family, your health, and your work — matters. Everything affects everything. We’re wholesome people. If you neglect your family and home, your work will suffer. If you ignore work, your family will suffer. And if you neglect your health, everything will suffer.
If there’s ever a day when I don’t check in with my kids and go for a swim, bike, or run, it’s a “failed” day. You need to look at each day and ask, “How can I create a schedule that gives attention to my family, my work, and my health?” Once you really commit to them, you’ll realize that you have more time in your day than you think.
—Moshe Hecht, co-owner of Charidy, and CEO of a new startup in stealth mode
(Originally featured in Mishpacha, Issue 857)
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