This moment, when you suddenly realize you are going
to become a one-billion-dollar market cap company?
And the four lessons that might help you get there
I used to think that one of the differences between a startup and an entrepreneurship is that all startups are looking and dreaming to become at least a one-billion-dollar market cap company. And entrepreneurs? For me entrepreneurs which aren’t startup founders are amazing people like John Lee Dumas, Pat Flynn, Mike Stelzner, Amy porterfield and many more, that manage to build and develop very successful companies starting from scratch without raising money.
But then, I met with Mellissah Smith, who was my guest on the Reach or Miss podcast.
Mellissah has started as a marketing manager and consultants. With time her marketing agency expended and succeeded, and Mellissah identified a need for a robotic tool that will help marketers right marketing strategy.
“It started with our own needs in my marketing firm, Marketing Eye, Mellissah told me. We have quite a big team of marketing experts who write the marketing strategy for a client, which is a major part of the role in our company. However would normally take two or three weeks, or even longer, for a marketing manager to do market research and a competitors’ analysis, and to come up with a marketing strategy. And obviously there are quality differences between the strategies.
So, I wrote about how automatic marketing would work and how it could develop marketing strategies without a human. I worked with a development team that developed the technology, and today it’s live.
It was about four years ago, when I decided to develop this robot. Today, I found out that one of the companies will be buying 10,000 marketing strategies from us over the next twelve months. I’m super excited!”
At the end of the interview I asked Mellissah about her mountain;
“I have a business mountain that I’m looking to conquer, Mellissa told me. I never thought it would be possible and it was never my dream but when it became a reality, it made me think differently: and it’s to have a business with a one-billion-dollar market cap. It’s really something that I’d never thought about but, with this technology company, things have suddenly changed.”
It’s a remarkable story, and Mellissah is, indeed a remarkable entrepreneur.
So I collected for you 4 tips and lessons learned as Mellissah described it, during our interview:
4 lessons for successful entrepreneurship:
1. understand the purpose of your customer’s business
The most important piece of advice for any entrepreneur is to understand the purpose of the customer’s business and what the market really needs.
The very first thing to do is to get to know your customers or your potential customers before you even open the doors of your business.
Many entrepreneurs close their doors within the first five years, and they always say it’s about money. But, is it really because of money or because they didn’t invest enough in their customer, including the customer experience and understanding what the customer actually wants and needs?
2. Always put your customer first
Make sure you put the customer first. There is lots of talk about how if you treat your employees well, they will treat the customers well. I don’t know if that’s actually true. At the end of the day, your business survives only if you have customers. That will happen only if you look after them and if they have a great experience. Customers who have a great experience not only come back to you but will also recommend you. That’s the easiest way to get new clients.
3. Take the customer on the journey with you
I think our biggest failure, is a lack of ability to communicate value to customers.
That’s because the client doesn’t know what you are doing on a minute-to-minute basis. All they see is the result. And sometimes, in marketing, it takes time to get results, or the results aren’t visible in the first stage.
We had a client who was spending a lot of money with us. For just consulting, he spent around $20,000 a month. We were building websites, rebranding the company, doing annual reports, stationery, brochures, and more.
While doing all those things, we weren’t communicating enough with the customer. We weren’t explaining what we were doing and taking the customer on the journey with us. Instead, we were working in a kind of isolated environment.
That doesn’t work because the client feels neglected. The client feels like they are not part of the process. And if you don’t take your customers on that journey, they are going to feel left out.
The customers might feel as though they are not being heard. Sometimes, they just need to be heard. You just need to listen. As a business owner, the
best thing you can learn to do is listen. If you sit back and listen to your customer, you’ll be far more successful than if you don’t.
4. Find mentors whom you could look up to and learn from
I’ve been fortunate enough to have mentors who have surrounded me. In particular, I’ve had a mentor by the name of Jack Cowin. He has invested a lot of time into helping me develop. He has also been able to challenge me on a regular basis and make me think differently. Having that investment from a person you can look up to has been instrumental in helping me become more successful.
Always learn, have a mentor, be open to feedback. From early on in my career, I have always surrounded myself with people who are much smarter than I am, much better than I am: really strong entrepreneurs or marketers whom I could look up to and learn from.
Summary: Winning the race
To summarize this fascinating conversation with Mellissah, I thought how I used to tell any employee that I hired and a specially marketers. And I would like to share this tip with you: Always focus on doing the best job for the success of the company you are working for (it doesn’t matter if it’s a huge organization or your own business). Don’t worry about your title and salary. If you will just focus on doing an excellent work, the title and the money will come. It worked for me during 32 years of executive positions.
It’s like the runners in the world olympics. If Usain Bolt ,the fastest runner of all time would look over and over forward and backward all the time he wouldn’t be able to win the race.
And I like to end with Mellissah’s last sentence:
“I literally had no dreams of being successful. I really wanted to do a good job. I wanted to be a great marketer.”
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