10 Un-Tweetable Bits of Wisdom from Paul Singh, Angel Investor
Paul Singh is an investor and entrepreneur from Virginia. He’s in Kansas City for the next few days on his #RJTechTour (RJ stands for Results Junkie, the name of his website.)
During the tour, Paul is speaking at events (here’s the entire schedule), consulting (and possibly investing in) startups and living in an Airstream.
Today, he stopped by the Village Square in the Kansas City Startup Village, and here are a few bits of wisdom he shared that I’m going to be chewing on for a long, long time:
The one thing you can do today to become more successful: curate the hell out of your network.
Paul says that research shows that you are the average of the six people you are surrounded by the most. If you want to up your game, consider getting new friends.
The most valuable thing an entrepreneur can do is to learn how to communicate to and inspire people.
Paul challenges entrepreneurs to get on a stage every 30 days to tell their story and practice their pitch.
My rules for personal branding, aka the rules of the invisible game: 1. Your brand is not what you say it is, it’s how others perceive you. 2. Never pick a fight with an elephant, head on. 3. Never forget the psychology of your customer.
This wisdom caught me straight in the gut. I too often think, “I know I’m a great guy, shouldn’t others feel the same way?”
When I look at a resume and see that someone has more than two years at a single job, I think, “This person has no ambition.”
Don’t tell my boss that I mentioned this one… The message I took from this sentiment is that being an entrepreneur is one of the most worthwhile journeys that anyone can take.
If you have a business idea, don’t become the guy who just talks about it. Create the simplest test possible to validate your idea and get that test done.
Paul was very adamant that you not become “that guy.”
The minute your product works, stop coding and go find customers.
Growth, growth, growth. The greatest crucible any business can enter is paying customers.
You get no extra cool points for building a hard business. Keep your business model super simple: transactions are a good way to go and recurring payments are super sweet.
Paul was adamant that when it comes to communicating, shorter is always better, because who has time to waste? If you can’t explain your business, you probably don’t have one.
It’s easier than ever to start, harder than ever to grow.
Paul showed a graph explaining that it took $5 million to start a tech-enabled company in 1995, and $5 thousand today. That being said, obtaining year after year growth is a monumental effort that won’t happen without taking risks that your competitors won’t.
1,000 years ago, the most successful person owned the dirt. 100 years ago they had the money. And today, they have the attention.
Social media really levels the playing field, so in a sense, we’re all media companies. If people don’t know you exist, you don’t. And in a world where so many voices are vying for attention, notability is more important than credibility.
A growing company is more likely to leave Kansas City because of a lack of tech talent than a lack of capital.
If you would like to dig deeper into this assertion, visit our We Create Capital report. The short of it—we have a lot of room to grow in both categories.
Paul, thank you so much for visiting us here in Kansas City. Safe travels and may odds be ever in your favor.
If you’re in the mood for more entrepreneurial wisdom, be sure to visit our Entrepreneurs in Action, highlighting business owners from all over Kansas City.