Ask any entrepreneur for business advice and they’ll be glad to share their stories of hard work, successes, and failures.
I spoke with serial entrepreneur Brian Kalish, CEO of Xigem Technologies, to share some of the most valuable lessons he’s learned in his two decades of entrepreneurship. Kalish’s entrepreneurial journey has spanned multiple industries from consumer packaged goods to publishing, healthcare, and professional sports. Kalish credits this diverse experience with his continued success as an entrepreneur. Here’s his advice:
Embrace failure and learn from it.
Failure is a wonderful teacher, as long as you’re willing to learn from it. As Kalish points out, “You learn more from the failures than you do the successes.” You can learn from every failure, no matter how large or how small. Take the time to analyze what when wrong, when and where in the process it went wrong, and come up with ways to ensure that those mistakes are corrected moving forward.
Surround yourself with the right people.
Having the right team in place is integral for business success. You want to build a strong team that supports all areas of your business and doesn’t leave any gaps uncovered. Seek out people who are experts in their field and hire them, learn from them, or partner with them. Not everyone on the team needs to be an employee – your team can be made up of freelancers, advisors, and mentors as well as full or part-time employees.
Think ahead to the future.
“As a serial entrepreneur, you’re always looking for what the next great adventure is going to be as well as how to leverage and take advantage of any changes that are happening,” says Kalish. His advice is to not only think about what’s happening now, but what might change in the future.
Look for opportunities.
You always have to keep your finger on the pulse and think a few steps ahead. “Really try to understand where the market is moving,” advises Kalish. Observe what’s going on in the business world and analyze those changes. Look at which sectors are leading and which ones are lagging behind. Think about ways to use or incorporate new technology to improve existing business processes. Think ahead to what might come next in technology, AI, and global business trends.
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Don’t be afraid to take risks.
Risks are simply part of doing business, especially when you’re bringing a new product to market or entering a new field. The key is to take calculated risks where you’ve fully weighed your options, thought about the pros and cons, and are making a fully informed decision. Take risks wisely, don’t just dive in on a whim without doing your due diligence first.
Be prepared for change to happen quickly.
“We went from sharing everything, from bicycles and cars to apartments, and then all of sudden sharing nothing,” Kalish said, highlighting the almost instantaneous shift to a remote economy. The pandemic upended everything from industries to the very way we work, and many of those changes will be long-lasting. No one could have predicted the overnight shift to remote work, yet most businesses managed to adapt, often learning as they went along. Businesses that don’t adapt will quickly get left behind.
Whether you’re embarking on your first entrepreneurial journey, you’re an established businessperson, or anywhere in between, follow this advice to continue to grow and develop your business.