50 pieces of Sound Advice every young Startup CEO should follow

by | Nov 26, 2015

Below is an extract from a Q&A thread on Quora, highlighting the original question and the most upvoted answer.

By Navid Zlofaghari on Quora:

1.   Your team is everything.

2.   Solve a problem you are passionate about.
3.   Never outsource your core competency.
4.   Be c̶h̶e̶a̶p̶ lean but don’t be afraid to spend.
5.   Chase the vision, not the money.
6.   Never eat lunch alone. Always be closing.
7.   Ideas are worth sh*t. Execution is key.
8.   Don’t take momentum for granted.
9.   Learn to monetize from the get-go. [cue Notorious BIG – Get Money]
10. Set S.M.A.R.T. goals.
11. Focus. It’s easy to get carried away with multiple projects.
12. Stay uncomfortable.
13. Be metrics driven. You can’t improve what you can’t measure.
14. Not everything your customers want is what they need. Learn to read between the lines to really get at the problem.
15. Consistently seek out constructive feedback.
16. Know your competitive advantage and stay obsessed over your competitors and the industry.
17. Be a thought leader in the space.
18. Move quickly.
19. Talk is cheap. Deliver instead.
20. Focus on customer service. Word of mouth is the easiest form of marketing.
21. Make something that you know people want.

22. Place a premium on aptitude versus experience.
23. Learn to say no (respectfully).
24. Trust your gut.
25. If things aren’t working, ask yourself why and change that.
26. Hire people smarter than you.
27. As a founder, you set the tone for others. Don’t forget that.
28. Don’t be afraid to ask for help!
29. Make deliberate decisions.
30. Don’t lose sight of close friends and family. You don’t need to be a hermit just because you work a lot.
31. Don’t micro-manage.
32. Start with “why?” [See Simon Sinek: How great leaders inspire action]
33. Bring out the greatness in those around you.
34. It’s better to own a smaller piece of a bigger pie than a bigger piece of a smaller pie.
35. Be humble.
36. Utilize your calendar and tasks to the max.
37. Tackle your most daunting tasks in the morning. Save the easier stuff for later.
38. Read often.

39. Workout at least 4 times a week. Body and mind are one. Oh yeah, and get your sleep too.
40. Be authentic and transparent.
41. You will hit hurdles, push through and get ready for the next. Stay optimistic.
42. Ask questions.
43. Nobody should have a personal office. Open floor plans allow best for collaboration.
44. You have 2 ears and 1 mouth. You should listen more than you talk.
45. Culture is crucial. Your employees should want to stay late and hangout.
46. Sell value, not products.
47. Always have an attorney glance over any legal documents. Speaking of, document everything so there is a record for all parties.
48. There is no such thing as a part-time entrepreneur.
49. Learn to move on if you’ve exhausted all efforts. Be honest with yourself.
50. Have fun!

Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.
– Seneca

Read the full Q&A on Quora

Múyìwá Mátùlúkò
Múyìwá Mátùlúkò

Chief Servant. I bully myself because I make me do what I put my mind to.


On January 22, 2022, be part of the largest gathering of innovators, startup founders, thinkers, programmers, policymakers, and investors in West Africa. Register free.


Recent News

Subscribe to Techpoint Digest!

A daily 5-minute roundup of happenings in African and global tech, sent directly to your email inbox, between 5 a.m. and 7 a.m (WAT) every week day!

Please check your email to confirm your subscription.

Subscribe to Crypto Explorer

A monthly series featuring in-depth analysis on the cryptocurrency sector in Africa

Please check your email to confirm your subscription.

Subscribe to The Experts

A bi-weekly where tech career specialists take us on their journey from newbie to expert, and how they became successful in the industry.

Please check your email to confirm your subscription.

Subscribe to Founder's Table

A monthly series, where we catch up with founders in the startup ecosystem, learn about their failures, successes and a few tricks of the trade

Please check your email to confirm your subscription.

Copy link
Powered by Social Snap