Tonight I went to an event hosted by the London Evening Standard where Richard Reed (one of the co-founders of Innocent) gave a talk on the ups and downs of running a business. Whilst not tech focused it was an interesting talk and there were two things that really stood out to me.. Although they’re concepts that you’ll come across a lot when starting a business, and normally concepts I wouldn’t pay much attention to, for some reason they really resonated with me tonight:
- Don’t take no for an answer; and
- Create a team with a shared set of values: have a central organising principle.
I’ll focus on the first one tonight as that’s what’s made me decide to be fiercer. I’m going to hold my hands up and admit that I’ve been absolutely useless with the first one. Despite the fact that I’m normally quite assertive, when it comes to Packed Munches I lose my confidence and become quite timid. When I hear the word no I tend to scurry away with an:
Of course, you’re extremely busy, thanks for saying no, sorry for disturbing you. There’s that apologising thing I do again
As I listened to Richard Reed talk about how it took them a year before they could find anyone to invest in their business, and at that point they really just tried everything, I honestly thought to myself:
Urghhhhh successful entrepreneurs always say “it was so hard for me, everyone said no, it took a long time” but it can’t have been that hard as they made it
It’s going to sound silly but it was genuinely at that point that it really hit me, that’s what successful entrepreneurs have in difference to those that aren’t successful. The successful ones didn’t give up. They didn’t take no for an answer.
So my pledge is to be fiercer. I’m going to spend the next few months really trying to drive sales for Packed Munches beginning with approaching university Erasmus societies in person! I probably shouldn’t give away the game plan too much but I think face-to-face contact will make it harder to say no and easier to say yes. Wish me luck!