Did you think I’ve forgotten you?
Over the last few months, I’ve been heads down working on two new products. I’ve been going through the ups and downs of entrepreneurship and have had both highs and lows. If anyone ever told you that entrepreneurship was easy; they lied. It’s a constant challenge and there’s a reason why most businesses fail within their first five years of operations.
If you’re familiar with the show, House of Cards, you’ll understand why I was a bit hesitant to suggest lessons for launching this company could be taken from the likes of Frank Underwood. He’s ruthless, relentless and remorseless. He’s willing to do whatever it takes to achieve the success he envisions for himself and by whatever it takes, I truly mean that.
For me, there are many lessons to be taken from House of Cards that show what to do when going through a tough time and some that show what actions you should always aim to avoid. Like many things in life, I’m a believer that you can learn lessons from everything and anything. House of Cards is a show you can take lessons to apply to business, life, relationships and even starting a company.
Here are a few that I’ve been able to apply to my companies over the last few months…
Frank Underwood recognizes the importance of surrounding himself with people he can trust and rely on. He’s committed to ensuring that those around him are beneficial to his career and his ability to achieve his goals. No matter what relationship you look at, Frank Underwood constantly makes an effort to strengthen his relationships with those around him. Whether you’re watching the first season or are up to date, the development of a strong team is consistent from one season to the next.
When you start a company, you’re driving a bus and it’s your job to ensure that the right people are around you. A lot of people assume that as the entrepreneur, it’s your job to tell everyone where the bus is going but in reality, the best entrepreneurs start with asking “who” and not “where”. This is a sentiment that is a key lesson from the book Good to Great from Jim Collins but also one that Frank Underwood embraces season after season.
In business, an organizations success isn’t dependent on its idea or product, it’s dependent on the team. It’s important to have a team that contributes to a common goal and has the right skillset to help you get across the finish line. Frank recognizes the value that different individuals and different specialties can bring to the table and is constantly ensuring that he’s only surrounding himself with right people. I’ve been striving to do exactly that with both Hustle & Grind.
For me, these are the core traits that are most important for the early team:
Frank once said, “If we never did anything we shouldn’t do, we’d never feel good about doing the things we should.” One thing that Frank always does is go after what he wants. In fact, he goes after what he wants in every episode and strategically aligns himself with the people that will help him get there. He never loses sight of his end goal and is someone who can think with logic over emotion 9 times out of 10.
Over the last few months, I’ve slowly begun to stop working with many of my consulting clients that require anything beyond the core competencies of my services business; Foundation. Rather than spending time doing things that aren’t my specialty (ie. website development, Adwords, Media, etc.) I’ve shifted my focus solely to clients that are looking for my core strategy & content marketing services. While this focus is scary – it’s a focus that will allow me to ensure my time is focused on doing work that I’m passionate about and become the best in one specific field.
Outside of professional success, I’ve always been obsessed with the idea of helping other unlock their full potential. If it wasn’t for the mentors, family members, and organizations that helped me unlock my own potential – I have no idea where I’d be today. Because of that, I’ve always wanted to help unlock the potential within youth who aren’t as privileged due to their economic status, race or location. That’s why Hustle & Grind is giving 10% of all profits to an organization that does exactly that.
Finally, I’d be lying if I told you that the last couple of years since quitting my job was extremely difficult. It was very financially rewarding and I had some definite highs and lows but I don’t feel I was being challenged to the level I should be. As such, launching and running two new startups is my way of pushing myself to increase that comfort so I can learn and win. Some people might say, I’m biting off more than I can chew but I’d rather choke on greatness than nibble on mediocrity. And to those who think running multiple companies is a bad idea, I’m going It’s going to be a challenge but like Frank Underwood said, if you don’t like the way the table is set – flip the table.
What do you think? Any other tips you can take from House Of Cards & Frank Underwood?
(Photo Source: House of Cards, Facebook)
Comments will be approved before showing up.