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5 Lessons For Entrepreneurs

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You learn some pretty hard lessons in 20 years of entrepreneurship. Hopefully, you can avoid some of my mistakes by reading this presentation.

You learn some pretty hard lessons in 20 years of entrepreneurship. Hopefully, you can avoid some of my mistakes by reading this presentation.


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  • 1. LESSONS LEARNEDIN 20 YEARS AS AN ENTREPRENEUR 5IAN LURIE CEO, PORTENT @PORTENTINT
  • 2. WHO IS THIS GUY? @PORTENTINT CEO, FOUNDER, PORTENT, INC. WWW.PORTENT.COM
  • 3. SINCE 1995
  • 4. SINCE. 1995.
  • 5. I’VE BEEN THROUGH A LOT (AND I’VE HAD MY MOMENTS)
  • 6. SOME STUFF IS FINALLY SINKING IN guess i shouldn't have done that
  • 7. MY 5 LESSONSjust mine. your results may vary.
  • 8. ENTREPRENEURS these lessons are for you don’t have to be one
  • 9. BELIEVE IT 1IT’S WHAT GUIDES YOUR WORK
  • 10. IT’S PERSONALdon’t let anyone tell you different
  • 11. LIVE ITin the way you work
  • 12. KNOW WHYyou’re doing this
  • 13. LOVE ITenough to learn it
  • 14. LOVE ITenough to teach it
  • 15. THE CUSTOMER IS NOT ALWAYS RIGHT
  • 16. WHEN YOUR GUT SPEAKS LISTEN
  • 17. BALANCE 2LIFE, WORK AND HEALTH
  • 18. YOU CAN WORKany 100 hours/week you want
  • 19. YOUR FAMILYmust support what you’re doing
  • 20. YOU STILLhave to clean the toilet now and then
  • 21. YOUR 1ST DUTYis to remain standing
  • 22. YOU’RE NOT CAPTAIN AMERICA YOU’RE A GRUNT
  • 23. TREAT YOURSELFyou deserve it
  • 24. YOU DON’T HAVE A.D.D. you’re just disorganized
  • 25. BECOME A MASTER TIME MANAGER it’s your most precious resource
  • 26. GROWTH 3MUST BE SUSTAINABLE
  • 27. YOU ARE TAKING RISKS NOT CRASHING CARS be smart
  • 28. HIRE FOR INTELLIGENCE NOT SKILLS anything can be learned. if you can think.
  • 29. HIRE FOR EQ NOT POLISH they can always wear a suit
  • 30. TEACH THE SH#T OUT OF EVERYTHING
  • 31. LEARN THE SH#T OUT OF EVERYTHING
  • 32. WORK AT THE EDGES DELEGATE THE MIDDLE expertise leadershipexecution
  • 33. DO THE MATHit doesn’t lie (but it may fib)
  • 34. SET CLEAR, MEASURABLE GOALS for yourself and others
  • 35. CHANGE IS GOODuntil it’s not
  • 36. DON’T WAIT FOR THE PERFECT TOOL forever is a long time
  • 37. CASH FLOW IS KING you can’t breathe without air
  • 38. TRUST 4BUILD IT. DEMAND IT.
  • 39. INTEGRITY IS THE ACE it’s not a renewable resource
  • 40. DON’T FART IN PUBLIC people remember that
  • 41. IF YOU CAN’T TRUST THEM FIRE THEM employees or clients
  • 42. SET CLEAR STANDARDS ‘be great’ doesn’t do it
  • 43. CRAZY ISN’T MOTIVATIONAL no one likes working for a nutjob
  • 44. TAKE A TIME OUT before you explode
  • 45. NICE IS NOT HELPFUL it’s destructive
  • 46. LEADERSHIP5IN ALL THINGS photo by richard masoner
  • 47. LEAVE YOUR EGO AT THE DOOR it’s distracting
  • 48. LISTEN, THEN DECIDE please. pre‫﬛‬ please.
  • 49. YOU DO KNOW WHAT YOU’RE DOING even when you don’t
  • 50. FOUNDERS MUST BUILD THE THING it’s hard to run the business otherwise
  • 51. CEOs MUST KNOW THE WORK otherwise they make bad decisions
  • 52. REVEAL TO DISCOMFORT it beats hiding
  • 53. THINGS GO WRONG it’s how you react that counts
  • 54. NEVER EVER EVER EVER stop learning in public
  • 55. THE PEOPLE who taught me
  • 56. BEN HOROWITZ THE HARD THING ABOUT HARD THINGS
  • 57. PATRICK LENCIONI EVERYTHING HE’S WRITTEN
  • 58. GUY KAWASAKI ENCHANTMENT
  • 59. STEPHEN AMBROSE D-DAY
  • 60. DORIS KEARNS GOODWIN TEAM OF RIVALS
  • 61. STEVEN JOHNSON THE GHOST MAP
  • 62. ALL OF HISTORY great leaders are great teachers
  • 63. MY WHOLE FAMILY through patience & occasional lack thereof
  • 64. EVERYONE I’VE WORKED WITH with judicious eye-rolling & support
  • 65. MIND YOUR PARTNERS and yourself
  • 66. LOVE WHAT YOU DO to your core, without question
  • 67. DO IT WELL and be‫﬙‬er every day
  • 68. STAY HUMBLE enough to learn
  • 69. STAY ARROGANT enough to lead
  • 70. THANK YOU ian lurie @portentint ian@portent.com www.portent.com
  • 71. other presentations by me: