Business strategist and bestselling author Tony Robbins shares the most common mistakes entrepreneurs make and how to avoid them.
Mediaplanet: What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced in your businesses and how did you overcome it?
Tony Robbins: I’ve had so many moments radically test me throughout my career. I was in for a major surprise when my employees confronted me about my CEO years ago. They came up to me and said, “She’s emptied the bank accounts because she told us that we’re going bankrupt. She paid herself and her best friend but not the rest of us.” I had to come up with $50,000 to keep the doors open.
At that point in my life, it might as well have been $5 billion. I barely stayed afloat. The thing is, when people fail, they will inevitably tell you a list of excuses like, “I didn’t have enough time,” “I didn’t have enough money,” “I didn’t have the right people,” or “I was missing the right technology.” But the truth is, resources are never the problem. It’s always a lack of resourcefulness. The ultimate resource is human emotion.
Do you have any advice for new entrepreneurs looking to grow their company?
What I will tell you is, it doesn’t matter what industry you get into. You have to know more about the customer than they know about themselves. You have to dig in and find out what they want, what they need, what they hate, what they fear, and what excites them. I’ve always said that life is the dance between what you desire most and what you fear most. The mantra for success is simple: do more for others than anyone else will. Exceed their expectations. Add more value.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received when it comes to business?
Don’t make the same fatal mistake that I see so many entrepreneurs make. They fall in love with their product or service when they need to fall in love with their customers. If you get caught up loving your product or service, you’ll develop loyalty to that instead of a loyalty to your clients. When people fail, they’ll inevitably tell you a list of excuses, but the truth is, resources are never the problem. It’s always a lack of resourcefulness. The ultimate resource is human emotion.