9 Things I Wish I Knew When I Was 20 | Summary and Q&A

January 22, 2019
Sam Ovens
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9 Things I Wish I Knew When I Was 20


Sam Evans shares nine important lessons he wishes he had known when he started his entrepreneurial journey at 20 years old, including taking responsibility for your own success, focusing on problem-solving in business, and staying lean and frugal.

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Questions & Answers

Q: Why is it important to take responsibility for your own success in business?

Taking responsibility for your own success in business is crucial because it empowers you to make necessary changes and improvements. By recognizing that you have control over your actions and outcomes, you can actively seek solutions and take the necessary steps to achieve success. Blaming external factors or thinking of oneself as a victim will only hinder progress and prevent personal growth.

Q: How can focusing on problem-solving rather than idea generation benefit entrepreneurs?

Focusing on problem-solving allows entrepreneurs to identify real pain points and provide valuable solutions to their target audience. It shifts the focus from coming up with groundbreaking ideas to understanding the needs and challenges of the customers. By prioritizing problem-solving, entrepreneurs can create products or services that truly address the problems faced by their customers, increasing the chances of success and profitability.

Q: Why is it important to focus on cash flow in the early stages of starting a business?

Cash flow is essential in the early stages of starting a business because it ensures the survival and sustainability of the venture. Without sufficient cash flow, a business cannot meet its financial obligations, such as paying bills, salaries, or investing in growth opportunities. By focusing on cash flow first, entrepreneurs can create a stable foundation for their business and have the resources to tackle long-term goals successfully.

Q: How can staying focused on the customer's needs help entrepreneurs overcome confusion and make better decisions?

When entrepreneurs find themselves lost or confused, refocusing on the customer's needs can provide clarity and guide decision-making. By putting the customer at the center of all actions and decisions, entrepreneurs can realign their priorities and avoid distractions. Understanding the customer's problems and striving to provide the best solutions will help entrepreneurs make decisions that align with their customers' best interests and lead to long-term success.

Q: Why is it important for entrepreneurs to stay lean and frugal in their business endeavors?

Staying lean and frugal allows entrepreneurs to allocate resources efficiently and focus on what truly matters for the success of their business. By avoiding unnecessary expenses or luxurious purchases, entrepreneurs can preserve capital, maintain financial stability, and invest in areas that drive growth. A frugal approach also fosters discipline and resourcefulness, which are vital qualities for long-term success in business.

Q: How can focusing on the main goal and making sacrifices lead entrepreneurs to success?

Focusing on the main goal and making sacrifices is crucial for entrepreneurs because it enables them to channel their energy and resources effectively. By staying committed to the main goal and being willing to sacrifice short-term pleasures or distractions, entrepreneurs can maintain their focus and prioritize what truly matters. Making sacrifices demonstrates dedication and determination, setting the stage for long-term success and fulfillment.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Lesson 1: Take responsibility for your own success and understand that you have control over your life and outcomes.

  • Lesson 2: Business is about solving problems, so focus on identifying and solving problems instead of just coming up with ideas.

  • Lesson 3: Going to university is not necessary to be an entrepreneur; starting your own business in the real world can be a better learning experience.

  • Lesson 4: Starting a business while working a 9-to-5 job is challenging, and it's essential to go all in or get all out.

  • Lesson 5: Don't care about the opinions of others; focus on what's best for your customers and ignore false positives and negatives.

  • Lesson 6: Cash flow should be the first priority when starting a business, followed by long-term thinking after establishing stability.

  • Lesson 7: When feeling lost and confused, focus on the customer and what's best for them to find clarity.

  • Lesson 8: Stay lean and frugal; avoid buying unnecessary items that can negatively impact your business in the long run.

  • Lesson 9: Focus is a superpower; prioritize the main goal and be willing to sacrifice hobbies and distractions to achieve it.

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