The Drum, a hot, new marketing magazine and network, recently reached out to Andy to ask for his 3 best pieces of advice for young entrepreneurs. You can read the entire article on The Drum's website, but we've reprinted it here for your convenience.
If you’ve always dreamed of being your own boss, have just started out on your own, or are already a seasoned entrepreneur, then Andy Frisella is the person to talk to. After starting his first supplement shop in Springfield, Missouri, 19 years ago, Frisella is now the Founder and Chairman of a multi-brand empire. His brands include the popular nutrition company 1st Phorm, which rakes in more than $175 million in revenue a year.
However, there was no straight path to success. Frisella has experienced the highest highs and lowest lows a startup can have. From barely making rent to commanding a lucrative empire, Frisella has been in the trenches of entrepreneurial warfare. Now he is excited to share his experiences with anyone who needs his wisdom.
Wherever you are on your path to self-employment and independence, Andy Frisella has been there. Here are his 3 best pieces of advice to young entrepreneurs.
1. See yourself “there.”
Every night before he goes to sleep, Frisella shuts his eyes and imagines the feeling of accomplishing his long- and short-term goals. While this mental exercise can help anyone develop the vision and motivation needed to accomplish projects, it also symbolizes the much more powerful exercise of deliberately recognizing your concrete goals as a business. Before you can achieve anything as an entrepreneur it is important to visualize and internalize your destination.
“You have to be able to play chess,” says Frisella. “Plan where your business is going to be in five years—you can’t be in a reactionary state.” Frisella says that even when his company was a single storefront, barely making enough to make rent, he had his current company in the back of his mind every night. It is crucial that every young entrepreneur knows exactly what they want their company to look like in the future because, without that vision, accomplishing the dream will be much harder to achieve.
2. Never give up on your dreams.
Frisella knows a little something about starting small. “Our first day, we sold $7,” he says. “Our second day...we sold $0.” Now, two decades later, Frisella is pulling in more each week than he did in his first 10 years combined. How? By never giving up on his dream. Frisella never let his dream fade from him even in those first few lean years. He says that the harder the days were, the harder he fought.
Frisella has a favorite parable, called “the story of the Chinese bamboo tree.” It takes Chinese bamboo five years to sprout above the surface. You have to go out and water the soil and take care of the plant for five years with no indication anything is happening. He uses this parable to evoke the patience needed in the entrepreneurial journey, but it can also be used to describe never giving up on a dream. If you believe in your dream, you need to keep watering your plant and have faith it will materialize. Even on days when it seems it will never sprout up above the surface, it is vital to keep watering and feeding your dream until it achieves success. Because, though it takes 5 years to sprout, once the bamboo does come up it will grow 80 feet in 6 weeks.
Whatever your vision is as an entrepreneur, you must keep nurturing it until it comes to fruition.
3. Invest now to reap later.
“You’re not going to have a harvest if you don’t plant the seed,” says Frisella. He says one of his biggest mistakes when he was coming into his own as an entrepreneur was not willing to spend a lot of capital as an investment in his company, and he sees many younger entrepreneurs fall into the same trap. “I used to not be able to recognize the difference between expenses and investments,” he says. Many put off spending on an advertising campaign or hiring a new employee because of the expense, but in reality those things are investments if done properly.
It is important to remember the value of spending capital on certain things now. Remember that employees can save you time, allow you to focus on higher-level management and produce a financial return. Remember that new facilities can make your entire company faster, more efficient and more customer friendly. Remember that investing in a graphic designer to make a more professional logo can help explode your brand later and will more than pay for itself.
Frisella’s advice is to build the base for the company you want in five years now. Whether that means a new building or a new logo, just go for it. The only way you can ensure you will achieve your dream is to invest in your company now, so that you can succeed later.
HEAR MORE FROM ANDY:
A special throwback episode featuring bestselling author and performance coach Ben Newman. In this episode, we discuss how you can train yourself to be mentally tough, accomplish critical tasks, and set goals that stretch you beyond your comfort zone. We also share our thoughts on everything from the practice of visualization, to my favorite tool: The Power List.
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