business strategy | June 05, 2013

Think Laterally & Buckle Down: David Chilton's Tips On Successful Startups

Becoming a successful entrepreneur isn't for everyone. In fact, as finance and business speaker David Chilton says, you need to buckle down at the beginning without expecting much of a break. "There's no work-life balance early," The Wealthy Barber author says in an interview with CBC. "In fact, the opportunity you have to strike that balance later comes precisely because you didn't strike it at the get-go." He adds: "You realized you had to make hay while the sun shone and you've got to work very hard." The interview was geared toward how to make it big in the digital space, however the advice Chilton provided is broadly applicable to any new startup company or budding entrepreneur.

When you are first starting out, it's critical that you are thinking about your business and studying the industry relentlessly. Not only should you be thinking about what's happening in your industry, but Chilton suggests keeping an eye on other fields as well. "Think laterally," he explains, "[ask] what someone else is doing in a seemingly unrelated field that [you] can borrow from." Finally, keep in mind that you have to be willing to give your all to strategies that work—and swiftly abandon those that don't. It's about knowing what works and sticking to it. The solutions don't have to be fancy, either. Chilton says the most important thing is to decide what works and stick with it.

That's the same kind of advice he provides in his book and his keynotes. Financial planning, he explains, doesn't have to involve get-rich-quick schemes or elaborate strategies. Rather, he suggests sticking to the tried-and-true methods of saving and spending that have worked for years. Whether it's providing practical tips on balancing your checkbook, sifting through new entrepreneurial ventures on Dragons' Den, or sharing his valuable entrepreneurial insight, Chilton is relatable and entertaining on stage. He takes the boredom out of traditionally dry subjects, and injects some fun into the business and financial issues that impact us all.

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business strategy | June 04, 2013