June 23, 2024

3 rules to help you build a successful business | The Way We Work, a TED series

Published May 21, 2023, 8:20 a.m. by Arrik Motley

In today's business world, it's all about being successful. And while there's no one-size-fits-all answer to that question, there are some key things that all successful businesses have in common.

In this ted talk, business Insider founder and CEO Henry Blodget shares three essential rules for building a successful business.

1. Focus on solving a problem that people care about

The first rule is to focus on solving a problem that people actually care about. Too many businesses try to solve problems that nobody actually has.

Instead, focus on solving a problem that people are actually passionate about. What are people searching for online? What are they talking about on social media?

2. Build a great team

The second rule is to build a great team. The best businesses are built by great teams, not by individual superstars.

So how do you build a great team? Start by hiring people who are smarter than you are. Then give them the freedom to do their best work.

3. Focus on growth

The third rule is to focus on growth. The best businesses are always looking for ways to grow.

They're constantly testing new ideas and experimenting with new marketing strategies. They're always looking for ways to reach more customers and sell more products.

So if you want to build a successful business, focus on solving a problem that people care about, building a great team, and always be looking for ways to grow.

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Running a business means being a constant problem solver.

Every day it's something new,

whether it's product development,

distribution, creating content or, I don't know,

deciding what to do during a pandemic.

The trick isn’t always knowing all the answers

but becoming adept at figuring them out.

[The Way We Work]

My entrepreneurial spirit

comes from growing up in Latino neighborhoods in LA

and being surrounded by so many people who are immigrants.

It takes heart and ingenuity to move to a new country

and rebuild your life.

I grew up seeing firsthand

so many examples of people getting creative with limited resources,

whether it was the pupusa lady outside, rain or shine,

or my dad, who started as a field worker and now owns his own restaurant.

In 2017, I left my corporate job

and used my entire life savings to launch Rizos Curls.

Helping people embrace their natural hair texture

has been my personal passion since I was a teenager.

Learning to love my hair in its natural state

was the first step to learning to love myself.

Today, I'm running a self-funded,

multimillion dollar business that has been profitable since day one.

Growing up where I'm from,

building a successful business felt unattainable.

But turns out that entrepreneurial spirit was there all along.

Here are my top three principles that guide me in doing business.

One: Get personal with your customers.

With every transaction, your customer is giving you power,

so don't take that power for granted.

I feel so immersed with our customers

because I see them in my family, my tias,

my cousins, my parents and even in myself.

And that means nobody, not even the haircare giants,

can speak to them like I can.

We get to know our customers on a personal level

because we take the time to really listen.

Building that kind of relationship creates an authentic,

reciprocal understanding between brand and customers.

Two: Don't be afraid to break the rules.

As a Latina-owned, self-funded small business,

I'm constantly entering spaces

where my business is the first of its kind.

This year, we launched Rizos Curls into a mainstream retailer

where we became the first Latina-owned curly hair care brand

to be carried in their stores.

It was a big deal for us.

Traditional business wisdom says

that we should have invested a lot of marketing dollars

on that type of launch,

but instead I showed up on a horse,

with a mariachi and recorded TikToks.

I spent less than a 1,000 dollars on that launch.

So my point is, don't be afraid to try things differently.

Don't expect the same rules to apply to your small business

as they do to Fortune 500 companies.

Embrace what makes you you, and make it a part of your strategy

rather than following the same old playbook that's out there

for everyone to see.

Three: Make your intuition your BFF.

Running a business is noisy and demanding.

There's retailers, customers, your team, your finances,

and things happening in the world beyond your control.

How do you make big and important decisions with all of that?

Yes, facts and data matter, but at the end of the day,

you've got to trust your gut.

Your intuition is your best friend.

OK, here's what I do.

I have daily check-ins with myself,

and I have a checklist that I go through after every big meeting

where I ask myself questions like, "Am I uneasy? Am I excited?

How do they make me really feel?"

It's a thing that can't be explained through numbers or logic.

But when I go through my list of questions,

I'm able to quiet the noise and tune into that voice inside me

that helps me stay true to myself and my mission.

It's important to know who you are and who you are not.

That means knowing when to say no.

For me, that's meant turning down outside capital.

Yeah, that extra cash flow would have been amazing,

but investors would want to maximize profits and in turn,

compromise a community and culture aspects of what we stand for.

And for me, that's non-negotiable.

At the end of the day, you have to be grateful.

No one has to work for you, and no one has to be your customer.

People have choices,

so remember to appreciate every employee effort

and every sale.


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