Tomas Gorny, CEO of Nextiva, a cloud-based communication provider, is a firm believer of building businesses to create great things instead of accumulating wealth. He is an entrepreneur who continuously comes up with new ideas and new businesses.
Entrepreneur was able to correspond with Gorny through email. The serial entrepreneur shared the top four business tips that he has learned throughout the years.
1. Don't judge people by their looks or the way they speak. In an interview with the One Million by One Million blog, Gorny revealed that he was discriminated for his Eastern European accent as well as his age. "I wasn't just young but I was perceived as this stupid and young Polish guy," he said.
Instead of being put down by the prejudice he faced, he used it to his advantage. He was able to land some of the best deals of his life since people weren't really paying attention to him. With this, he learned never to underestimate people for their looks, speech and style. He advises entrepreneurs to hire based on character, attitude, skill level and potential cultural fit.
2. Don't be afraid of failure. Back in 1996, he sold his PC distribution business, which he launched in Germany while he was 17 years old, to earn enough money to move to the U.S. The money was only good for six to eight months. He joined a startup and worked odd jobs to live.
However, after five years, he almost lost all of his fortune when the tech industry was not doing well. He did not allow himself to be swayed by the setback, though. With the $6,000 in his life savings, he launched a web-hosting company which successfully became the second-largest business in the industry.
3. Do adopt a customer's mindset. Ensure that you are able to deliver quality product and service to solve your customers' problems. This will result to your business being deemed invaluable and will actually make more people come to you.
It is important to think like your customers. What can you create to make their lives easier? Customer feedbacks are the most common way to gather information from your target audience.
4. Do focus on building your business first. Don't think about the money and exit strategy yet. Gorny noted that after he lost money from the tech bubble burst, he realized that he "needed to focus on providing value to customers, not on how much money we could bring in."
He also revealed that he personally prefers to not have investors since it may cause him to focus solely on an exit strategy instead of building his business.